Science Faculty, Campus Ourense, University of Vigo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 4375-4379
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.1150
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Computer programming has become an important skill for scientific, technological and economic development (Belmar, 2022). For this reason, attempts are made to include the learning of this skill in most of the school curricula of European countries (Holo et al., 2022). However, despite its importance, it is still common for students in Spain not to have received computer programming training until they arrive at the university.

The present work aims to evaluate the learning experience of a programming language at two different university stages at the University of Vigo (Spain): The Environmental Science Degree (“Modeling and Simulation” subject) and the Master’s Degree in Oceanography (“Climate Models” subject). In both cases, the computer programming learned was MATLAB (MATrix LABoratory) because it is a high-level programming language that is designed, especially, for science professionals (

The learning process of MATLAB programming language involved a first step in which the theoretical concepts necessary to develop computational thinking were explained and, a second one, in which practical problems were solved by means of MATLAB. The evaluation of the learning experience was made through a survey that takes into account various aspects: the previous knowledge of the students, their perception of the importance of learning computer programming, and the difficulties they found during the theoretical and practical sessions.
This evaluation will allow for improving the academic methodology used to learn computer programming using MATLAB or another programming language in university science subjects.

[1] Belmar, H. (2022). Review on the Teaching of Programming and Computational Thinking in the World. Frontiers in Computer Science, 4.
[2] Holo, O. E., Kveim, E. N., Lysne, M. S., Taraldsen, L. H., & Haara, F. O. (2022). A review of research on teaching of computer programming in primary school mathematics: moving towards sustainable classroom action. Education Inquiry, 1-16.
Computer programming, University of Vigo, MATLAB, learning evaluation.