About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8124-8129
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1893

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

A LEARNING MODEL FOR OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING IN A VISUAL INTERACTIVE 3-D ENVIRONMENT

E. Salman1, N. Awad2, M. Barak2, J. El-Sanaa2

1The academic Arab College for Education (ISRAEL)
2Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (ISRAEL)
This paper aims to report partial findings of a large-scale doctoral thesis, which has done over four research years.

Research Objectives:
Teaching computer science aims at developing students’ cognitive abilities such as algorithmic thinking, problem solving and independent learning in computer science, and fostering their motivation to engage in this field. However, many school students face difficulties in learning computer science or drop out from learning this subject mainly because of the teaching methods that the teacher uses, which focus on teaching programming methods, algorithms and techniques for solving simple programming problems.
To address this issue, the objective of this research was to develop an innovative course for teaching Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in the Alice development environment, and evaluate the new course’s impact on the students in the cognitive and affective domains. The course aims at teaching basic concepts of OOP to junior high school pupils. The course consists of 15 two-hour sessions, totaling 30 hours, and comprises teaching different subjects such as variables, operations calculations, output and input, classes, properties, object properties, conditions, loops, calculation of sums, minimum and maximum, average, working with events, addition of methods to a class, timing, and multimedia integration.

Methodology:
The research approach combined qualitative and quantitative methods in order to obtain a rich picture of students learning patterns and motivation about learning the new subject. In the main research phase, the researcher taught the course with the full presence of the two local computer science teachers. We updated the course according to the experience learned from the exploratory study. The school teachers taught the course over a period of three years in which 125 seventh graders participated. The course took place as an enrichment class after school hours.

Data collection tools included:
Tests in the OOP designed to measure factual, procedural and conceptual knowledge; submitting closed-ended and open-ended tasks, as well as a programming project; class observations; semi-structured interviews with the students; and an attitude questionnaire.

Findings:
Throughout the research, findings showed that the teaching model developed and implemented during the course of this study had a major influence on the students' achievements, motivation, level of interest and self-efficacy.

Below are specific examples of the findings:
- Attitudes tests indicated a high positive attitude among students towards learning the subject, towards the Developing Environment and with no statistically significant differences between boys and girls in attitudes toward learning computer science.
- Students’ learning through the learning model strengthened their programming knowledge and helped them master the programming environment.
- All students who learned with the learning model in the course reported a low level of difficulties in learning the course topics.
- The dropout rate in the course was low (about 10%), indicating a high level of interest in the course.

Contribution of the study:
On the theoretical level, the teaching model is valuable to the literature on project-based learning in computer science, science and technology.
On the practical level, the teaching model and evaluation tools developed in this study could serve as a basis for developing new curricula for teaching OOP.
@InProceedings{SALMAN2018ALE,
author = {Salman, E. and Awad, N. and Barak, M. and El-Sanaa, J.},
title = {A LEARNING MODEL FOR OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING IN A VISUAL INTERACTIVE 3-D ENVIRONMENT},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1893},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1893},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {8124-8129}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Salman AU - N. Awad AU - M. Barak AU - J. El-Sanaa
TI - A LEARNING MODEL FOR OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING IN A VISUAL INTERACTIVE 3-D ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1893
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 8124
EP - 8129
ER -
E. Salman, N. Awad, M. Barak, J. El-Sanaa (2018) A LEARNING MODEL FOR OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING IN A VISUAL INTERACTIVE 3-D ENVIRONMENT, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 8124-8129.
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