IMPROVEMENT AND EVALUATION OF INTRODUCTORY PROGRAMMING EDUCATION
Programming education in the Department of Information Science and Engineering is an essential basic education. Many students first thought that algorithm building was difficult to understand during their early stage of programming education, and there were not a few students who lost their motivation to learn further. Thereupon the authors conducted the class of introductory programming education in order to reduce students’ difficulty and uneasiness during their early stage of programming education.
The authors think that students are required to experience four steps during their early stage of programming education. The four experiences are detailed as the following: the first experience is to make students think in the position of developing an information processing system, the second experience is to make them notice that a problem-solving method is not the only one, the third experience is to make them write their procedure manuals in clear and precise Japanese, and the fourth experience is to make them express programming language, execute it on a computer, and check the result of that execution.
C programming class is conducted for eleventh-grade students in the Department of Information Science and Engineering at College A. Such being the case, introductory programming education was conducted for tenth-grade students prior to C programming class. Five lessons were practiced as a part of introductory programming education. Each lesson were given to the tenth-grade students. In the first-year practice of introductory programming education, tenth-grade students were assigned to itemize the operation of adding two-digit figures in longhand as for the third experience. However, the results of a questionnaire to students in the first-year practice showed that they had found an assignment of writing a procedure manual was very difficult; therefore the authors revised the assignment of writing a procedure manual so that students would not anticipate difficulties in completing their procedure manuals, and then made an evaluation of the assignment.
Another assignment was given to tenth- grade students in the second-year practice of introductory programming education. The new assignment was to make them explain the process of how to arrange five cards in ascending order. Next, tenth-grade students were assigned to itemize the operation of calculating the value of a fraction to three-decimal places in longhand, when the denominator of the fraction was one-digit positive integer and the numerator of the fraction was one. This was how the authors revised the process of giving an assignment to tenth-grade students. Lastly, the assignment was to make tenth-grade students itemize the operation of adding two digit figures in longhand. This content was the same with the one in the first-year practice.
The authors administered a questionnaire survey to evaluate introductory programming education. These results found that tenth-grade students in the second-year practice thought the assignment was not difficult, compared to tenth-grade students in the first-year practice. Consequently, the authors found that the assignment of writing a procedure manual was effectively revised.