A. Toshkov

Burgas Free University (BULGARIA)
In this article we comment the results of an experiment which we have done by making some changes in the curriculum of students who study “Informatics and computer sciences” in Centre of Informatics and Technical Sciences (CITS), Bourgas Free University (BFU), Bourgas, Bulgaria.

We describe the parameters of this experiment, introduce the results of it, analysis is made about it, there are conclusions and suggestions made, as well.
Prerequisites for conducting this research
The prerequisites for conducting this research are done on the basis of a survey of the influence of globalization of knowledge over the quality of teaching students of Bachelor degree, who study in the fields of Informatics, Computer sciences, Computer technics and Technologies and Communication Technologies. Conclusions from this research show that there is a significant lack of knowledge in fundamental sciences, which reflects the ability for fully mastering the material, while studying Bachelor degree. The same conclusions are made for disciplines like “Programming”, “Object oriented programming”, "Java Programming”, etc. In the last few years we could easily point out that these disciplines are very difficult for the students to pass.

The experiment
The idea of this experiment is that we have changed the curriculum of the students and basic disciplines like “Programming” and “Object oriented programming” based on C++ were moved one semester later. In the very first semester, during the first year of university study we put “Introduction in programming” in the curriculum, which should make the connection between high- school education and preparations for programming with C++. The software product that we have chosen for the students for practical and for independent work was Microsoft “Small Basic”. But is there a place for this small and easy like vision and using software for teaching students in the univercity? Is the idea “Move one step backward, then two forward” going to work?

The results
The results are clear. This software has built in elementary functions for standart and graphically programming which allow students to be free when using their imagination. They can create interactive applications as simple computer games for example, which work in real time. As a result – students promptly acquire knowledge in basic rules in programming. We had a control group of 26 students studying their first semester, first year in the line of Informatics and computer sciences. Only four of them had some previous experience in programming in their past.
All of the participants accomplished by themselves a task for development of a practically working computer game in graphic environment. Twelve of them took part in the preliminary session of a competition for “Student’s Science Works” held in BFU, 17.03.2011, six of them were ranked for the national students conference on 24.03.2011. One of the works won second place in a national competition for original idea. One big part of the works is registered for public access in the website of Small Basic, Microsoft.
The idea turned out to be a successful one.