About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5428-5436
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1282

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain


J.R. Villar, P.A. García, E. de la Cal

University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
This study is focused on enhancing both the contents and the teaching of a subject (Computer Basis); the specific goal is to enlighten the Loops in Code Repetition unit within the Introduction to Programming chapter. Computer Basis is a subject taught in every engineering degree offered by the University of Oviedo. It is scheduled during the first term of the incoming year; its contents include Logic, Databases design, Hardware and Operating Systems and Introduction to Programming. By far, this latter is the most important part of the subject, both in the number of sessions and the final mark weight.

Year after year, the main problem in learning computer programming arises with the loops: the students can hardly understand how they work or how to choose among the possible structures. We are not talking about learning a new programming language once you already know how to program: we are focusing on freshmen students with the corresponding math skills and without any previous experience with programming.

Improving the students’ comprehension on loops is still an unsolved challenge all around the world. However, the opinion and the suggestions of the students have been barely considered during all these years. This research is a two-year experience that aims to fill the gap by requesting information from the students and by working with them in a workshop in order to propose guidelines on how to reach the goals.

During the course 2016-2017, the teaching staff requested the students for some feedback concerning the problems they found with loops, and what they think that can be done to teach them the subject’s contents better. A public available meeting preparation collaborative tool was used:
i) to request information about these two topics,
ii) to group all the answers to each of the topics, and
iii) to generate the workshop documentation.

In the workshop, the students and the teaching staff discussed those groups and registered the suggestions that were elucidated. This research was done with group of students enrolled in the English group.

According to these conclusions, the whole subject was revised and redesigned. This means that all the subject documentation was elaborated from scratch, as well as the teaching material and methods. All of these teaching material and methods were used in teaching the subject during the course 2017-2018; it was applied in two different engineering schools in up to 5 different degrees. It is relevant to point out that a coordination of the teaching staffs of the two subjects was needed, and that the teaching material to develop should be suitable to be used in engineering schools with totally different schedules. Finally, the same tool and the same questions were answered by the students enrolled in the English group of one of the schools and by the students enrolled in the engineering degree of the second school. In spite of the different students’ feedback rate from one group to other, it was possible to organize the workshop in both groups.

All the experience has been found really valuable to enhance the material: concerning this point, the teaching staff considers that only slight modifications are needed to obtain a ‘student certificated material’. On the other hand, several ideas were extracted in order to distribute the contents of the subject so the proactive students can take advantage of attending the lecture and laboratory sessions.
author = {Villar, J.R. and Garc{\'{i}}a, P.A. and de la Cal, E.},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1282},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1282},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5428-5436}}
AU - J.R. Villar AU - P.A. García AU - E. de la Cal
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1282
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 5428
EP - 5436
ER -
J.R. Villar, P.A. García, E. de la Cal (2018) YES, THE STUDENTS’ FEEDBACK IS WORTHY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 5428-5436.