Information and communications technology has become a convenient platform that is used to perform daily routine tasks, such as shopping, banking and learning. With learning taking place online, institutions of higher learning have taken advantage of the platform to reach students who would otherwise not have been able to access the institutional resources. One of the most talked about benefits of blended learning is that the online aspects are accessible to students wherever they are and they can learn whatever they want, whenever it suits them. These benefits are also referred to as ‘just in time and just in context learning’. Online learning can be fun, and it can be daunting for students who are trying to learn a programming language, at a distance. This is partly because programming is a practical field of study and requires practice. Those teaching programming online have to constantly innovate in order to convey the details and guidelines for the practical aspects to the students. Moreover, prior research suggests the students often struggle to pass programming modules in general and more so, when taught online. This study investigated how to improve the teaching of a programming module online, by introducing an intervention, which could subsequently, lead to improvement in academic success. First, an exploratory study was conducted where the intervention was in the form of a discussion forum where undergraduate students registered for a programming module, were asked in a discussion forum to list programming aspects that they struggled to understand in the module. Based on the results, custom study materials with a focus and emphasis on the topics suggested by students was compiled in the form of scenario-based discussions of each concept. A Qualitative case study with observations as well as content analysis methods were used to collect and analyse the data. The student pass rate significantly improved after the implementation of the intervention.

Published in: Internet Technology and Secured Transactions (ICITST-2018)

  • Date of Conference: 10-13 December 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/ICITST.WorldCIS.WCST.WCICSS.2018.0031
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-94-0
  • Conference Location: University of Cambridge, Churchill College