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Supporting the Learning of Computer Programming in an Early Years Education

Alghamdi, MYA (2017) Supporting the Learning of Computer Programming in an Early Years Education. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

The deployment of technology across the globe towards creating efficient learning environments is growing rapidly. In the United Kingdom, for example, the government is investing an enormous amount of money in primary school early years programming lessons. The ideology behind this push is to strengthen the link between the younger generation and the technological growth that will continue to have an ever-increasing impact on their lives and to fuel the pace of innovation. One of the core themes of this area is that of computer programming, which has now become a mandatory subject in early years’ education. As a result of this change, many challenges are being faced by teachers and pupils; for example, teachers require more training and young students need appropriate tools that suit their level of learning. Therefore, this research aimed to help facilitate the process of teaching and learning programming for the young generation via the provision of a suitable technologically educational programming system whereby they can develop their programming skills. This proposed system has some pedagogical characteristics that distinguish it from other programming tutoring systems. The proposed system is based on assessment-driven learning whereby pupils are provided with suitable programming learning that fits their appropriate learning levels. Another characteristic of this proposed system is that pupils are learning programming through a deep learning approach, e.g. thinking and analysing how to solve the problem, not like other existing tools which have attempted only to achieve lower learning outcomes, e.g. remembering a concept and then answering multiple-choice questions. Two experimental studies were conducted on pupils from two UK primary schools to evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed system, and the results indicated that pupils found the proposed system helped them to learn programming, as well as they made good progress and they enjoyed what they were learning. Consequently, it can be interpreted from the research findings that an automated teaching and learning programming system that supports the right pedagogical aspects, e.g. assessment-driven learning with the inclusion of game-based learning, would make the learning process more successful and enjoyable for pupils in early years of education.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Game-Based Learning; Assessment for Learning; Computer Programming
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Computer Science
Date Deposited: 09 May 2017 10:20
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 10:20
Supervisors: Al-Jumeily, D and Hussain, A
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6390

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