Comparing student performance between traditional and technologically enhanced programming course

Kaila, E., Rajala, T., Laakso, M.J., Linden, R., Kurvinen, E., Karavirta, V. and Salakoski, T.

    Educational technology can potentially be used to engage students deeper into learning process, and hence improve the motivation and the learning results. In this paper, we present a study, where an introductory programming course was renewed by using a collaborative learning tool called ViLLE holistically throughout the course. The redesign was done in three main areas: first, half of the lectures were replaced with tutorial sessions, where students completed automatically assessed tasks in collaboration with other students. Second, remaining lectures were accompanied with a group of exercises designed to emphasize the topics introduced. We also collected feedback via short survey after each lecture to find out which topics or issues needed to be addressed again later. Third, the exam was changed into electronic version with automatically assessed programming tasks and questions. When the results of the redesigned course were compared to earlier, traditional instance of the course, we found out, that the pass rates increased significantly, while the average grade remained the same. The results are even more remarkable since the exam in the technologically enhanced course was more complicated than in the earlier instance. Hence, we can conclude that engaging students into active and collaborative learning process has highly positive effect on pass rates, although individual factors cannot be isolated with this many changes in the course design.
Cite as: Kaila, E., Rajala, T., Laakso, M.J., Linden, R., Kurvinen, E., Karavirta, V. and Salakoski, T. (2015). Comparing student performance between traditional and technologically enhanced programming course. In Proc. 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015) Sydney, Australia. CRPIT, 160. D'Souza, D and Falkner, K. Eds., ACS. 147-154
pdf (from crpit.com) pdf (local if available) BibTeX EndNote GS