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Article

Using Scratch to Improve Learning Programming in College Students: A Positive Experience from a Non-WEIRD Country

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Facultad Ciencias e Ingeniería, Universidad Estatal de Milagro, Milagro 091050, Ecuador
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Facultad de Ciencias de la Ingeniería, Universidad Técnica Estatal de Quevedo, Quevedo 120503, Ecuador
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Escuela de Ciencias Empresariales, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo 1781421, Chile
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Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación, University of Sevilla, 41018 Sevilla, Spain
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Programamos, 41089 Sevilla, Spain
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Departamento de Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos, University of Sevilla, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Claus Pahl
Electronics 2021, 10(10), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10101180
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 3 May 2021 / Accepted: 6 May 2021 / Published: 15 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Source Software in Learning Environments)
Teaching computer programming is a real challenge in the State University of Milagro (UNEMI), located in one of the least-developed zones in Ecuador, a non-WEIRD country (WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic). Despite the application of various learning strategies, the historical pass rate does not exceed 43%. To solve this problem, we have relied on visual programming languages, specifically Scratch. Scratch is an open source software to learn programming that has a strong assumption of the benefits of community work. A quasi-experiment conducted with 74 undergraduate students during the first semester of CS showed that: (1) Both groups (control and experimental) are homogeneous in terms of their demographic characteristics, previous academic performance and motivation (expectations) concerning the course; (2) Scratch is strongly accepted by students in the experimental group and concerning the learning process, both groups showed similar levels of satisfaction; (3) the experimental group showed a pass rate four times higher than the control group; (4) in general, student success is associated with having learned programming with Scratch. While limited, our results are an important step in our road to improve the learning of programming in a low social status area of Ecuador. View Full-Text
Keywords: computer programming learning; Scratch; higher education; CS teaching computer programming learning; Scratch; higher education; CS teaching
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cárdenas-Cobo, J.; Puris, A.; Novoa-Hernández, P.; Parra-Jiménez, Á.; Moreno-León, J.; Benavides, D. Using Scratch to Improve Learning Programming in College Students: A Positive Experience from a Non-WEIRD Country. Electronics 2021, 10, 1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10101180

AMA Style

Cárdenas-Cobo J, Puris A, Novoa-Hernández P, Parra-Jiménez Á, Moreno-León J, Benavides D. Using Scratch to Improve Learning Programming in College Students: A Positive Experience from a Non-WEIRD Country. Electronics. 2021; 10(10):1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10101180

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cárdenas-Cobo, Jesennia, Amilkar Puris, Pavel Novoa-Hernández, Águeda Parra-Jiménez, Jesús Moreno-León, and David Benavides. 2021. "Using Scratch to Improve Learning Programming in College Students: A Positive Experience from a Non-WEIRD Country" Electronics 10, no. 10: 1180. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10101180

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