Special Issue "Future Trends in Computer Programming Education"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 November 2021) | Viewed by 5704

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ricardo Queirós
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Informatics, School of Media Arts and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: e-learning interoperability; computer programming education; gamification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Mário Pinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
uniMAD, School of Media Arts and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: computer programming education; gamification; knowledge management systems; e-learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Carlos Filipe Portela
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Prof. Alberto Simões
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
2Ai, School of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, 4750-810 Barcelos, Portugal
Interests: natural language processing; programming languages; compilers; computer programming education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Pedro Rangel Henriques
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Informática, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Interests: language processing and compilers; digital libraries; computer programming education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Computer programming is a complex and fascinating area. In the teaching–learning process, teachers face many difficulties in finding techniques and methodologies to facilitate the learning of languages and to foster problem-solving skills.

At the same time, students find it difficult to understand the subjects and do not feel motivated to continue pursuing their studies and achieve good grades.

This Special Issue will specifically focus on the new and innovative methodologies, best practices, trends, techniques, and tools toward improving the teaching–learning process of computer programming.

In this Special Issue, we are available to receive the selected best papers from the International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC’2021), as well as other independent papers.

Prof. Ricardo Queirós
Prof. Mário Pinto
Prof. Carlos Filipe Portela
Prof. Alberto Simões
Prof. Dr. Pedro Rangel Henriques
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Computer Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Gamification
  • Automatic Evaluation and Feedback
  • Internet-of-Things
  • Micro-Services
  • Data Science
  • Web 4.0

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Towards an Engaging and Gamified Online Learning Environment—A Real CaseStudy
Information 2022, 13(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/info13020080 - 09 Feb 2022
Viewed by 923
Abstract
Currently, remote work is common, and this trend has come to several areas and processes, such as education and teaching. Regarding higher education, universities have several challenges to overcome, the most challenging being transforming teaching to be more digital and engaging. Therefore, TechTeach [...] Read more.
Currently, remote work is common, and this trend has come to several areas and processes, such as education and teaching. Regarding higher education, universities have several challenges to overcome, the most challenging being transforming teaching to be more digital and engaging. Therefore, TechTeach has arisen as a new teaching paradigm that creates a unique learning environment and satisfies students’ and professors’ expectations. After the success of the b-learning approach, professors created new experiences utilizing an entirely online learning environment following this paradigm. This article shows the work performed through a real case study, explains the strategy used to implement this paradigm, provides students’ opinions, and analyses the results achieved. The results demonstrated that, while the effort was tremendous, the result was beneficial to all. After 208 online hours of classes, 11,173 downloads, 15,224 messages, 200,000 sessions, 3 rescues requests, and 28t cards, 98.15% of the active participants gave it their approval, 96.53% considered this subject equal to or better than the others, and 85% of accepted the gamification system. These results show that a class can be an engaging environment where students can learn and enjoy it regardless of whether it is physical or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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Article
Managing Gamified Programming Courses with the FGPE Platform
Information 2022, 13(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/info13020045 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
E-learning tools are gaining increasing relevance as facilitators in the task of learning how to program. This is mainly a result of the pandemic situation and consequent lockdown in several countries, which forced distance learning. Instant and relevant feedback to students, particularly if [...] Read more.
E-learning tools are gaining increasing relevance as facilitators in the task of learning how to program. This is mainly a result of the pandemic situation and consequent lockdown in several countries, which forced distance learning. Instant and relevant feedback to students, particularly if coupled with gamification, plays a pivotal role in this process and has already been demonstrated as an effective solution in this regard. However, teachers still struggle with the lack of tools that can adequately support the creation and management of online gamified programming courses. Until now, there was no software platform that would be simultaneously open-source and general-purpose (i.e., not integrated with a specific course on a specific programming language) while featuring a meaningful selection of gamification components. Such a solution has been developed as a part of the Framework for Gamified Programming Education (FGPE) project. In this paper, we present its two front-end components: FGPE AuthorKit and FGPE PLE, explain how they can be used by teachers to prepare and manage gamified programming courses, and report the results of the usability evaluation by the teachers using the platform in their classes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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Article
Empirical Assessment of the Long-Term Impact of an Embedded Systems Programming Requalification Programme
Information 2022, 13(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/info13010016 - 30 Dec 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Digital transformation has increased the demand for skilled Information Technology (IT) professionals, to an extent that universities cannot satisfy it with newly graduated students. Furthermore, the economical downturn has created difficulties and scarcity of opportunities in other areas of activity. This combination of [...] Read more.
Digital transformation has increased the demand for skilled Information Technology (IT) professionals, to an extent that universities cannot satisfy it with newly graduated students. Furthermore, the economical downturn has created difficulties and scarcity of opportunities in other areas of activity. This combination of factors led to the need to consider requalification programmes that enable individuals with diverse specialisations and backgrounds to realign their careers to the IT area. This has led to the creation of many coding bootcamps, providing intensive full-time courses focused on unemployed people or unhappy with their jobs, and individuals seeking a career change. A multidisciplinary group of higher education teachers, in collaboration with several industry stakeholders, have designed and promoted an embedded systems programming course, using an intensive project-based learning approach comprising 6 months of daylong classes and a 9 months internship. Having finished two editions of the programme, a questionnaire was presented to the students that finished successfully, in order to evaluate the long-term benefits to graduates and companies. This paper presents a brief discussion of the programme organisation and pedagogical methodologies, as well as the results of the questionnaire, conducted following a Goal–Question–Metric (GQM) approach. The results demonstrate very positive outcomes, both for graduates and companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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Article
Raising Awareness about Cloud Security in Industry through a Board Game
Information 2021, 12(11), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12110482 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
Today, many products and solutions are provided on the cloud; however, the amount and financial losses due to cloud security incidents illustrate the critical need to do more to protect cloud assets adequately. A gap lies in transferring what cloud and security standards [...] Read more.
Today, many products and solutions are provided on the cloud; however, the amount and financial losses due to cloud security incidents illustrate the critical need to do more to protect cloud assets adequately. A gap lies in transferring what cloud and security standards recommend and require to industry practitioners working in the front line. It is of paramount importance to raise awareness about cloud security of these industrial practitioners. Under the guidance of design science paradigm, we introduce a serious game to help participants understand the inherent risks, understand the different roles, and encourage proactive defensive thinking in defending cloud assets. In our game, we designed and implemented an automated evaluator as a novel element. We invite the players to build defense plans and attack plans for which the evaluator calculates success likelihoods. The primary target group is industry practitioners, whereas people with limited background knowledge about cloud security can also participate in and benefit from the game. We design the game and organize several trial runs in an industrial setting. Observations of the trial runs and collected feedback indicate that the game ideas and logic are useful and provide help in raising awareness of cloud security in industry. Our preliminary results share insight into the design of the serious game and are discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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Article
Improving Undergraduate Novice Programmer Comprehension through Case-Based Teaching with Roles of Variables to Provide Scaffolding
Information 2021, 12(10), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12100424 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 631
Abstract
A role-based teaching approach was proposed in order to decrease the cognitive load placed by the case-based teaching method in the undergraduate novice programmer comprehension. The results are evaluated by using the SOLO (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) taxonomy. Data analysis suggested novice [...] Read more.
A role-based teaching approach was proposed in order to decrease the cognitive load placed by the case-based teaching method in the undergraduate novice programmer comprehension. The results are evaluated by using the SOLO (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) taxonomy. Data analysis suggested novice programmers with role-based teaching tended to experience better performances, including the SOLO level of program comprehension, program debugging scores, program explaining scores, except for programming language knowledge scores, compared with the classical case-based teaching method. Considering the SOLO category of program comprehension and performances, evidence that the roles of variables can provide scaffolding to understand case programs through combining its program structure with its related problem domain is discussed, and the SOLO categories for relational reasoning are proposed. Meanwhile, the roles of variables can assist the novice in learning programming language knowledge. These results indicate that combing case-based teaching with the role of variables is an effective way to improve novice program comprehension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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Article
Gauge Object Oriented Programming in Student’s Learning Performance, Normalized Learning Gains and Perceived Motivation with Serious Games
Information 2021, 12(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030101 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
Serious Games (SG) provide a comfortable learning environment and are productive for various disciplines ranging from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to computer programming. The Object Oriented (OO) paradigm includes objects related to real life, and is considered a natural domain that [...] Read more.
Serious Games (SG) provide a comfortable learning environment and are productive for various disciplines ranging from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to computer programming. The Object Oriented (OO) paradigm includes objects related to real life, and is considered a natural domain that can be worked with. Nonetheless, mapping those real-life objects with basic Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts becomes a challenge for students to understand. Therefore, this study is concerned with designing and developing an SG prototype to overcome students’ difficulties and misconceptions in learning OOP and achieving positive learning outcomes. An experimental evaluation was carried out to show the difference between the experimental group students’ performance, who interact with the developed game, and students of the control group, who learn via the traditional instructional method. The experimental evaluations’ main finding is that the experimental group’s performance is better than the control group. The experimental group’s Normalized Learning Gain (NLG) is significantly higher than the control group (p < 0.005, pairedt-test). The evaluation study results show that the developed prototype’s perceived motivation on the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS) 5-point Likert scale resulted in the highest mean score for attention (3.87) followed by relevance (3.66) subcategories. The results of this study show that the developed SG prototype is an effective tool in education, which improves learning outcomes and it has the potential to motivate students to learn OOP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Trends in Computer Programming Education)
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