|Published online: June 26, 2015||$US5.00|
Programming is one of the courses offered in computer education in the Universities and Colleges of Education in Nigeria. Various studies carried out show that students perform poorly in programming courses. Based on this fact, the researcher investigated the attitudes of computer education students towards programming courses. The study also explored effective ways of improving the teaching and learning of programming courses in computer education. The population for the study was comprised of 532 computer education students and 67 lecturers/instructors in both Colleges of Education and Universities in Enugu State, Nigeria. A sample size of 367 was used for the study, using a simple random sampling technique to select 300 computer education students, while the entire 67 lecturers/instructors were studied. The study used three research instruments for data collection. The first instrument was the Programming Attitudes Questionnaire (PAQ) designed to analyze students’ attitudes toward programming courses. The second instrument was the Perceived Level of Difficulty of Programming Languages Questionnaire (PLDPLQ) designed to evaluate the students’ perceived level of difficulty of programming languages taught in Nigerian higher institutions. The reliability of the instruments was determined using the Cronbach alpha formula to test for the internal consistency of the items, and reliability coefficients of 0.91 and 0.87 were obtained respectively for PAQ and PLDPLQ. The data collected were analyzed using mean scores and t-test statistics. The third instrument, structured interview, was used to identify the factors responsible for poor performance of students in programming courses as well as the strategies for enhancing the teaching and learning of programming courses in Nigerian higher institutions. The findings of the study revealed that students’ attitudes toward programming as a course in Nigerian higher education was found to be positive. However, factors such as lack of practical during programming classes, the use of traditional teaching methods, insufficient instructional materials are among other barriers responsible for poor performance of students in programming courses. It was recommended that computer education programmes should be well-funded by the government; programming lecturers should emphasize more on hands-on activities during programming classes; competent/qualified lecturers should be employed, trained and retrained on new trends in computer programming, among others.
|Keywords:||Computer Education, Teaching and Learning, Programming, Programming Courses, Attitudes|
The International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 22, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 458.236KB)).
Research Assistant, Computer Education Unit, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nsukka, Enugu, Nigeria