Higher Education Students' Preferences for Applying the Principles of Constructivism in Learning Programming Languages with the Use of ICTs

Al-Mothana Gasaymeh, Ibraheem A. AlJa'afreh, Ayman Al-Dmour, Mohammad Abu Alrub

Abstract


This study investigated university students’ preferences when the principles of constructivism are applied in their learning of programming languages with the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the factors which influence these preferences.‎ The respondents for this study were 193 students from three courses teaching programming languages in computer labs. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The study involved one group of students who were taught programming languages based on the principles of constructivism and another group which was taught using the lecture-based teaching methods. At the end of the courses, data were collected through a questionnaire instrument that consisted of set of questions on a five-point Likert scale. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-tests, and ANOVA. The results show that in their learning of programming languages, the students had strong preferences for using each of the principles of constructivism considered in this study. The results showed that there were no significant differences in students’ preferences regarding the use of constructivist principles based on gender, age, major, and prior experience in constructivist learning except for one scale. To maximize students' learning, students' preferences regarding the characteristics of the classroom learning environment should govern educational practice. The recommendations for higher education are related to educational practice as well as to ways of using ICTs to support university students' learning in general and to support the learning of programming languages in particular.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v6i3.9780

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