Learning Computer Programming Using Project-Based Collaborative Learning
Students’ Experiences, Challenges, and Outcomes
Keywords:Learning Computer Programming, Project-based learning, Project Groups, Project-based collaborative learning
The major concern of teaching computer programming in higher education is to provide students
with the skills necessary to integrate theory and practice. One of the methods most suited for this task is project-based collaborative learning (PBCL). This study provides an in-depth analysis of students’ experiences, levels of collaboration and challenges in learning computer programming in a PBCL setting. A survey of 428 students was selected from a population of 840 undergraduate computer programming students at all levels using a stratified random sampling technique. It was found that focusing programming courses on real problems made the course more interesting for students. The students gained new interpersonal skills and understood the technical concepts of the courses better. PBCL was found to be suitable for teaching lower level (level 100 and 200) undergraduate programming courses compared with higher level (level 300 and 400) courses. Students' challenges in PBCL computer programming courses include time allocation for projects, choosing appropriate problems and piggy riding in project groups. We expect the findings of this study to influence policy on the teaching of computer programming courses at the undergraduate level.
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