Improving First Computer Programming Experiences: The Case of Adapting a Web-Supported and Well-Structured Problem-Solving Method to a Traditional Course

 

The introductory computer programming (CP) course has been taught for three decades in the faculty. Besides pursuing CP technology, one major goal has been enhancing learners’ problem-solving (PS) skills. However, the current situation has implied that this might not be the case. Therefore, a research was conducted to investigate the effects of a web-supported and well-structured PS instructional method on academic achievements and PS perceptions of learners. This was a quasi-experimental study with a posttest-only design that included a control group. While the web-supported and traditional approach was adopted for the control group, the experimental group was treated with the web-supported and well-structured PS method. A cluster random sampling was used and the existing 18 sections were randomly assigned to the study groups. Consequently, 6 faculty members and 433 freshman undergraduate students participated in the study for one semester. The students’ PS perceptions were assessed by the Problem Solving Inventory (PSI) and their CP performances were measured by an academic achievement test. The results indicated a significant difference between the groups in terms of CP achievements. Except for one factor of the PSI, there were also significant differences between the groups in terms of their PS perceptions.