Volume 10

V10 N4 Pages 74-83

August 2012

Visual Basic Programming Impact on Cognitive Style of College Students: Need for Prerequisites

Garry White
Texas State University-San Marcos
san marcos, TX 78666, USA

Abstract: This research investigated the impact learning a visual programming language, Visual Basic, has on hemispheric cognitive style, as measured by the Hemispheric Mode Indicator (HMI). The question to be answered is: will a computer programming course help students improve their cognitive abilities in order to perform well? The cognitive styles for the right hemisphere involve concrete experiences and creativity while the left hemisphere involves abstract and logic thinking. Prior research has shown procedural programming involved a left brain hemispheric style thinking. Object-oriented programming has been found to require neither left nor right hemispheric cognitive style. Even though Visual Basic contains object-oriented components, left brain thinking was found to be required for success in Visual Basic. Prior researches were relational studies, and no cause/effect was established. This study found hemispheric cognitive style remained the same after a semester course in Visual Basic. College age students’ cognitive style was not impacted. This may be due to maturation of the brain. Since left hemispheric cognitive style is required to be successful in Visual Basic and Visual Basic does not create such cognitive style, this research, as well as other research, supports the need for prerequisites for Visual Basic to ensure students’ success.

Keywords: Prerequisites, Curriculum, visual programming, Visual Basic, cognitive style, cognitive skills

Download this article: ISEDJ - V10 N4 Page 74.pdf

Recommended Citation: White, G. (2012). Visual Basic Programming Impact on Cognitive Style of College Students: Need for Prerequisites . Information Systems Education Journal, 10(4) pp 74-83. http://isedj.org/2012-10/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2011)