Information Systems Education Journal


V18 N4 Pages 59-73

Aug 2020

An Assignment a Day Scaffolded Learning Approach for Teaching Introductory Computer Programming

Deepak Dawar
Miami University
Hamilton, OH USA

Abstract: Teaching introductory programming courses to university students who come from a varied set of academic and non-academic backgrounds is challenging. Students who are learning programming for the first time can become easily discouraged leading to procrastination that subsequently can have an unfavorable effect on their learning outcomes, and overall final grade. This work proposes An Assignment A Day (AAAD) Scaffolded Learning approach, and presents our experiences with this pedagogical approach. According to neuroscience research, when subjects are engaged continuously with a task, there is improvement in the brain’s neuroplasticity. Based on this research and our own experiences with entry level programming students, we pursued the research question: “Can a targeted continuous engagement with course material, and problem solving assignments improve learning outcomes?” The students, instead of writing an assignment and a lab for each module, were asked to complete one assignment a day, not exceeding four assignments a week. The limited areas of impact that we targeted were student procrastination in submitting assignments, student failure to submit assignments, and student engagement. The overall acceptance of this technique by students has been quite positive, and we report an improvement in assignment submission rates, and final exam scores, apart from improved student engagement. Students found the approach extremely effective in spite of having to spend considerable amount of time on assignments almost everyday.

Download this article: ISEDJ - V18 N4 Page 59.pdf

Recommended Citation: Dawar, D., (2020). An Assignment a Day Scaffolded Learning Approach for Teaching Introductory Computer Programming. Information Systems Education Journal18(4) pp 59-73. ISSN : ISSN: 1545-679X. A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIGCON 2019