Improving lower-performing Hong Kong students in learning computer programming: A grounded theory study

Wing Fat Johnny CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This study investigates the experiences of the Hong Kong sub-degree students in learning computer programming and explores ways to facilitate the students to learn more effectively. In Hong Kong, sub-degree programs are offered to increase the number of students studying post-secondary education. The sub-degree students are relatively lower performing than are the undergraduate students. Learning computer programming is a challenge for most tertiary students and especially for sub-degree students. Most of recent research works in teaching and learning programming was targeted to Western undergraduates and the findings of these works might not be applicable to Chinese students or to the lower-performing Hong Kong sub-degree students. This study attempts to fill this gap by conducting a theory-seeking case study to collect and analyze data from a natural (classroom-based) setting. The grounded theory that emerged, the theory of 'Performance Improvement of Programming', offers an exploratory insight into the experiences of the Hong Kong sub-degree students in learning to program. It addresses the distinctive challenges facing Hong Kong students in learning, learning styles, and strategies. This study also suggests practical strategies in light of the students' characteristics in order to assist their learning of programming. Copyright © 2010 Common Ground, Johnny Wing-Fat Cheng.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-438
JournalThe International Journal of Learning
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Citation

Cheng, W. F. J. (2010). Improving lower-performing Hong Kong students in learning computer programming: A grounded theory study. The International Journal of Learning, 17(5), 423-438. doi: 10.18848/1447-9494/CGP/v17i05/47025

Keywords

  • Java
  • Learning difficulties
  • Computer programming
  • Confucian heritage cultures
  • Learning styles
  • Lower-performing students
  • Scaffolding

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