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Title: Learning computer programming in Irish third-level institutions : a study of first year students' experiences
Authors: Dunican, Enda Noel
Award date: 2006
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Over the last three decades there has been a significant amount of research conducted in the area of novice computer programming. Within the Irish context however, there has been limited amount of research in this area with the vast majority of studies conducted being quantitative in nature. Given the fact that Ireland is becoming hugely dependent on its knowledge economy, the attrition and non-completion rates in computer science reported in both Irish and international studies is becoming a cause for concern. In this study, the actual experiences of Irish novice programming students are presented in the form of a theory and the implications of this theory for the teaching and learning of the subject are discussed. This thesis presents findings from research conducted across four Irish higher education institutes with 31 participants studying first year computer programming as part of a formal course in computing. Data collection and analysis was conducted using the Strauss and Corbin (1988) variation of the Grounded Theory methodology. This model was chosen based on its suitability for inductive theory generation and learner type categorisation. The outcome of this study is a twofold. Firstly, it generates a grounded theory containing the major phenomena experienced by first year programming students. Secondly, it uses this theory to identify a number of novice programming learner types presented in the form of a learning continuum. This thesis analyses the various phenomena experienced by students as they progress through a programming syllabus and how the challenge posed by the subject may affect them in both positive and negative ways.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: EdD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Education
Leicester Theses

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