Learning How to Program With a Self Evaluation System - A Study on Motivational Aspects and Learning Effect
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Learning how to program is difficult for many students, as it separates itself from many of the traditional technological fields like mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Additionally, many students have never programmed before and have no prior experience in the field. That poses challenges when designing introductory courses in programming. To avoid having students dropping out of these courses, it is important that professors have the tools necessary to motivate students. This report describes the work done as a master's thesis in Informatics from August 2016 to June 2017. It consists of research done on motivational factors as well as learning outcome with a self-evaluation system for Python programming. The initial version of the system was developed over the course three months. Upon completion, it was used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data on its effects. The system was distributed to first-year students taking TDT4110 - Information Technology - Introduction at NTNU as a voluntary addition towards the end of the semester. Motivational factors were measured through questionnaires as well as analysis of usage patterns. Learning effect was studied through an experiment with 56 students, where some had prior programming experience with MatLab, while others had no experience with programming.