Programming techniq


The art or accomplishment of scheduling is seen to play a really cardinal function in the 3rd twelvemonth Information Systems ( IS ) , Systems Development Project that pupils need to go through in order to finish their undergraduate grade. Students are required to construct a complete and functional system utilizing the accomplishments they have learnt and acquired from their first, 2nd and 3rd twelvemonth computer-programming classs. This paper aims to measure the acquisition and educational factors impacting programming anxiousness amongst pupils in IS group undertakings, with a peculiar focal point on IS pupils in their concluding twelvemonth of undergraduate survey. The paper besides seeks to compare and contrast findings from a study conducted on 15 old IS undergraduate pupils, with assorted literature reappraisals of current workings concentrating on the troubles of instruction and larning programming. Assorted subjects have emerged from both literature and the research questionnaires, trying to explicate some of the chief causes of computing machine programming anxiousness amongst pupils in calculating grades. The most recurrent of these subjects appeared chiefly within the acquisition and educational ( learning ) bracket. Cardinal factors such as the instruction and acquisition environments ( learning methods and larning manners ) of the pupils and pedagogues, the pupils ain personal acquisition environment and eventually the pressured environment ( external and internal ) are analysed in great deepness and compared and contrasted against our ain personal experiences and the surveyed consequences from the questionnaire. Decisions and recommendations are besides drawn up that may be utile to both pedagogues and pupils interested in researching this country.


Computer scheduling is a really necessary accomplishment in the field of Computer Science ( CS ) and IS package development ; nevertheless it is non ever easy come-at-able, and as a consequence, frequently induces anxiousness in pupils larning it ( Gomes & A ; Mendes, 2007 ) . Research workers have over the old ages, extensively investigated the subject of programming anxiousness, and have offered penetration into the troubles experienced by pupils in larning to program.A

The low keeping rate of CS and IS big leagues has been for many a cause for great concern ( Connolly, Murphy, & A ; Moore, 2009 ; Gomes & A ; Mendes, 2007b ) . Despite the fact that an extended sum of research has been done in and around the field of computing machine scheduling, it still appears to be a disconcerting job ( Mead et al. , 2006 ) .A A

Anxiety occurs as a consequence of misguided judgement of a state of affairs. Therefore, pupils enduring from ( programming ) anxiousness frequently misjudge their abilities to larn scheduling, therefore doing a obstruction in their mental scheme, which is responsible for leting the ability to concept plans ( Connolly et al. , 2009 ) .

Apart from the psychological facet of the job, much of the research conducted in literature focal points on set uping new instruction tools and methodological analysiss to undertake the issue of programming anxiousness ( Rogerson, 2009 ) .

The end of this paper will be foremost to reexamine and measure educational/learning factors act uponing programming anxiousness amongst IS pupils and secondly to compare and contrast the findings in literature with personal experiences and surveyed positions originating from the 3rd twelvemonth IS group undertaking.

To carry through this, the paper has been divided into three chief subjects. The first being the educational subscribers of programming anxiousness, with peculiar focal point placed on the instruction tools, larning manners and learning methodological analysiss. Second a expression at theA pupils larning environment which focuses on issues such as the pupils old exposure to the topic ( programming ) , pupils larning “GAP” ( between high school and university/ higher instruction ) and the readiness of the pupil. The concluding key point in this paper looks at force per unit areas, both internal and external, and their consequence on a pupils programming anxiousness.

Some decisions and recommendations, researching possible ways of undertaking this quandary, are besides given.

This paper seeks to offer penetration on the subject of computing machine programming anxiousness and would be of good involvement to persons, peculiarly pedagogues, who seeks to heighten their apprehension of the troubles associated with programming anxiousness amongst IS students.A A

Learning / Educational Factors

Teaching Method

Students use different acquisition manners to larn or accommodate to a peculiar topic. These larning manners vary between topics and can hence be greatly influenced by the instruction methods used by the pedagogue ( Jenkins, 2002 ) . This subdivision of the article examines learning methods evaluated in assorted literature reappraisals. A expression at these learning methods allows the chance to measure and detect varied positions and sentiments from different writers on the instruction tools and larning theories associated with computing machine scheduling.

Teaching Tools and Learning Styles

To get the better of the troubles and obstructions associated with scheduling, pedagogues need to measure their methods and tools of learning scheduling ( Rogerson, 2009 ) .A

With computing machine programming being every bit complicated as it is, there has been a significant sum of research done on assorted learning methodological analysiss. One peculiar survey by Gomes and Mendes ( 2007a ) focal points on certain facets pedagogues need to research in order to heighten their pupils job work outing abilities. Educators, as the writer ‘s province, need to concentrate on the single pupil, puting peculiar accent on the pupil ‘s cognition degree and their learning manner.

Learning manners can be separated in to two chief classs viz. “deep” larning and “surface” acquisition ( Marton & A ; Saljo, 1979 ) . A pupil utilizing the deep acquisition attack tends to concentrate more on understanding a subject in deepness, whereas the pupil doing usage of the shoal or surface attack efforts to concentrate on the facts of the subject and reproduce precisely what they have learned, this is frequently otherwise referred to as memorising. Therefore, pupils doing usage of the deep acquisition attack are comparatively better of than those utilizing the surface attack ( Simon et al. , 2006 ) .A

It is really of import to observe that while this categorization may work good for topics that are a organic structure of cognition e.g History, which requires larning and analyzing peculiar day of the months, it does non nevertheless work for programming, as it ( programming ) is a accomplishment instead than a organic structure of cognition. Programing as a learnt accomplishment requires a coincident attack of both learning manners.

Another really of import and powerful learning tool highlighted in the same survey, involves the usage of games as an assistance to assist develop pupils ‘ cognitive job work outing accomplishments. Games have the ability to “increase pupils ‘ motive and battle in larning to program” ( Eagle & A ; Barnes, 2008 ; Eagle & A ; Barnes, 2009 ) .

Although non every instruction tool is examined and evaluated in this paper, it is still evident that there exist a pudding stone of instruction tools, which are structured really otherwise, but all purpose to hold the same consequence – better programming accomplishments. It is hence the pedagogue ‘s duty to guarantee that pupils adopt the most appropriate acquisition method that non merely strengthens there understanding of the topic but besides motivates them to win ( Jenkins, 2001 ) .A A A

Learning Theories

Learning to plan requires the acceptance of a new accomplishment, and this, as many pedagogues have noted, is one of the major grounds why pupils experience trouble in this field ( Lister, Simon, Thompson, Whalley, & A ; Prasad, 2006 ) .

It is every bit much an elaborateness to larn a new scheduling accomplishment as it is to learn it ( Allison, Orton, & A ; Powell, 2002 ) . This phenomenon arises later due to the fact that “traditional instruction methods do non adapt good to the spheres of coding and job resolution, as it [ programming ] is a accomplishment best learned through experience” ( Travnor & A ; Gibson, 2004 ) .

Assorted literature is written on the topic of larning theories and their pertinence in footings of ( pupil ) acquisition. It stands that the most important of these theories is that of Dreyfus and Dreyfus ( 2001 ) , on the five phases of acquisition. The focal point for this paper nevertheless, will be on Cockburn ‘s ( 2002 ) three phases of acquisition.

Harmonizing to Cockburn, persons go through three chief phases of acquisition, viz. ,following, detaching, and eloquence. In thefollowingphase, persons bit by bit try to larn and accommodate to the new accomplishment by following direction. Once the person is confident plenty to transport out the accomplishment without the assistance of instructions, theydetachand are now able to larn any new constructs or regulations appropriate to skill. The concluding phase in Cockburn ‘s acquisition theory is that of eloquence, at this point an person can be considered an expert, as they have to the full grasped and become fluent in their peculiar accomplishment.

The above theory can be closely linked to the accomplishment of larning to plan. Students should in theory go through each of these phases and go “expert coder” nevertheless, in a survey by Thomas et Al. ( 2004 ) it was revealed that even with these models and tools, certain pupils, normally the weaker 1 ‘s, are still unable to make the eloquence phase due to other implicit in jobs.

Student Learning Environment

Previous exposure

Harmonizing to Hagan and Markham ( 2000 ) , the deficiency of anterior computing machine experience appears to be a important disadvantage for many pupils, with the success factor increasing consistently in relation to the figure of programming linguistic communications to which a pupil had been exposed to. Both Byrneand Lyons ( 2001 ) and Simon et Al. ( 2006 ) concur with this determination.

Previous exposure to scheduling has an consequence on how good a pupil performs at third degree ( Howerton, 1988 ) . For most pupils, the initial brush with computing machine scheduling is frequently established for the first clip at university, hence they lack any accomplishments that would assist them understand and organize the needful mental scheme. This factor so escalates, doing pupils to develop uneasiness when larning to programme. The state of affairs is farther worsened by the perennial failure of the programmes, that they will be developing, to run positively as expected ( Connolly et al. , 2009 ) . Research has provided cogent evidence that a strong association exists between old programming background and success in programming classs at university degree. The same survey continues to impute that such pupils have a success rate of 70 % as compared to 52 % with those that have non taken any programming class before ( Morrison & A ; Newman, 2001 ) .

Consequences from our questionnaire indicate that pupils in IS groups from the old twelvemonth ( 2009 ) were of the undermentioned mix with respects to old scheduling exposure ( see table 1 ) . 50 % of the pupil, who completed the study, did non hold old programming accomplishments whatsoever when they came to university, and 50 % indicated that they had acquired the accomplishments at high school.

On farther analyses, it was discovered that the pupils who had anterior experience, found scheduling to be a pleasant experience, and had small or no negative perceptual experience about it. On the other manus, some of the participants within the group with no anterior experience, apart from venting out their defeat about scheduling, went on to state that, they did non happen any involvement in the class and merely did it because it was required of them, “I did It ( programming as a class – I ‘m non truly interested in it”

In comparing and contrasting the findings from the study with those from literature, it is clear that there is an understanding between the two. Having a good scheduling background ( particularly from high school ) is necessary for puting the foundation to the logical and syntactic thought needed for work outing programming jobs.

In questionnaire

Have anxiousness

Programing exposure

50 %

35 %

No prog. exposure

50 %

65 %

Table1: Impact of programming exposure on anxiousness on IS groups

Learning Gaps

A pupil ‘s determination to prosecute a calling in the Information Technology ( IT ) industry is frequently strongly influenced by their high ( secondary ) school instruction. It is here that pupils get the initial foundation of accomplishments and cognition that can be farther developed by a higher establishment of acquisition ( e.g. University ) ( Brinda et al. , 2008 ) .

The job, nevertheless, is the spread between what is taught in the secondary school and what is necessary for University. Many of the participants, who had anterior scheduling experience, felt that the organic structure of cognition attained in secondary school was deficient, and non really good taught.A A A


Research has shown, that pupils ‘ who continuously practise their scheduling accomplishments, easy cut down their anxiousness since they bit by bit attain assurance in their accomplishments ( Ramalingam et al. , 2004 ) . When these accomplishments are non farther improved upon, the pupil ‘s degree of anxiousness will go on lifting up to the point where even the mentioning of the word programming itself consequence in a province of edginess ( Ramalingam et al. , 2004 ) .

From our study, we discovered that merely over 80 % of the participants barely of all time set much attempt into rehearsing their scheduling accomplishments, whereas another 20 % indicated that they frequently invested more clip into rehearsing programming on their trim clip, and this helped them to go better at it.

Pressures ( Demand Factors )

Very few pedagogues within the computing field would challenge that the accomplishment of scheduling is non ever every bit easy as it seems ( Jenkins, 2002 ) . Much of the literature written on the subject of programming focal points chiefly on researching and set uping new and better ways of learning the topic. However, as Jenkins ( 2002 ) points out, “if pedagogues hope to learn efficaciously, they must understand exactly what makes larning to plan so hard for so many students” .

This subdivision of the paper looks at the Pressures that play a function in act uponing programming anxiousness amongst pupils. Harmonizing to Rogerson ( 2009 ) , programming anxiousness is affected by both internal and external factors. The rating of these factors allows the chance to better understand some of the force per unit area related barriers doing programming more hard for some students.A

Internal Factors

In analyzing the internal force per unit areas, focal point is placed on factors that are straight attributed to the pupil ; in other words, these are normally factors the pupil has control over and no other external forces such as an establishment, an pedagogue, or a equal can change or alter them (, 2009 ) .

The internal factors identified under this subject are [ 1 ] cognitive acquisition ability, [ 2 ] learner attitude, [ 3 ] self-efficacy, and [ 4 ] motive. Although there exists many other factors, the following have been identified as being the most outstanding within our research survey.A

Cognitive acquisition Ability

Cognitive factors identified as possible forecasters of programming anxiousness include job work outing ability, abstract logical thinking, ability to understand jobs, logical ability and cognitive manner ( Gomes & A ; Mendes, 2007a ) .A A

A survey by Gomes and Mendes ( 2007b ) explains that one of the major grounds why pupils find it hard to larn scheduling is because many of them “lack generic job work outing skills” . This subsequently hinders pupils from being able to make algorithms, as they are unable to logically work out and understand the jobs.

In footings of the pupils ‘ logical ability, literature has shown that there exists a general positive relationship between a pupil ‘s mathematical job work outing ability and successful scheduling ( Boyle, Carter, & A ; Clark, 2002 ; Mcgettrick et al. , 2005 ; Simon et al. , 2006 ) .

The consequences from the study differ rather well nevertheless from what is presented in literature. Many of the participants in our survey indicated that they had a good mathematical work outing ability ; nevertheless they still struggled with scheduling.


The term “attitude” refers to the favorable or unfavorable feeling that pupils have towards the topic ( Fesakis & A ; Serafeim, 2009 ) . A pupil ‘s attitude frequently determines how good they able to manage troubles experienced within the class ( Wiedenbeck, 2005 ) . From our surveyed, it was apparent that a pupil with a positive attitude is more likely to get the better of their anxiousness of programming. Our position is that a positive attitude frequently acts as a incentive in a hard state of affairs. In the survey conducted by Rogerson ( 2009 ) , participants expressed that holding the right attitude was necessary in assisting to get the better of their troubles with scheduling.


Self-efficacy is the belief in one ‘s ability to set about a peculiar undertaking ( Rogerson, 2009 ; Connolly et al. , 2009 ) . Bandura ( 1994, p.36 ) concurs this through the undermentioned statement, A “perceived self-efficacy is concerned non with the figure of accomplishments that you have, but with what you believe you can make with what you have under a assortment of circumstance” . He farther asserts that there exists a relative relationship between a pupil ‘s self-efficacy and their pick of activities. A pupil with high self-efficacy is more motivated to take on challenges, as they possess a stronger belief in themselves to win.

The findings from the study showed that the bulk of the participants were motivated and determined to get the better of their troubles with scheduling, “I truly love it, merely non every bit good as I should be”


The computer science grade is associated with many negative intensions, some of which may do many possible pupils to shy away from the class as it may impact their societal image ( Jenkins, 2002 ) .A One really noteworthy intension is that computing machine scheduling is a really trouble class ( Gomes & A ; Mendes, 2007c ) . This causes pupils to come in into the class with really negative perceptual experiences that frequently lead to increased anxiety.A A A A

Therefore, it helps to actuate pupils and promote them to endeavor even when things seem bleak.

“Programming pupils are motivated to win ; they do non neglect on intent ( Jenkins, 2001 ) .”

The consequences from our study show that pupils frequently feel encouraged to pattern and understand scheduling when they have a ferocious motivational system, this includes, motive from household members, friends, equals, instructors and coachs.

External Factors

In analyzing the external force per unit areas, focal point is placed on factors that are indirectly attributed to the pupil and the pupil has no control over. The external factors identified under this subject are [ 1 ] pupil support, which consists of support from talks and coachs, and [ 2 ] learning methodological analysis.

Student Support ( Lecturer/Tutor )

Student support harmonizing to Tait ( 2000 ) refers to the assorted services offered to persons and pupil groups, which correspond to the learning resources or class stuffs that are unvarying for all scholars. In Tait ‘s ( 2000 ) paper, he identifies three primary maps of what pupil support should embrace: [ 1 ] cognitive: Support and developing larning for single pupils, through the mediation of the criterion and unvarying elements of class stuffs and learning resources [ 2 ] Affective: The ability to supply the pupils with an environment which supports them, stirs up committedness within them and boosts their assurance degrees [ 3 ] Systemic: Implementing an disposal procedure and a cognition direction system which proves to be crystalline, effectual and efficient every bit good as user ( pupil ) friendly.

The IS section offers student support in the signifier of lecture, which takes the signifier of a instructor-learner environment ; and tutoring, which involves more experient pupils offering a more single based instruction method ; synergistic workshops and hot seats with coachs areA besides offered.

Looking at the results of our study, pupils felt that the support services in topographic point for 3rd twelvemonth IS pupils were sufficient, although some felt that the larning stuffs they received were non utile as they were non ever certain how to utilize them.A And would therefore ensue in them merely “cutting and pasting” the needed codification from their word paperss alternatively of understanding the codification. The pupils who felt this manner were by and large the 1s who do non bask programming.

Teaching Methodology

In the so called ‘post-industrial societies ‘ pupil acquisition and instruction continue being the most indispensable activities in the of all time more intricate and deft educational systems ( Hager, 2005, p.633 ) . When looking at the Fieldss ofA Computer Science ( CS ) and Information Systems ( IS ) , there has been a great trade of apprehensiveness sing the acquisition and instruction of computing machine scheduling linguistic communications, and the deteriorating rates associated with the above mentioned topics ( Robins, Rountree, & A ; Rountree, 2003 ) .

Harmonizing to our research, more pupils felt that the methodological analysis their lector used to learn scheduling had a immense impact on the apprehension they gained from the assorted classs.

Where a few participants felt that the instruction methodological analysis used by the lector was sufficient, a higher figure of participants felt that their ability to hold on the basicss of scheduling was hampered by the instruction methodological analysis used.

Results of Anxiety

In the study, we asked participants how they thought their scheduling anxiousness hindered/affected them personally and or professionally. The consequences from the study showed that a huge bulk of the pupils felt that their inability to plan affected their self-efficacy. Other internal factors such as motive and attitude besides become victim to the anxiousness.

In a survey done by Rogerson ( 2009 ) it was found that pupils who by and large find it difficult to plan besides lack internal motive. The anxiousness associated with programming frequently leads to other negative psychological and or emotional factors such as the feeling of disaffection from one ‘ s ego and peers the and the deficiency of assurance which may take to them holding a negative perceptual experience of scheduling.

Decision and Recommendations

This paper has presented literature that shows assorted subjects trying to explicate some of the chief causes of computing machine programming anxiousness amongst pupils in calculating grades. The most recurrent of these subjects appeared chiefly within the acquisition and educational ( learning ) subdivisions.

The survey found that although pupils were exposed to assorted factors both internally and externally to their environment, the most influential of these factors, imputing to their scheduling anxiousness leaned towards the pupil support systems in topographic point, and the instruction methodological analysiss used in the class. Other important subscribers included the pupils ‘ personal assurance or ego efficaciousness and the pupils ‘ old scheduling exposure.

The findings of this paper and its deductions on the IS subject as whole are really important. They leave more to be desired in the teaching/learning environment that pupils find themselves in while larning programming accomplishments in IS. The rating of educational factors that affect pupils in IS groups agrees with most work that has antecedently been done on this topic, but the chief issue is what should be done to implement these of import findings ; thereby assisting to cut down or even avoid the degree of anxiousness that the IS pupils are sing.

Connolly et Al. ( 2009: 55 ) provinces that there needs to be a displacement of focal point from seeking to alter the external elements of learning techniques to making environments that allow pupils to experience comfy and thereby cut downing their anxiousness.