Motivating students through positive learning experiences: A comparison of three learning designs for computer programming courses

Marianne Lykke, Mayela Coto Chotto, Christian Jantzen, Sonia Mora, Niels Vandel Svendsen

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Abstrakt

Based on the assumption that wellbeing, positive emotions and engagement influence motivation for learning, the aim of this paper is to provide insight into students’ emotional responses to and engagement in different learning designs. By comparing students’ reports on the experiential qualities of three different learning designs, their respective influence on students’ motivation for learning is discussed with the purpose of exploring the relationship between positive emotions, engagement and intrinsic motivation for learning. Our study thus aims at evaluating the motivational elements in the three learning designs.

This experimental, controlled comparison study was conducted in an introductory computer programming course. The three learning designs were: 1. A classical teacher-lead course; 2. A problem based learning (PBL) course; and 3. A PBL course combined with the use of LEGO Mindstorms Robots.

Three different studies were used for collecting data on the students’ experiences and feelings: 1. A questionnaire survey with 229 students from groups exposed to the three different learning designs; 2. Six qualitative walk-alongs collecting data from these groups by informal interviews and observations; 3. Six class room observations. Findings from the three studies were discussed in three focus group interviews with 10 students from each learning design in order to validate these findings.

The research was conducted among first year students in Computer Science at the Informatics School, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education
Vol/bind3
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)80-108
Antal sider29
ISSN2246-0918
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2015

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