A Web-Based Learning Programming Portal: Do Instructors Need It to Enhance Novice Students’ Computational Thinking Skill?
Nor Hasbiah Ubaidullah1, Jamilah Hamid2

1Nor Hasbiah Ubaidullah, Department of Computing, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tg. Malim Perak, Malaysia
2Jamilah Hamid, Department of Computing, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tg. Malim Perak, Malaysia.

Manuscript received on 28 June 2019 | Revised Manuscript received on 05 July 2019 | Manuscript published on 30 July 2019 | PP: 1945-1958 | Volume-8 Issue-9, July 2019 | Retrieval Number: I8513078919/19©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.I8513.078919

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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Abstract: Of late, a number of studies have been carried out to infuse the concept of Computational Thinking into programming courses, given that such a concept and programming are closely intertwined. Admittedly, most instructors find teaching programming to be very challenging, especially to novice students. Currently, the dominant teaching approaches used to teach computer programming mainly involve lectures, discussions, and lab practical sessions. Nevertheless, the use of such approaches has been heavily criticized for their ineffectiveness in developing skillful students because of the minimal interaction between students and teachers, especially in large classes. Coupled with the lack of proper teaching aids, the problem is further aggravated, putting the students in a dire situation. Against this backdrop, the authors carried out a study to examine the prevailing problems in the current teaching technique used by programming instructors in teaching programming to novice students, to determine programming instructors’ knowledge about the concept of CT, and to seek a new appropriate teaching aid for teaching programming. A qualitative research method was used involving a semi-structured interview, in which 10 instructors from ten pre-university centers in Malaysia were recruited as the interviewees. The research findings showed that existing teaching approaches used were not effective as students had to rely on additional time to learn programming. In addition, it was found that a majority of the interviewee were fully acquainted with the concept of CT. Moreover, the interviewees professed a strong need for a portal which could be used anywhere, anytime to help novice students to learn programming and enhance their CT skill. Together, these two important findings underscore the imperative to introduce a new teaching approach, preferably aided by a novel application, which can be used by novice students to enhance their programming and CT skills. In this paper, the authors propose an instructional design model for the development of a learning application to help such students.
Keywords: Computational Thinking, Novice Student, Programming, Portal.

Scope of the Article: Advanced Computing Architectures and New Programming Models