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Enhancing student engagement through simulation in programming sessions

Enhancing student engagement through simulation in programming sessions PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the use of a simulator for teaching programming to foster student engagement and meaningful learning.Design/methodology/approachAn exploratory mixed-method research approach was adopted in a classroom-based environment at a UK university. A rich account of student engagement dimensions (behavioural, affective/emotional, and cognitive) was captured through descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. This was triangulated through reflective and in-depth validation of open-ended questions.FindingsResults show higher behavioural and emotional engagement in simulator-based sessions, but relatively low cognitive engagement when compared with traditional programming sessions. A strong interweaving relationship between these three dimensions is evident in both the traditional and simulator approaches. Therefore, a balanced distribution of the dimensions is recommended for effective planning and delivery of programming sessions.Research limitations/implicationsStudent engagement is multidimensional as it includes various internal and external/ecological factors. This study did not consider external factors, such as family and societal influence; it focused on the classroom-based environment.Originality/valueThis study critically examined the use of simulation as a means to foster student engagement in programming sessions. Findings suggest that a balanced activities within the three engagement dimensions can facilitate meaningful learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology Emerald Publishing

Enhancing student engagement through simulation in programming sessions

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-4880
DOI
10.1108/IJILT-09-2017-0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the use of a simulator for teaching programming to foster student engagement and meaningful learning.Design/methodology/approachAn exploratory mixed-method research approach was adopted in a classroom-based environment at a UK university. A rich account of student engagement dimensions (behavioural, affective/emotional, and cognitive) was captured through descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. This was triangulated through reflective and in-depth validation of open-ended questions.FindingsResults show higher behavioural and emotional engagement in simulator-based sessions, but relatively low cognitive engagement when compared with traditional programming sessions. A strong interweaving relationship between these three dimensions is evident in both the traditional and simulator approaches. Therefore, a balanced distribution of the dimensions is recommended for effective planning and delivery of programming sessions.Research limitations/implicationsStudent engagement is multidimensional as it includes various internal and external/ecological factors. This study did not consider external factors, such as family and societal influence; it focused on the classroom-based environment.Originality/valueThis study critically examined the use of simulation as a means to foster student engagement in programming sessions. Findings suggest that a balanced activities within the three engagement dimensions can facilitate meaningful learning.

Journal

The International Journal of Information and Learning TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 5, 2018

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