Contributos para uma Abordagem Contextualizada na Aprendizagem Inicial de Programação



Many students consider learning programming a difficult task. Many reasons can be identified, which contribute to the high failure and dropout rates reported on many introductory programming courses worldwide. Although various proposals can be found in the relevant literature, including methodological approaches and computational tools that are intended to facilitate programming learning, problems persist, making the case for the continued search for new approaches that may help to reduce students’ difficulties. Recent educational approaches indicate the importance of rich learning contexts, including meaningful pedagogical activities and motivation for learning strategies. Following a similar line we tried to evaluate which characteristics learning contexts should have to support programming courses more effectively. We were inspired by the advances in Educational Psychology to develop an alternative instructional design for programming courses, which include pay attention in the cognitive measures about motivation in learning, and also droved to a contextualized through the Socratics approach. Taking the research about the Cognitive Alignment from John Biggs and also the Cognitive apprenticeship from Allan Collins , the theoretical issues involving aspects like self-efficacy and self-regulation, research by Albert Bandura, Barry Zimmerman and Paul Pintrich. The Design was implemented according to the metaphor of “ learning communities” proposed by Matthew Lipman. It was considered as a very good approach to setting an contextualizing learning strategy and also a great approach to development important thoughts skills. The research methodology called Design Based Research (DBR) is a usual research method used in Pedagogic and Educational Psychology researches, it has been chosen as the framework for our research, because it fits particularly well to situations where one wants to develop an artifact (in our case, a pedagogical strategy). Our Design proposes a significant change in the traditional model of programming courses and also to the teacher’s pedagogical practice. It was put in practice on the Programming course of the Design and Multimedia Master’s programme for three academic years, between 2008 and 2011. The results about the satisfaction were considered highly positive, both by the students and the teacher involved. They can also be considered positive in terms of success and dropout rates. These results lead us to consider the application of the basic principles of the proposed strategy in the definition of learning contexts to be applied in other introductory programming courses.


Programming Learning, Socratic Teaching, Motivation, Pedagogical Strategy


Computer Science Education

PhD Thesis

Contributos para uma Abordagem Contextualizada na Aprendizagem Inicial de Programação, May 2012

Cited by

No citations found