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Creating and Evaluating a Visual Programming Course Based on Student Experience

Kaya, Kadir Yucel
Çağıltay, Kürşat
The purpose of this study was to deduct guidelines from an introductory programming course to understand the critical points based on the opinions of the students. These critical points could be a guide for future course designs. An introductory visual programming course was designed for novice learners during 2014, fall term at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. Qualitative data were collected with interviews and observations. From the interviews, five themes emerged: communication, computational thinking, environment, motivation, and course recommendations. Results of the study revealed what motivates students, what parts of the course students found useful, and what parts should be replaced. An environment which is easy, visual, and communicative through an informal interface could be useful, especially in terms of motivation. Additionally, examples with useful products rather than meaningless algorithm examples could motivate students better. Interviews also revealed topics students found to be difficult. Results of this study could be a guide for future visual programming course designs.