Results 17 resources
Thota, N. (2011). Repertory grid: investigating personal constructs of novice programmers. Proceedings of the 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 23–32. https://doi.org/10.1145/2094131.2094137
In this paper, the repertory grid is presented as a technique to explore novice programmers' experiences within the context of an action research project. The theoretical and methodological aspects of the technique are discussed. The findings from the technique that combined quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods are provided. These findings relate to the learning process, learning content, and learning support as experienced by the students in an introductory object-oriented programming course. The repertory grid technique is then appraised for its relevance and usefulness to the project, and for its contribution to the diversity of computer science research methods. Insights gained from the use of the technique are shared with the community of computer science educators.
Thota, N. (2015). Connectivism and the Use of Technology/Media in Collaborative Teaching and Learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2015(142), 81–96. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.20131
This chapter explores the ways in which a relational understanding of the education process and the use of collaborative technologies in the connectivist tradition might inform and transform university teaching.
Thota, N. (2014). Programming Course Design: Phenomenographic Approach to Learning and Teaching. 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Computing and Engineering, 125–132. https://doi.org/10.1109/LaTiCE.2014.30
Phenomenography is a well-known empirical research approach that is often used to investigate students' ways of learning programming. Phenomenographic pedagogy is an instructional approach to plan learning and teaching activities. This theoretical paper gives an overview of prior research in phenomenographic studies of programming and shows how the results from these research studies can be applied to course design. Pedagogic principles grounded in the phenomenographic perspective on teaching and learning are then presented that consider how to tie students' experiences to the course goals (relevance structure) and how to apply variation theory to focus on the desired critical aspects of learning. Building on this, an introductory object-oriented programming course is described as an example of research-based course design. The insights gained from the experience of running the course are shared with the community of computer science educators, as also the benefits and responsibilities for those who wish to adopt the phenomenographic perspective on learning to plan their teaching. The development of an increased awareness of the variation in students' ways of experiencing programming and the need to broaden the context of the programming course are discussed.
Thota, N. (2009). Use of CALMS to enrich learning in introductory programming courses. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference …. https://www.academia.edu/1419399/Use_of_CALMS_to_enrich_learning_in_introductory_programming_courses
Use of CALMS to enrich learning in introductory programming courses
Cambazoglu, V., & Thota, N. (2013). Computer Science Students’ Perception of Computer Network Security. 2013 Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering, 204–207. https://doi.org/10.1109/LaTiCE.2013.19
In the last decade, the progress of internet technologies has led to a significant increase in security and privacy issues for users. This study aims to investigate how computer science students perceive computer network security. Thirty three students participated in the study in which we gathered data through a questionnaire. In this paper, we present an analysis that is inspired by the phenomenographic approach. Our conclusion is that the students have different levels of understanding of computer network security depending on their usage of the concepts they have learned, their theoretical or practical orientation to the subject, and their interest in the field.
Berglund, A., & Thota, N. (2014). A Glimpse into the Cultural Situatedness of Computer Science: Some Insights from a Pilot Study. 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Computing and Engineering, 92–99. https://doi.org/10.1109/LaTiCE.2014.25
To what extent is students' understanding of computer science culturally situated? This, possibly philosophical question, has come to the surface at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, where many Chinese students study computer science together with the local students. We did an exploratory study using email interviews to see if our intuitions could be relied on. We collected data from Chinese students studying in master programs and analysed the data using a phenomenographic perspective. A complex intertwined relationship between the content of their learning (the WHAT), the ways in which they went about studying (the HOW), the aims of their studies (the WHY), and the competencies developed from the intercultural context they studied in (the WHERE) was observed. In this paper we offer some insights from the results of the pilot study and discuss how they have shaped our on-going study in the field.
Thota, N., & Berglund, A. (2016). Learning Computer Science: Dimensions of Variation Within What Chinese Students Learn. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 16(3), 10:1-10:27. https://doi.org/10.1145/2853199
We know from research that there is an intimate relationship between student learning and the context of learning. What is not known or understood well enough is the relationship of the students’ background and previous studies to the understanding and learning of the subject area—here, computer science (CS). To show the contextual influences on learning CS, we present empirical data from a qualitative investigation of the experiences of Chinese students studying for a master degree at Sweden's Uppsala University. Data were collected of the students’ understanding and learning of CS, their experience of the teaching and their own studies, and of their personal development in Sweden. Using an analysis framework grounded in phenomenography, we analytically separated the what and how aspects of learning. In this article, we describe the what, or the content of the students’ learning, and identify dimensions of variation in the experiences of students. These dimensions relate to the foci of the CS programs, the learning outcomes, and the impact of the studies. The findings from the analyses indicate pedagogical and pragmatic implications for teaching and learning CS in higher education institutions. The study extends the traditional use of phenomenography through the discussion of the dimensions of variation in the experiences and the values within the dimensions. It opens the way for understanding the relational nature of learning in computing education.
Thota, N. J. (2010). Developing a Holistic Approach to Learning and Teaching Introductory Object-Oriented Programming [University of Saint Joseph]. http://library-opac.usj.edu.mo/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=175538
This thesis articulates the development of a holistic approach to enhance learning and teaching in an object-oriented programming course. Starting with the premise that it is not possible to improve teaching without understanding how students learn programming, this thesis embodies the processes and reflections experienced while applying knowledge of how students learn programming, to design a learning environment that enhances learning outcomes. First, a theoretically based framework for the teaching of the course is developed. A holistic approach using a plurality of pedagogic theories, taxonomies, and instructional designs is employed to bridge the gaps between the bodies of knowledge relating to the ways that students approach programming and the application of this knowledge to design the course. Second, in two cycles of action research, the course is implemented and the analysis of its outcome is conducted using mixed methods data collection techniques. The evaluation is integrative and seeks multiple forms of evidence for student engagement and improved learning. The original contributions from this research in the form of new initiatives, perceptions, and understandings, as well as implications for theory and practice are described. A claim to knowledge is established by explaining the significance of the research to student learning, personal practice and beliefs, institutional influence, and potential for influence on computing education research. Quality criteria are applied to assess the validity and rigor of the action research project, and the research is appraised as a scholarly enquiry and a transformative process that led to innovative forms of thinking and acting
Thota, N., Berglund, A., & Clear, T. (2012). Illustration of paradigm pluralism in computing education research. Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology Series, 123, 103–112. https://www.scopus.com/record/display.uri?eid=2-s2.0-84878522133&origin=inward&txGid=81315c48936e3bc0f6c722737d60e587
This paper argues for paradigm pluralism in computing education research. The value of mixing paradigms, and the choice of methodological eclecticism and mixed methods is explored using pragmatic knowledge claims. A research study, which focused on the design of an introductory object-oriented programming (OOP) course for undergraduate students, is introduced as an illustration of paradigm pluralism. The study demonstrates methodological eclecticism and use of mixed methods for data collection and analysis. Meaningful outcomes resulting from the choice of the research design are described. A framework that focuses on the research problem and research questions to guide research design is presented as the outcome of the study. Through the discussion and demonstration of paradigm pluralism, this paper contributes to increased awareness of theoretically anchored research in computer science. © 2012, Australian Computer Society, Inc.
Sheard, J., Eckerdal, A., Kinnunen, P., Malmi, L., Nylén, A., & Thota, N. (2014). MOOCs and their impact on academics. Proceedings of the 14th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 137–145. https://doi.org/10.1145/2674683.2674700
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have recently become a hot topic in the academic world, launching a wide ranging discussion on a number of issues. In this research, we surveyed academics' awareness, attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of MOOCs. We received responses from 236 academics from 23 countries, who were working in different roles such as teachers, researchers, managers, and pedagogical developers. Participants were invited to answer questions concerning their awareness and attitudes towards MOOCs. For participants with some knowledge of MOOCs, we requested their experiences and their observations of the impact of MOOCS on their students, teaching colleagues, and within their institutions. We found the most common reaction to MOOCs amongst the academics was concern but many were positive about the phenomenon. The academics claimed their students could be motivated to take MOOCs because of flexibility and no cost involved. While many academics were not aware of their students taking a MOOC and had not observed any changes to teaching programs at their institutions because of MOOCs, there was evidence of some activity and future plans for engagement in MOOCs.
Eckerdal, A., Kinnunen, P., Thota, N., Nylén, A., Sheard, J., & Malmi, L. (2014). Teaching and learning with MOOCs: computing academics’ perspectives and engagement. Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Innovation & Technology in Computer Science Education, 9–14. https://doi.org/10.1145/2591708.2591740
During the past two years, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have created wide interest in the academic world raising both enthusiasm for new opportunities for universities and many concerns for the future of university education. The discussion has mainly appeared in non-scientific forums, such as magazine articles, columns and blogs, making it difficult to judge wider opinions within academia. To collect more rigorous data we surveyed teachers, researchers, and academic managers on their opinions and experiences of MOOCs. In this paper, we present our analysis of responses from the computer science academic community (n=137). Their feelings about MOOCs are highly mixed. Content analysis of open-ended questions revealed that the most often mentioned positive aspects included affordances of MOOCs, freedom of time and location for studying, and the possibility to experience teaching from top-level international teachers/experts. The most common negative aspects included concerns about pedagogical designs of MOOCs, assessment practices, and lack of interaction with the teacher. About half the respondents claimed they had not changed their teaching as a result of MOOCs, a small number used MOOCs as learning resources and very few were engaging with MOOCs in any significant way.
Gomes, N. M. A. dos S. T., Correia, A. M., & Thota, N. J. (2023). INTEGRATING VARIATION THEORY WITH MULTILINGUAL INSTRUCTION IN MULTILINGUAL CLASSROOMS: BRIDGING THEORY AND PRACTICE IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE ACQUISITION [University of Saint Joseph]. https://library-opac.usj.edu.mo/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=209181
This thesis explores language teaching and language acquisition by multilingual learners using a Variation Theory approach and multilingual teaching in a university setting in Macao, China. It includes three case studies applied to students of the Spanish language in the introductory level which took place from late August to early December of the year 2017. The first study describes Macao’s multilingual language learners in the University of Macao in 2017. Based on the LEAP-Q questionnaire, a questionnaire was created to inquire all Spanish language students about their languages´ background, their motivations to learn new languages, as well as their learning strategies. The second study shows how the usage of Variation Theory techniques and multilingual teaching techniques boosted the teaching and the learning during the semester. This study employs a case study methodology, by analysing in-class multiple interactions gathering information on how multilinguals´ language background affects the pedagogical process. It analyses a total of 28 classes of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The third study presents the analysis of a questionnaire to 82 students of the initial level of Spanish language in the University of Macao, along with the analysis of interviews from 10 selected multilingual students about their linguistic background and how they experienced the semester. These interviews collected more information about the effectiveness of the Variation Theory in the semester in terms of in-class teaching and learning. From the triangulation of these three studies, some conclusions have been drawn about the advantages of using Variation Theory and multilingual teaching techniques for multilingual students, for the language teacher and ultimately also into the curricular design of foreign language teaching. In sum, that the linguistic background of students plays a major role in how they acquire a new language and, that applying Variation Theory techniques can be an immensely effective technique in a language classroom setting; suggesting that multilingual students will gain from being previously identified and placed in a separate class where these variation techniques were applied. Since this thesis focuses solely on an introductory language course, there is ground to explore this same approach on more advanced multilingual language learners
Schulte, C., Hornung, M., Sentance, S., Dagiene, V., Jevsikova, T., Thota, N., Eckerdal, A., & Peters, A.-K. (2012). Computer science at school/CS teacher education: Koli working-group report on CS at school. Proceedings of the 12th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, 29–38. https://doi.org/10.1145/2401796.2401800
In an international study, experts reflected on their national state of computer science education in school, and the associated situation and education of computer science teachers. While these situations are shaped by local circumstances, they are also shaped by changes in the discipline. The results of the study showed a number of recurrent themes and patterns such as curriculum difficulties, training and support for teachers, as well as the understanding (e.g. computer science vs. information technology) and relevance of computer science. The study also draws attention to initiatives that are being undertaken at the local and international levels to solve these problems. Finally, the study points out trends which are -- according to the experts asked -- likely to occur within the next few years.
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