Enhancing students' programming comprehension through content collaborative creation approach

Jarutas Andritsch, Adriana Wilde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Teaching introductory programming poses challenges as novice students struggle with grasping programming concepts, leading to increased dropout rates. To address these issues, integrating problem-solving strategies, motivation, and engagement is recommended. Co-creation, a constructivist learning technique, fosters collaboration between students and instructors to create effective learning environments. This research aims to support programming education and evaluate the impact of content co-creation. Objectives include implementing activities where students create and solve their own coding problems and assessing students' perceptions of the co-creation learning approach. The study involves incorporating content co-creation activities, wherein students create their own problems and utilises their acquired programming skills to solve them during class. This approach provides students with a sense of ownership over their learning process. Content co-creation was implemented in a class of 53 master’s students focusing on file operations. The learning activities spanned a duration of three hours and encompassed various components. The session began with a concise lecture introducing the topic's content and programming syntax, lasting approximately 15-20 minutes. Following the lecture, students engaged in short exercises that were similar to the examples presented in the lecture. These exercises provided students with an opportunity to practice and reinforce the understanding of syntax. Subsequently, students formed small groups of 2-3 individuals based on their seating arrangement in the lab. The students were provided with a link to real-world datasets from different fields such as business, health, economics, and population. They were then discussing and defining their own problem, with a focus on retrieving information from their group chosen dataset files. Once the problem was established, students implemented programs that applied the concepts learned from the lecture to solve their respective problems. After engaging in these activities, students' perceptions of the impact on their learning were assessed using a 10-question Likert-scale questionnaire, which also included an open-ended question to gather qualitative feedback. Out of the 53 students who attended the session, 26 students responded to the questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 49.05%. All 26 respondents expressed a positive perspective on content co-creation learning. According to their feedback, this approach significantly contributed to their enhanced understanding of the subject matter, increased engagement with the topic, and boosted their motivation to learn programming. The qualitative feedback from the open-ended questions was analysed using thematic analysis in Nvivo (version 12). The findings revealed three main themes: effective teaching approach, practical activities through self-created exercises, and fostering a positive learning atmosphere attributed to the lecturer's personality. This research supports the value of inclusive approaches, specifically content co-creation, in programming education. The findings demonstrate that content co-creation positively impacts students' understanding and motivation, addressing challenges faced by novice programming learners. These results support the need for further exploration and implementation of inclusive methodologies in programming education within larger educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICERI2023 Proceedings
PublisherInternational Academy of Technology, Education and Development
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-09-55942-8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Aug 2023
Event16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
- Seville, Spain
Duration: 13 Nov 202315 Nov 2023


Conference16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Abbreviated titleICERI2023
Internet address

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