COVID-19 and Online Learning: Factors Influencing Students’ Academic Performance in First-Year Computer Programming Courses in Higher Education
17 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 1, 2021
The spread of COVID-19 pandemic continues to burden education sectors globally leading to the cancellation of face-to-face teaching and temporary closure of schools and universities in some countries. To ensure that teaching and learning continue during national lockdowns and other COVID-19 measures, schools and universities resort to online learning or distance-learning exacerbating existing inequalities. Such transformation mostly affected students pursuing practicum oriented professions such as science, technology, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM). Such professions require rigorous training and lab sessions, especially in computer programming courses. However, computer programming courses are perceived as difficult, complex and challenging especially in higher education. Therefore, the study sought to investigate factors influencing science, technology, engineering and mathematics students’ academic performance in first-year computer programming courses in higher education. The study revealed that besides the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, students’ academic performance in computer programming courses is influenced several factors including computer programming stereotype, digital literacy level, learning environment, pedagogical approaches, student’s cognitive learning style, the complexity of programming course setup, instructors’ competence to teach programming subject, availability and access to internet and computers, online programming materials, student’s coding background, self-discipline, student’s engagement in programming lessons, motivation, eagerness to get good marks in computer programming, students’ higher-order programming and thinking skills, students’ lecture and lab attendance.
Keywords: Computer programming, COVID-19, teaching, learning, students’ performance
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