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IJIET 2023 Vol.13(3): 448-455
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2023.13.3.1825

Using the Methodology Problem-Based Learning to Teaching Programming to Freshman Students

João Paulo Aires, Simone Bello Kaminski Aires, Maria João Varanda Pereira*, and Luis Manuel Alves

Manuscript received June 8, 2022; revised September 20, 2022; accepted October 17, 2022.

Abstract—This work registers the initial results of a teaching strategy implemented with students entering the Algorithms discipline with a higher degree in Computing. This discipline offered to first-year students records cases of dropout and evasion. Thus, it is necessary to implement teaching strategies to provide engagement, interest, and motivation with the subjects worked on. The main objective is apply an active methodology problem-based learning in programming teaching. In this work participated 177 students in the years 2019-2 (47), 2020-1/2020-2 (83), and 2021-2 (47), enrolled in the first period of the course. The methodology adopted for the development of this study consisted of: use of questionnaires to measure prior knowledge about computing concepts; group discussion of the answers recorded in the questionnaire; development of an APP for smartphone; use of the PBL (Problem-based learning) methodology as a learning strategy. It is an activity related to the active teaching and learning methodology of problem-based learning that is being developed on the first day of class in groups of up to five students. The strategy consisted of two actions: 1) answering a questionnaire associating everyday computing elements; and 2) even though the programming concepts were not presented, the groups were challenged to develop a smartphone application. Each group received a questionnaire containing 19 questions divided into four blocks. What can be seen from the completion of this work was the enthusiasm, motivation, and engagement of the students, who, even though they were newcomers, organized themselves into groups and researched the necessary strategies to complete the challenge. When measuring the knowledge obtained through the application of a questionnaire relating to the content (with the participation of 62% of students), it was found that 81% of the participants obtained the necessary grade for approval of that content. Following the strategy of an active methodology of learning and teaching that favors the protagonism and autonomy of the student, we concluded that strategy was benefic for to the students, and the teacher acted as a guide in the teaching process, directing what should be researched to find the solution and serving as a tutor in the resolution of the problem presented. Preliminarily, part of this study was presented at the 2nd International Computer Programming Education Conference.

Index Terms—Teaching programming, active methodologies, learning innovation, problem-based learning

João Paulo Aires and Simone Bello Kaminski Aires are with the Federal University Technology of Parana (UTFPR), Ponta Grossa-PR, Brazil.
Maria João Varanda Pereira and Luís Manuel Alves are with the Research Centre in Digitalization and Intelligent Robotics (CeDRI), Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Portugal.
*Correspondence: mjoao@ipb.pt (M.J.V.P.)


Cite: João Paulo Aires, Simone Bello Kaminski Aires, Maria João Varanda Pereira*, and Luis Manuel Alves, "Using the Methodology Problem-Based Learning to Teaching Programming to Freshman Students," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 448-455, 2023.

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jon-Chao Hong
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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