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IJIET 2016 Vol.6(5): 331-337 ISSN: 2010-3689
DOI: 10.7763/IJIET.2016.V6.709

The Role of Programming Experience in ICT Students’ Learning Motivation and Academic Achievement

Külli Kori, Margus Pedaste, Äli Leijen, and Eno Tõnisson

Abstract—There is a high demand for qualified Information and Communication Technology (ICT) practitioners in the European labor market. However, a high dropout rate in higher education among ICT students is a big problem. One reason why students drop out is low study motivation, which in turn can influence the learning outcomes. Prior experience, such as learning ICT at the general education level and working in ICT field may influence their study motivation and learning outcomes at the higher education level and for this reason, the relationship between the above indicated variables was investigated in the current study. Data were collected in three higher education institutions in Estonia from 301 first-year ICT students. After the first semester, students filled in a questionnaire which contained the Academic Motivation Scale (AMS-C 28) College (CEGEP) version and questions about prior and current experience in ICT. The results show that the students who had learned programming before entering university had higher weighted average grades in the first semester and the students who started studying programming for the first time at university had more external regulation (a subcategory of extrinsic motivation) influencing their studies than other students. Working students had less motivation and lower results regarding the two subcategories of extrinsic motivation (introjected and external regulation). The findings show that learning programming before starting ICT studies gives an advantage in studies and working during studies is related to lower extrinsic motivation. This suggests improving students’ opportunities for gaining experience in programming (studying or working) prior to university studies in order to support their future studies in the field of ICT.

Index Terms—Academic achievement, higher education, ICT studies, motivation, work experience.

The authors are with the University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18, Tartu 50090, Estonia (e-mail: kulli.kori@ut.ee, margus.pedaste@ut.ee, ali.leijen@ut.ee, eno.tonisson@ut.ee).


Cite: Külli Kori, Margus Pedaste, Äli Leijen, and Eno Tõnisson, "The Role of Programming Experience in ICT Students’ Learning Motivation and Academic Achievement," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 331-337, 2016.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive 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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