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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.