INITIAL EVALUATION OF A MOBILE SCAFFOLDING APPLICATION THAT SEEKS TO SUPPORT NOVICE LEARNERS OF PROGRAMMING
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The aim of this paper is to explore the use of an application that scaffolds the constructions of programs on a mobile device. The application was developed to support novice learners of programming outside the classroom. This paper reports on results of a first experiment conducted to evaluate the mobile application. The main research questions are: (i) whether the use of the application is effective in supporting construction of programs on a mobile device; and (ii) how the learners experienced the use of the mobile application. Data was collected by task completion, video and audio recording, and a questionnaire. A total of 18 first-year learners of programming from two African universities took part in the experiment by participating in focus groups. Almost two thirds of the learners completed two out of three programming exercises using the mobile application, with all the learners completing the first program. The results of the study suggest that the students found the mobile application useful, as evident from high rating of its features. The results also consisted of feedback from the learners on features that would make the application more usable. The findings suggest that the use of a mobile scaffolding application may support novice learners of programming outside the classroom. The outcomes of these results lead to a clearer understanding of how to design a mobile application that scaffolds the construction of programs on a mobile device.
10th International Conference Mobile Learning 2014