The Assessment of Taiwanese College Students’ Conceptions of and Approaches to Learning Computer Science and Their Relationships

Jyh Chong Liang, Yi Ching Su, Chin Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore Taiwanese college students’ conceptions of and approaches to learning computer science and then explore the relationships between the two. Two surveys, Conceptions of Learning Computer Science (COLCS) and Approaches to Learning Computer Science (ALCS), were administered to 421 college students majoring in computer science-related departments in Taiwan. The COLCS survey included the following seven factors, in a hierarchical order: learning computer science as “Memorizing,” “Testing,” “Calculating and practicing,” “Programming,” “Increasing one’s knowledge,” “Application and understanding,” and “Seeing in a new way.” Particularly, differing from previous learning conception studies, one newly developed factor, “Programming,” was added to COLCS to incorporate this unique feature for computer science students. The ALCS survey consisted of four factors: “Surface motive,” “Surface strategy,” “Deep motive,” and “Deep strategy.” The results showed that these two surveys were deemed to be sufficiently reliable for assessing students’ conceptions of and approaches to learning computer science. It was also found that the “Programming” factor should be considered as a higher-level learning conception, similar to the other higher-level conceptions in COLCS such as “Increase one’s knowledge,” “Application and understanding,” and “Seeing in a new way.” Furthermore, the “Application” and “Understanding” factors were merged into a single factor, “Application and understanding,” in this study. However, it was indicated that both Taiwanese college students’ lower- and higher-level learning conceptions were positively correlated to their surface motivations to learn computer science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-567
Number of pages11
JournalAsia-Pacific Education Researcher
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Approaches to learning
  • Computer science
  • Conceptions of learning
  • Programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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