Most students find programming very difficult because they are made to think so by their seniors and even by their teachers to some extent. As a result, they lose faith in themselves and never make a success. In fact, it seems to be difficult as it is a subject new and different from all other subjects, they have studied till they enter into the world of Computer learning. It takes time and persistence to become an expertise at the same time the study is lacking in resources.
Students and Computer Programming
Computer programming is a skill-based subject and the reasons for difficulty in learning the subject are attributed to the programming subject, the learning abilities of the students, and the teaching methodology. The subject involves designing algorithms, writing programs, understanding the syntax and logic of the program, which is new to most of the students. Programming is a hierarchal skill as well as a multiple skill, which mainly involves translating an algorithm into program code. Only students who follow appropriate study methodologies find success.
One of the most important requirements for a student to complete programming assignments is to have complete knowledge of the required programs. Some of the major programming languages are C++, python, java, and SQL. Unless the students learn these, they cannot dream of becoming professional programmers.
Why Programming is Difficult for Some Students
Some students do not give their complete attention while learning and also lack rigorous practice. Both of these are mandatory for a positive result in this direction. They let their mind stray on the umpteen other things on their mind and are unable to give their undivided attention to learning. This in turn affects their academic and professional life. Unless a student works hard to acquire programming competencies, success is farfetched.
When these students make an entry into the life of coding, they don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge. Most students believe that reading a textbook will enable them to learn to program, whereas success is dependent on the number of problems solved. They are also not able to cope with the course as they don’t have the speed required for the learning. In turn, when they encounter an assignment, these students face more troubles.
In addition to the abilities and attitudes, the interest of the student plays a major role in his success. Only with the right attitude and interest, a student will be able to keep up with the continuously growing and expanding technology. IT industry is one such sector where new programming keeps coming on a regular basis. This updating of programming is a challenge not only to the students but also to the professional programmers. Therefore, the students who are unable to update themselves find it difficult to be successful.
When these students face this scenario during the course of their learning, they very often face failures which result in depression due to frustration on being unsuccessful at repeated attempts. This frustration is not very encouraging in focusing on their learning. Fortunately, you can get online programming help at GeeksProgramming.com and they have a team of expert programmers.
Those who don’t keep up with the latest programming trends are unable to learn new coding practices and tools. As a result, they become outdated for the new demands in the field.
Another point of frustration caused is when the students face errors in a program, which happens quite often making them repeat the work several times, debugging to get the desired result. Bugging and debugging is an unavoidable part of programming and can be handled only by those who can keep themselves calm and composed. In a situation like this correcting or modifying a program written by someone else can be a real nightmare.
Students who are new face a lot of challenges since they are not aware that every program is unique requiring different time frames and different levels of skill for completion on time. Those who have time, persistence, and dedication can complete assignments as easily as they can do any other work, they are familiar with.
The Computational Environment
Another major reason for the high failure rates in programming is attributed to the computational environment which is not very conducive to the students’ learning. This environment is created by the teaching and the teachers’ strategies. When the teaching is not personalized and the teachers’ strategies don’t support all students’ learning styles, the problem is likely to persist. The main role of teachers in making the student successful is to be tolerant. He should also be motivating because programming students need to be continuously evolving with the changes. For this, they will need to clarify their doubts on a regular basis. The teacher can encourage the students for more and more practice by proposing problems and activities on a regular basis. This can help in captivating the students’ attention, keeping them interested in the subject and activities, and in allowing them to do the assignments without fear.
Most of the time teachers’ strategies do not support the varied learning styles of students. This is also a reason why students develop an aversion and fear. The environment of learning must be planned and created in such a manner that it adapts assignments to each student learning style. Since it is tedious for the teachers to have different presentation formats for each assignment and adapting interaction strategies to the students’ characteristics, the problem persists. Most of the time the computational models do not represent the programming concepts and they are not in accordance with the learning style of the student.
The progress of the students through different types of problems given does not aim to be gradual and progressive because teachers are sometimes more concentrated on teaching a programming language and its syntactic details instead of promoting problem-solving using a programming language.
It is generally noticed that students often use incorrect study methodologies and do not put in the required amount of persistence and hard work which is absolutely essential for success in this discipline. They do not know how to solve the problems because when they are given a problem, there is no verification done to know if the students have understood what has been asked. The problems are given to the students, most of the time, have concepts that do not have any connection with their previous knowledge. As a result, they tend to struggle with every new assignment given to them.
High Levels of Abstraction
Programming languages also have very complex syntaxes which demand a high level of abstraction capacity of the student. At the same time, students do not have the required motivation which is very essential in a difficult period of their life. In order to provide the required amount of motivation the teaching should go from the easy to the difficult; from playful to serious. It is important to show the students that programming is a useful tool to ease people’s lives, by using real-life problems, as much as possible. The learning should be preceded by an intensive training in problem-solving. As programming is a prerequisite to many other courses, it is necessary to be included early in the curriculum of their studies.
The main reasons for not completing the programming assignments can be attributed to a student’s inability to learn, attitude, interests, persistence, practice, and patience. It is also dependent on the teaching methodologies and step-by-step progress in learning.