Improving programming skills: the use of learning style theory and the instant response supplement tool

Chin Feng Lai, Yu Lin Jeng, Sheng Bo Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In a programming course, students often need tutors' assistance to complete learning activities, as they lack enough background knowledge to complete tasks. A further problem is that without individual tutoring, the knowledge gap between students increases. Therefore, the authors have proposed an instant response learning supplement tool (IRLST) to support students' learning, in order to facilitate students' independent problem-solving skills. Design/methodology/approach: The authors divided the students into two groups according to their learning styles: verbal and visual. The IRLST was used to collect and analyze the information on their usage and provide supplementary resources to facilitate their learning. The proposed system also analyzed the student usage, background knowledge and exam scores to assess their academic performance. Findings: According to the results of statistical analysis, students' learning performance improved significantly, especially low-scoring students. Moreover, as compiler messages were not recognized, students tended to identify the same problems. Thus, it is suggested that teachers not only should focus on improving the students' syntax but also strengthening their background knowledge and debugging skills. Research limitations/implications: There are two main limitations in this study: (1) as most of the students were in the visual learning group, the size of the groups was impacted, thus it was not possible to establish a control group; (2) one specific version of the IRLST system did not send reliable advice or supplementary content occasionally. Originality/value: The IRLST developed in this study can be used to provide immediate supplementary resources to help students overcoming programming problems and developing problem-solving skills.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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