Students’ characteristics in programming learning and the design of a mobile learning platform

Chan Tong Lam, Wei Ke, Sio Kei Im, Anabela Gomes, António José Mendes, Maria José Marcelino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the correlations between novice students’ performance in an introductory programming course and their learning characteristics and styles as well as their motivations toward this difficult area. Based on the findings, we then provided a conceptual design of a mobile learning platform for enhancing their performance, using the most prevalent messaging and social media applications (APPs) among the students. The study took place in two different academic years for students taking introductory programming courses at Macao Polytechnic Institute in Macao and the University of Coimbra in Portugal. We compared the results of the two samples and found that although we could not establish correlations in many cases, we were able to get some insights on some context and teaching aspects that might be improved. The most important factor to improve the students’ performance in their first programming course is to enhance their confidence and motivation in a visual learning environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-391
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Introductory computer programming
  • Learning characteristics
  • Learning styles
  • Mobile learning
  • Motivational characterisation


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