Abstract: Programming is one of the challenging subjects in the field of computing. In the higher education sphere, some programming novices’ performance, retention rate, and success rate are not improving. Most of the time, the problem is caused by the slow pace of learning, difficulty in grasping the syntax of the programming language and poor logical skills. More importantly, programming forms part of major subjects within the field of computing. As a result, specialized pedagogical methods and innovation are highly recommended. Little research has been done on the potential productivity of the WhatsApp platform as part of a blended learning model. In this article, the authors discuss the WhatsApp group as a part of blended learning model incorporated for a group of programming novices. We discuss possible administrative activities for productive utilisation of the WhatsApp group on the blended learning overview. The aim is to take advantage of the popularity of WhatsApp and the time students spend on it for their educational purpose. We believe that blended learning featuring a WhatsApp group may ease novices’ cognitive load and strengthen their foundational programming knowledge and skills. This is a work in progress as the proposed blended learning model with WhatsApp incorporated is yet to be implemented.
Abstract: Databases comprise the foundation of most software systems. System developers inevitably write code to query these databases. The de facto language for querying is SQL and this, consequently, is the default language taught by higher education institutions. There is evidence that learners find it hard to master SQL, harder than mastering other programming languages such as Java. Educators do not agree about explanations for this seeming anomaly. Further investigation may well reveal the reasons. In this paper, we report on our investigations into how novices learn SQL, the actual problems they experience when writing SQL, as well as the differences between expert and novice SQL query writers. We conclude by presenting a model of SQL learning that should inform the instructional material design process better to support the SQL learning process.
Abstract: In order to enhance the usability of the human computer interface (HCI) on the touchscreen, this study explored the optimal tactile depth and effect of visual cues on the user-s tendency to touch the touchscreen icons. The experimental program was designed on the touchscreen in this study. Results indicated that the ratio of the icon size to the tactile depth was 1:0.106. There were significant effects of experienced users and novices on the tactile feedback depth (p < 0.01). In addition, the results proved that the visual cues provided a feedback that helped to guide the user-s touch icons accurately and increased the capture efficiency for a tactile recognition field. This tactile recognition field was 18.6 mm in length. There was consistency between the experienced users and novices under the visual cue effects. Finally, the study developed an applied design with touch feedback for touchscreen icons.