Exploring the Use of an Android based C/C++ Compiler in the Learning of a Programming Course by University Students
Gwendo, John Oloo
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The ever increasing demand for higher education has brought with it a number of challenges, key among them being insufficient equipment and instructional materials. Mobile learning offers an opportunity to mitigate some of the challenges faced by Institutions of higher learning through the principle of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) which increases access to technology without incurring the cost of purchasing a device for each learner. This study sought to investigate the attitudes and opinions of learners towards the use on Mobile Devices in the learning of an undergraduate programming course offered in the second year of study. A blended learning approach was adopted in the teaching and learning programming which incorporated the use of a C/C++ IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and compiler for Android platform to solve programming exercises provided to the learners during the weekly lectures. A questionnaire was designed and used to collect data regarding the learners’ attitudes and opinions towards the use of the Mobile Devices in the Programming class. The study showed that Mobile learning in a programming context is a preferred mode of study and brought about many benefits. Despite the benefits there is need to address challenges attributed to the devices and app usage so as to enhance the learning experience. The potential of Mobile learning is evidently immense given the willingness of respondents to use the devices and the apps more in the future. Results suggest that need for institutions of higher learning to explore available Mobile apps and see how best they can be used to facilitate teaching and learning.