Development and Evaluation of a Computer-Aided Learning (CAL) Package on C++ Programming Language
The increasing rate at which access is being provided to education worldwide is due to the growth in computer technology and its application in education. Technology has created a great potential for borderless education. The potential for growth is tremendous particularly in higher education even in developing countries like Nigeria. This trend has caused educators to have a re-think of the very nature of teaching, learning and quality of education. Against this background, this paper was aimed at teaching students the fundamentals of C++ programming language in higher institutions in Nigeria using Computer Aided Learning software system (CAL) developed for C++, which is a course being taught at the 2nd year, 3rd year and 4th year to students of Engineering and Computer Science in the universities and HND 1 in the polytechnics. Quantitative feedback was collected from students and teaching staff using paper-based questionnaires. Student examination marks were compared for 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 sessions, allowing a comparison of student performance before and after the replacement of the traditional lecture with the CAL package. Ethical approval for the study was granted by the institution’s ethics committee. The CAL package on C++ programming was well received by teaching staff and students. Students’ performance in examination improved after the introduction of CAL program, suggesting that it provides a suitable alternative to didactic teaching. The creation and distribution of the CAL package on CDROM and its availability via the Internet are intended to contribute to the general learning of programming languages. The package sets a precedent for the development of more Internet-based, student-authored CAL packages in the future, thus roviding additional resources for independent learning.
Keywords: Computer Aided Learning (CAL), C++, programming, learning, teaching, education