THE ACCEPTANCE OF AN EDUCATIONAL INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT TO LEARN PROGRAMMING FUNDAMENTALS
Keywords:IDE, educational software, usability, programming
Programming is an important course for any IT or engineering-related course. However, previous research shows that students face difficulties in learning programming due to its abstract concepts. This study aims to evaluate the acceptance of a developed Integrated Development Environment (IDE), namely C-SOLVIS which is a web-based application that specifically intends to facilitate the teaching and learning of the C programming fundamentals in Malaysian tertiary education. The C-SOLVIS integrates problem-solving into a program development environment for the C language. The goal is to guide the users in problem-solving and help them write C programs based on problem-solving algorithms. The Rapid Application Development (RAD) Model was employed in the C-SOLVIS development process. Based on this model, the requirement planning phase was carried out through the triangulation technique by applying qualitative approaches comprising a literature review supported by semi-structured interviews, document reviews, and content validation by expert programming lecturers. Subsequently, the design of the application was accomplished through the iterative prototyping process which was then followed by the application construction. Then, the C-SOLVIS is deployed to be used by several programming lecturers to evaluate its usability by adopting a quantitative method using the System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire. The study has discovered several suitable techniques and designs for the problem-solving and program development environment. For the problem-solving environment, the Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were applied which were supported by the Input-Process-Output (IPO) Model through Scientific Instructions and Inquiries. Meanwhile, the program development environment was designed and developed based on frame-based programming using a set of developed Code Patterns. The C-SOLVIS evaluation using the SUS instrument has yielded a SUS mean score of 86.07. This score is interpreted by SUS as an A grade that indicates C-SOLVIS as a highly usable application and thus is accepted for C programming learning. Hence, the development process of the C-SOLVIS can be used as a guideline for educational software development, especially in the field of programming education.
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