Lecturers’ perspectives of using problem solving guidelines during the teaching of computer programming
The purpose of this study was to discover what the views and experiences of the lecturers are when presenting programming, using problem-solving guidelines. The study was prompted by the "digital natives" students who are computer literate because of being exposed to computers, the Internet, and social media. Therefore, learning and thinking of these students is different to other generations. The fast-paced digital environment that the students find themselves in, requires an individual to possess various skills in order to adapt and fit in. Amongst many fundamental skills students have to master, and to become skilled in computer programming, problem solving skills were identified. The requirements and expectation of digital native students calls for the higher education systems to revise and adapt to these students’ kind of learning. Different theories guided this study in answering the main research question: How do lecturers perceive the use of problem-solving guidelines during the teaching of computer programming? This study followed interpretivist methodology as the appropriate research strategy. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews. Lecturers who presented different programming subjects were the participants of the study. The findings of the study revealed lecturers’ experiences of students’ ability to solve problems; lecturers’ perceptions of students’ attitude when confronted with problem solving situations; different approaches used by lecturers when teaching programming; and lecturers’ perceptions of problem-solving guidelines. Recommendations in this study suggest that lecturers should be cognisant of principles and strategies of good problem solving, provide assistance, and make provision for students to maximize their problem-solving knowledge.