Background and Objectives: The rapid growth of science and technology and the subsequent emergence of e-learning have revolutionized education. Also in this period, becoming aware of how the brain functions during the learning process has had important effects on training and learning. Educators are looking for ways to the most usage of technology-based facilities and new findings in educational neuroscience to obtain the optimal learning, especially in difficult subject matters such as computer programming course, which are associated with the problem-solving process. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of electronic courseware designed based on the brain based learning principles on problem-solving performance and motivation of the students in computer programming course.
Methods: This research is a quasi-experimental study, and was conducted with a pretest posttest control group design. In this study, sampling was done by cluster sampling method and thus 60 female students of the eleventh grade of computer fields of vocational schools in Isfahan were selected to participate in the study. Participants were randomly divided into 3 groups of 20 (experimental, control 1 and control 2). A literature review was conducted to identify the brain based learning strategies. Based on the lesson objectives and the strategies derived from the principles of brain based learning, an electronic courseware was designed and developed by the researcher and the expert team. The validity of this courseware was confirmed by experts. The intrinsic and extrinsic motivation subscales of Pintrich et al.'s questionnaire as well as a teacher-made computer programming problem-solving test were used as data collection tools, which were used as a pre-test and post-test, before and after the training, in all 3 groups. The same content from the computer programming course was taught in all three groups. In the experimental group, in addition to the conventional method, an electronic courseware based on brain based learning strategies was used. In the first control group, in addition to conventional method, a non-brain based electronic courseware was used. The second control group was trained only in the conventional method.
Findings: The research data were analyzed using univariate covariance analysis on problem-solving performance test scores and multivariate covariance analysis on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation scores. The results of the study showed that the problem solving performance of experimental group was significantly better than the control 1 and control 2 groups (P <0.05) in computer programming course. Also, the extrinsic motivation of the experimental group was significantly higher (P <0.05) than the first control group. Based on these findings, the use of non-brain based courseware significantly (P <0.05) reduced the extrinsic motivation of control group 2 students compared to control group 1.
Conclusion: The use of electronic courseware designed and developed based on brain based learning principles has a significant impact on increasing student computer problem solving performance. Also, the application of brain based learning principles in designing and developing the electronic courseware makes more external motivation in the users of this courseware than the users of typical courseware while learning.
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