Conference Paper

Contextualizing Introductory App Development Course for First-Year Engineering Students

Authors:
  • Kyoto University of Advanced Science
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Abstract

This paper presents an experience report of an introductory app development course that uses a context-based approach to teach app development to first-year engineering students in university. This course uses MIT App Inventor as the development environment to teach how to make apps in a variety of contexts (e.g., quiz app, painting app, speech translator app). Pre-course survey showed that many students were motivated to learn app development because they considered it a useful skill in real life. App development attitudes survey shows that a small portion of students had a fallacy of app development and view it as disconnected to the real world. This justifies the importance of contextualizing the learning to help students develop a correct mental model of app development. The quantitative and qualitative results of the course assessment questionnaire demonstrated the effectiveness of the learning design. Overall, this course received positive appraisal from students, and animation, machine learning/AI, and location sensing were perceived as the most attractive and useful contexts.

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