Title: ARE ANIMATIONS EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR TEACHING COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES?

Issue Number: Vol. 2, No. 2
Year of Publication: Apr - 2012
Page Numbers: 202-207
Authors: Joel Mtebe, Hashim Twaakyondo
Journal Name: International Journal of Digital Information and Wireless Communications (IJDIWC)
- Hong Kong

Abstract:


Teaching computer science courses is a big challenge to majority of teachers in developing countries institutions. Most of these courses consist of abstract concepts where traditional pedagogical methods such as lectures and textbooks cannot be suited to enable students understand them. It becomes even more challenge due to the fact that majority of these institutions are faced with large class sizes while teaching facilities are few. Although several solutions have been proposed to alleviate these problems such as increasing student-computer ratio, improving teaching pedagogy and increasing number of teaching staff, the problem still exists. In this paper, we propose the use of computer animations as instructional tools so as to enable students learn difficult concepts in developing countries institutions. We conducted a pilot study at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) to determine if the use of animations can enable students to learn difficult concepts easier and master course contents. The study revealed that 67% of respondents (of 108 students) indicated that animated courses enabled them to grasp difficult concepts more easily. The study also found that the process of developing animations improves the quality of course design. However, it is essential to incorporate pedagogical and instructional design principles in the whole process of development and integration of animations into courses.