Computer Programming Education in Portuguese Universities

Authors Ricardo Queirós , Mário Pinto , Teresa Terroso

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Ricardo Queirós
  • CRACS - INESC-Porto LA, Portugal
  • uniMAD, ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Mário Pinto
  • uniMAD, ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Teresa Terroso
  • uniMAD, ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal

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Ricardo Queirós, Mário Pinto, and Teresa Terroso. Computer Programming Education in Portuguese Universities. In First International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 81, pp. 21:1-21:11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Computer programming plays a relevant role in the digital age as a key competency for project leverage and a driver of innovation for today’s modern societies. Despite its importance, this domain is also well known for their higher learning failure rates. In this context, the study of how computer programming is taught is fundamental to clarify the teaching-learning process and to ensure the sharing of the best practices. This paper presents a survey on computer programming teaching in the first-year courses of Portuguese Universities, more precisely, what is taught and how it is taught. The study focuses essentially on the following facets: the class characterization, the methodologies used and the languages/technologies taught. Based on these criteria, a survey was done which gathers information of 59 courses included in a wide range of Universities spread across Portugal. The results were collected and analyzed. Based on this analysis a set of conclusions were taken revealing some interesting results on the teaching methods and languages used which can be useful to support a discussion on this subject and, consequently, to find new paths to shape the future of programming teaching.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Social and professional topics → Computer science education
  • computer programming
  • teaching-learning
  • universities


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