Novice Programming Students' Reflections on Study Motivation during COVID-19 Pandemic.

FIE(2021)

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Abstract
In this Research Full Paper, the aim was to explore students' perceptions of their study motivation during COVID-19 pandemic. The goal was to dig into this current topic when it is still fresh. This type of event could be recurring in time and it may also be related to more permanent changes in education. The context of the study was an introductory programming course run in synchronous hybrid mode during COVID-19 pandemic. This was a qualitative study where students were interviewed about study motivation, effects of the pandemic, and differences between studying before and during the pandemic. Data collected was analyzed using data-driven theory-based content analysis. Students found it important to have a sense of belonging to the course, peers, and teacher to stay motivated. Hybrid mode was seen to be problematic in terms of communication, collaboration, and connectedness. Pandemic caused time allocation issues, challenges in collaboration due to safety measures, and a general worry. It seemed imperative for students' self-efficacy to know other students had similar challenges, too. Some students formed micro-communities which proved to be a great form of collaboration, especially during a time when the number of close connections was limited. Educators should put effort into giving feedback, help, and encouragement to students, especially in difficult subjects during challenging times. Somewhat comforting is, that if a student's motivation is strong enough, not even a pandemic can affect that.
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Key words
motivation,CS1,pandemic,synchronous hybrid learning
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