Five Cs Framework: A Student-centered Approach for teaching programming courses to students with diverse disciplinary background

Mary Tom


The already existing complexities of teaching and learning computer programming are increased where students are diverse in their disciplinary backgrounds, language skills, and culture.  Learners experience emotional issues of anxiety, fear or boredom. Identifying opportunities for improvement and applying theoretical and empirical evidence found in literature, this study presents a framework named Five Cs‒Consistency, Collaboration, Cognition, Conception, and Creativity‒that integrates constructivist and collaborative learning theories in a student-centered teaching pedagogy. This framework is found to be effective by using it in the instruction of introductory programming course to post graduate students in three consecutive terms. Analysis conducted using survey questionnaires and interviews indicates that use of this framework has reduced negative emotional issues,  motivated students to become active learners, and improved the overall performance. The five Cs framework provides an applicable model for a student-centered teaching pedagogy to minimise complexities from diversity of student cohorts.


student-centered teaching; collaborative learning; teaching programming, constructivist learning

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