Intrinsic Value of Computer Programming

Communicating the intrinsic value of a subject should be the primary focus of education and learning both at the school and university level; it is well established in the education literature that students who value what they are learning are more motivated and engaged (Wigfield & Eccles et al., 2000). Nevertheless, research in computing education lacks insights into the way university teachers (e.g., lecturers, senior lecturers, professors) communicate the intrinsic value of computer programming to their students and which of these practices impact students the most. The current proposal aims to investigate and evaluate academics’ practices that communicate the intrinsic value of programming to undergraduate students.

This project aims to develop a framework that describes the way that learning experiences could be designed to communicate these values to undergraduate students. Therefore, the framework could be used to inform the practice of computer programming education at the university level both in the UK and internationally.

The aim of the first stage of this study is to investigate and evaluate the practices with which academics across the UK communicate the intrinsic value of programming to their first-year undergraduate students. The study addresses the following questions:

  • What is the intrinsic value of learning programming?
  • How do academics communicate the intrinsic value of programming in the first-year undergraduate students?
  • Which of the identified practices impact students’ intrinsic value the most when gender is also considered?


If you would like to take part in the study, as someone who instructs students in programming, we welcome you to participate by reading the information attached to the following short survey and filling it out: