Design and development of a smart learning environment for programming education

Research summary

This project is a doctoral study aimed at designing a smart learning environment (SLE) for programming education at higher education institutions in Nigeria context. The research hopes to make computing and programming education, an interesting learning experience. It will bridge the gap that exists between students with a programming background and those without by personalizing and adapting to learners preferred style. Besides, the use of SLE for computing education in the context of developing countries have not hitherto received much attention; this research tries to delve into the specific application of this 21st-century learning technology for computer programming knowledge. Thus, allowing indigenous students to develop their problem-solving capability, algorithmic thinking, and solve computational tasks, and consequently become local content developers and solution providers.
With the experiences of researchers at the EdTech group of the school of computing, University of Eastern Finland, the project is envisaged to solve the problem of individualized learning by encouraging collaborative learning, motivating students to share their learning experiences. At the end of the research, we hope to make programming courses accessible and interesting to students especially novices; motivate learners to learn and practice their programming skills.


The idea of smart learning environments (SLEs) has been conceived and has evolved in the last few years. SLEs can be referred to as an adaptive technology designed to include innovative features and capabilities that improve understanding and performance. The power and potential of new and emerging technologies made it necessary to conceptualize how learning environments can be made more effective, efficient and engaging (i.e., smarter) on a large and sustainable scale (Spector, 2014).

This research work seeks to design and develop a smart learning environment (SLE) that is adaptive to learner’s style and also capable of enhancing beginners to learn computer programming in a personalized learning experience. The research will apply the design science research method. We shall employ the quantitative, qualitative and mixed method to engage stakeholders for users’ participatory design and to allow for feedback throughout the development process. The data collection technique shall be questionnaires, interviews, field experiments, and observation techniques. Evaluation of the SLEs shall be carried out in Finland and Nigeria by engaging the university students in order to ascertain the impact of SLE on programming experience, the efficiency in the learning process, reflections and feedback from the two regional areas.

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Research publication
Project information

Research info

Research title
Design and development of a smart learning environment for programming education

Research timeline
1.1.2018 - 1.12.2000

computational thinking computing education mobile learning programming smart learning



University of Eastern Finland
School of computing
Joensuu, Finland

Funding instrument
Ministry for Foreign Affairs (ICI, HEI-ICI, N-S-S)

Project budget
0 - 200,000 euros

Head of research
Friday Joseph Agbo

Research team
Professor Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, Mr. Friday Joseph Agbo

University of Eastern Finland, Federal University Lokoja

Contact information
Agbo Friday
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