Effect of Self-efficacy and Emotional Engagement on Introductory Programming Students

Geetha Kanaparan, Rowena Cullen, David Mason


High failure rates appear to be a norm in introductory programming courses. Many solutions have been proposed to improve the high failure rates. Surprisingly, these solutions have not lead to significant improvements in the performance of students in introductory programming courses. In this study, the relationship between self-efficacy, emotional engagement and the performance of students in introductory programming courses were examined. Enjoyment, interest, and gratification were identified as three factors contributing to emotional engagement in introductory programming courses from a review of existing literature and from focus groups. An online survey of 433 students in introductory programming courses showed that the students’ programming self-efficacy beliefs had a strong positive effect on enjoyment, while gratification and interest had a negative effect on programming performance. These findings have implications for course instructors who design and deliver introductory programming courses.


self-efficacy; emotional engagement; introductory programming courses; programming performance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v23i0.1825

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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