F8-FY5-3 - Impact of Calango Language in an Introductory Computer Programming Course

3. Research Full Paper
Geovana Silva1 , Giovanni Santos2, Edna Canedo3, Vandor Rissoli1, Bruno Praciano4, Guilherme Andrade1
1 Educational Technology Laboratory, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília - DF, Brazil
2 Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília - DF, Brazil
3 Department of Computer Science, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília - DF, Brazil
4 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília - DF, Brazil

This work studies the impact of using Calango language in the introductory learning of algorithms and computer programming by Brazilian engineering undergraduates. Calango is an educational multi-platform tool designed to facilitate algorithm learning and provide a simple syntax that enables developing advanced logic, so that students concentrate on logic without worrying about language details, considering its based on Portuguese pseudocode commands. A survey was conducted to evaluate if the teaching methods and tools used in the engineering introductory computer programming course were helpful. The questionnaire was applied at the end of four consecutive semesters of lecturing the course, and five questions were selected to analyze Calango's influence in the learning process. Approximately 95\% of the participants agreed that Calango should continue in the class. Students reported that the learning of C language was more accessible due to the initial contact with Calango, mainly because they could write code in Portuguese, their native language. Overall results show that Calango was well-received by students, and it eased their early programming learning.