Computer Programming Acceptance by Students in Higher Arts and Design Education

Eduardo Morais, Carla Morais & João C. Paiva (2018)


Approximately half the students enrolled in the many arts and design undergraduate programmes offered by Portuguese public higher education institutions will learn or have an opportunity to learn about computer programming while taking their degree. A preliminary study to assess those students’ attitudes and opinions towards the subject of programming was conducted using an online survey based on Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). An opportunity sample of 187 students participated, and 41.2% reported proficiency in some form of computer programming, 35.8% reported to be currently learning, and only 23% reported no knowledge of the subject. Expectations of utility, effortlessness and peer approval were found to positively correlate with students’ intention to program or, in the case of students without such knowledge, an intention to learn computer programming. Students currently learning to code reported greater anxiety about the subject overall, and those reporting greater anxiety had the least intention to program in the future. Female students were also more likely to ascribe greater anxiety to the perspective of programming computers, as did younger students in general. Mitigating anxiety thus presents a challenge to educators engaged with computer programming, alongside adapting syllabi and pedagogies as to reduce the gender imbalance in programming acceptance and use.


Morais, E., Morais, C., & Paiva, J. C. (2018). Computer Programming Acceptance By Students In Higher Arts And Design Education. In ICERI2018 Proceedings (pp. 2058–2065). IATED.