Learning by coding: A sociocultural approach to teaching web development in higher education

Montathar Faraon, Kari Rönkkö, Mikael Wiberg, Robert Ramberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


As information technology continues to evolve rapidly in society, coding skills become increasingly essential to develop. The purpose of this article is to examine differences between the learner-centered and sociocultural approaches when teaching and learning coding in higher education. A quasi-experiment was applied over six academic semesters evaluating the mentioned approaches in terms of students’ explicit attitudes, grades, and course evaluations. The findings indicated that the sociocultural approach may be a viable alternative to the learner-centered approach. More specifically, students indicated a preference for the sociocultural approach over the learner-centered approach, a greater number of students who passed the courses were educated via the sociocultural approach, and overall satisfaction was significantly higher for this approach as well. While the sociocultural approach has demonstrated to be advantageous, its integration in courses must concurrently be carefully balanced against constraints that teachers continuously experience in higher education, such as time and resources, which presents a challenge to the design of courses and to academia at large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1783
Number of pages24
JournalEducation and Information TechnologiesOfficial Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)


  • coding
  • higher education
  • learner-centered approach
  • learning
  • sociocultural approach
  • web development


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