Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Research support-oriented MATLAB learning: tackling difficult concepts and promoting personalised learning

Yang, Chunhua; Smith, David


Dr David Smith
Senior Lecturer, Director of Studies for Psychology


This study investigated the acquisition of MATLAB programming skills by postgraduate students, and whether this learning was improved by research support-oriented teaching. Questionnaire surveys were given to academic staff asking about what they considered the most important knowledge and skills in programming to be. Questionnaire surveys were also given to students asking about what programming concepts they found the most difficult and confusing to understand. The intersection between what knowledge and skills in programming the researchers deemed the most important, and what areas in programming students had most difficulty with, was carefully addressed in subsequent teaching in a module teaching the essentials of programming to postgraduate students. Student learning performance, as measured by examination marks on the module, before and after the intersection concepts were emphasised was compared. The student learning performance improvement, together with interviews to students about their perceptions about programming, suggests that teaching oriented to research support is effective at increasing student understanding of programming in MATLAB.


Yang, C., & Smith, D. (2017). Research support-oriented MATLAB learning: tackling difficult concepts and promoting personalised learning. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 12(12),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2017
Online Publication Date Nov 21, 2017
Publication Date Nov 27, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2018
Print ISSN 1740-9888
Electronic ISSN 1740-9888
Publisher Higher Education Academy
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 12
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (61 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. All content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0).

You might also like

Downloadable Citations