We propose an integrated curriculum to establish essential abilities of computer programming for the freshmen of a physics department. The implementation of the graphical-based interfaces from Scratch to LabVIEW then to LabVIEW for Arduino in the curriculum ‘Computer-Assisted Instrumentation in the Design of Physics Laboratories’ brings rigorous algorithm and syntax protocols together with imagination, communication, scientific applications and experimental innovation. The effectiveness of the curriculum was evaluated via statistical analysis of questionnaires, interview responses, the increase in student numbers majoring in physics, and performance in a competition. The results provide quantitative support that the curriculum remove huge barriers to programming which occur in text-based environments, helped students gain knowledge of programming and instrumentation, and increased the students’ confidence and motivation to learn physics and computer languages.
Journal of Science Education and Technology 25(3), pp.427-438