Utilizing Web-based programming learning environment in University teaching


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This session presents user experiences from a web-based learning environment for computer programming. In this system, students write programs, which are then automatically tested and results are reported back to the students immediately showing their mistakes. The environment allows the teachers to follow student progress and react, when there are signals indicating problems in learning. It is also possible to compare the students’ program codes in order to detect plagiarism. The learning environment includes a theory part of each programming language making it possible for the students to study whenever they want and wherever they want. The system is fully web-based and locates on the service provider’s server, so the users do not need to install anything. In practice, traditional classroom is not necessarily needed and teaching or support can be provided globally. Surveys show that the students appreciate the freedom the system offers and also the immediate feedback.

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Utilizing Web-based programming learning environment in University teaching

  1. 1. Utilizing Web-based programming learning environment in University teaching Satu Alaoutinen Antti Lihavainen
  2. 2. Satu Alaoutinen M.Sc. (eng.), Computer Science Teacher in CS laboratory Graduate student – doctoral studies about developing programming instruction Teaching programming courses since 1997 Experiences of Viope tools since 2001 Brainstorming and testing the first version of the automatic program assessment tool
  3. 3. Lappeenranta University of Technology University of technology and business ~ 5000 undergraduate students Expertise in  – Russian affaires,  – Management of business and innovation,  – Energy efficiency and the energy market,  – Strategic management of business and technology,  – Scientific computing and modeling of industrial processes
  4. 4. Antti Lihavainen Viope Solutions Ltd – CEO 2009  – Software Engineer 2001-2003  MoonTV, CERN, Elisa Plc, Destia Ltd, Shanghai NSD Development Co. Ltd Computer Science @ Lappeenranta University of Technology EU-China Managers Exchange & Training Programme
  5. 5. Background of Viope Tools Viope Solutions Ltd was founded as a spin- off from LUT, 2001 Automatic Response Technology (ART) was developed for helping teachers routine work Focus on programming but ART also developed for mathematics Company aiming for international markets – Holland, China, United States
  6. 6. Quick visit to Viope What does it look like?
  7. 7. Viope tool in brief  Web-based use, no need for installations  24/7 supported training for students, freedom to learn anytime, anywhere  ART support for C, C++, Java, SQL, PHP, Python, Ruby  Monitoring tools for teachers  Content control by teacher, possibility to input extra materials by teacher  Exam function  Plagiarism detection  Tutor available as an option
  8. 8. Teaching tools for programming Integrated development environment, IDE – Programming in general Submission systems – Assignment uploading/assessment Tutoring mechanisms – Hints for debugging Virtual learning environments, VLE
  9. 9. Viope at LUT Has been in use for 10 years in different courses – C, C++, Python, SQL Studies show its usefulness – Jeffrey Carver, Lisa Hende, "Viope as a Tool for Teaching Introductory Programming: An Empirical Investigation,"  – Vihtonen E. and Ageenko E., (2002)  “VIOPE- computer supported environment for learning programming languages.”
  10. 10. Administrative point of view Automatic assessment saves  – Time – Money – Effort At LUT one teaching assistant less / course Do not replace all teachers Supports self-paced/individualized learning  less drop-outs
  11. 11. Teacher's point of view Automatic assessment saves time Automatic assessment saves effort It is possible to use more assignments – Programming is learning by doing Wrong mental models are corrected before they fix in mind Follow up tools reveal problems and make it possible to intervene in early stages Plagiarism detection
  12. 12. Student's point of view Students are not bound to a classroom Possibility to proceed at own pace Wrong mental models are corrected before they fix in mind Own compiler environment is not necessary
  13. 13. Global point of view Classroom is not required Web based Can be used without any installations / servers Distance tutor available at preferred level
  14. 14. Programming demo Student at work – Studying – Coding – Debugging – Seeking advice Teacher of the course – Following students – Plagiarism
  15. 15. Looking for information? www.viope.com More articles: – Vihtonen, E. & Alaoutinen, S. & Kaarna, A. Computer Supported Learning Environment for C Programming Language satu.alaoutinen{@lut.fi, @gmail.com} antti.lihavainen@viope.com