The Paper and Panel Sessions of ITiCSE 2000
Tuesday, July 11th, 1100-1220
Technology for Teaching
Abstract: In this paper, we present a multi-agent system for supporting student-centered, self-paced, and highly interactive learning in undergraduate computer science education. The system is based on a hybrid problem-based and case-based learning model, for both creative problem solving and mechanical experience simulation. It aims at enhancing the effectiveness of the undergraduate learning experience in computer science. Implemented using the prevalent Internet, Web, and digital library technologies, the system adopts an open architecture design and targets at large-scale, distributed operations. In the initial implementation of the system, a number of prototypes using different Java-based software environments have been developed. They offer tradeoffs in system performance and design complexity. Authors: Hongchi Shi, Yi Shang, and Su-Shing Chen Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO 65211, USA
The traditional lecture has, for a long time, been subject to significant criticisms regarding its learning effectiveness. Despite this it remains popular and several attempts have been made to transport aspects of its format to the Web. Many of these projects appear to have been ill informed and, like many pedagogic uses of the Web, under evaluated. This paper describes the design, implementation and deployment of lecturelets, small low-cost Web hosted lecture like presentations. One design intention was to include effective support for their evaluation and the mechanisms and intentions for this are described.
Fintan Culwin School of Computing South Bank University London SE1 0AA, U.K.
Solving problems is an integral part of learning in Computer Science. In order to provide students with a vast supply of problems with which to practice, we propose to use applets that automatically generate the problems. In this paper, we first discuss the capabilities required of such applets, and then, present the design and features of an applet we have developed to automatically generate problems on static scope in Pascal.
Amruth N. Kumar Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ 07430-1680, USA
Abstract: For the past seven years we have taught a subject entitled Network Management and Software (NSM) for both computer science and electrical engineering students. We discuss the evolution of this subject syllabus in response to the changing requirements of the workplace environment, ever improving technology and the need to combine theory and practice in teaching these subjects. We used open source software exclusively in our laboratory exercises and we provide rationale for our choice of specific packages.
Author Information: Daniel Nelson and Yau Man Ng School of Communications and Informatics Victoria University of Technology Melbourne, Australia
CS Education Research
The benefits of working in a research group are clear: students develop domain expertise, gain an understanding and appreciation of the research process and its practice, and acquire team, communication, problem-solving, and higher-level thinking skills. Students with this experience are better equipped to make informed judgements about technical matters and to communicate and work in teams to solve complex problems. However it is difficult to provide a quality experience to large numbers of students, particularly to students of differing abilities. The Systems and Software Engineering Affinity Research Group model provides a socialization mechanism and infrastructure that supports the development and management of large research groups that engage undergraduate and graduate students, who have a wide range of skill levels and experiences, in research and projects. This non-hierarchical model integrates students into both small research groups and an encompassing large research group, and uses structured activities to develop their research, technical, communication, and group skills. In this paper we report how the model meets independently developed Best Practice guidelines for student research experiences and we provide indicators of success for use by other projects.
Andrew Bernat, Ann Q. Gates, Patricia J. Teller, Nelly Delgado Department of Computer Science Connie Kubo Della-Piana Model Institutions for Excellence The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, Texas 7
This paper describes research into the conceptions of students studying concurrency, using qualitative methods that originated in anthropological field work. We were able to obtain a deep understanding of students' mental models of semaphores: they construct consistent, though non-viable, models of semaphores, and they use them in patterns without understanding the synchronization context. We used the results to improve our teaching of concurrency, for example, by carefully defining the semaphore model and exercising it outside the problem-solving context.
Yifat Ben-David Kolikant and Mordechai Ben-Ari and Sarah Pollack Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100 Israel
There is an intuitive perception that students with prior programming experience have an initial advantage in an introductory programming subject, but that this advantage may decrease over the duration of the subject if the style of programming is different from what the student has learnt previously. This paper reports on a study that indicates that students who have experience in at least one programming language at the beginning of an introductory programming subject perform significantly better in the assessment than those with none, and that the more languages with which a student has experience, the better the performance tends to be.
Dianne Hagan and Selby Markham School of Computer Science and Software Engineering Monash University Australia
We propose to initiate a worldwide survey of colleges and universities to re-evaluate attitudes of students toward computing courses. In 1985, a study of college freshmen was conducted to determine their attitudes toward introductory computer science courses. At that time, access to and experience with computers was not the norm for the typical student about to enter the university. The 1985 study found that females, as well as students with no computer experience, reported the most negative encounters with computing. We intend to expand the original study, delving into whether or not the programming language learned, compiler and operating system used, peer and parental attitudes, as well as other factors, influence the student's attitude toward computing. We will provide a survey instrument, a set of World Wide Web tools and a database. Faculty and their classes from around the world will be encouraged to participate. Each institution will be able to immediately compare the profile of their students with those of other schools. We will provide search capabilities on several key fields in order to facilitate participant data analysis. We foresee the results of our survey generating a dialogue among educators and possibly changing the direction of and/or way in which computer science is taught.
authors: Bunny J. Tjaden Computer Science Department The George Washington University Washington, DC 20052 USA Brett C. Tjaden Computer Science Department Ohio University Athens, OH 45701 USA
The adoption of concurrent programming techniques into mainstream system development has brought with it a problem in software comprehension. Stepping through the code is no longer adequate to ensure a student's understanding of how a concurrent program will execute. Elucidate attempts to rectify this inadequacy by giving the student the ability to dynamically explore the various threads of execution and event order of an executing concurrent program. The student can gain an understanding of the threads of control and how they relate to classes, object instantiation, destruction and method invocation. Elucidate adds a layer of abstraction that is capable of clearly exhibiting to the student many of the underlying problems associated with concurrent programming.
Chris Exton Monash University School of Network Computing Melbourne, Australia
In this paper, we present Animal, a new tool for developing animations to be used in lectures. Animal offers a small but powerful set of graphical operators. Animations are generated using a visual editor, by scripting or via API calls. All animations can be edited visually. Animal supports source and pseudo code inclusion and highlighting as well as precise user-defined delays between actions. The paper evaluates the functionality of Animal in comparison to other animation tools. [ Abstract for Poster / presentation follows:] TOPKAPI: A Tool for Performing Knowledge Tests Over the WWW Guido Roessling and Bernd Freisleben Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Siegen Hoelderlinstr. 3 D-57068 Siegen Germany In this paper, we present the TOPKAPI tool for generating, administering and evaluating flexible multiple-choice questions over the WWW that completely frees the teacher from the evaluation process. Each answer may be commented by the author to provide students with additional feedback. TOPKAPI also supports easy reuse of components.
Guido Roessling, Markus Schueler and Bernd Freisleben Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Siegen H"olderlinstr. 3 D-57068 Siegen Germany
In learning to program, students must gain an understanding of how their program works. They need to make a connection between what they have written and what the program actually does. Otherwise, students have trouble figuring out what went wrong when things do not work. One factor that contributes to making this connection is an ability to visualize a program's state and how it changes when the program is executed. In this paper, we present Alice, a 3-D interactive animation environment. Alice provides a graphic visualization of a program's state in an animated small world and thereby supports the beginning programmer in learning to construct and debug programs.
Wanda Dann Computer Science Dept. Ithaca College Ithaca, NY 14850 Stephen Cooper Computer Science Dept. Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA 19131 Randy Pausch Computer Science Dept. Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Object-oriented techniques and technologies are omnipresent in all branches of modern software development and systems design. Still today there is an enormous demand for training in the area of object-oriented analysis, design and programming. Several languages and notations have been developed for the visual presentation of object-oriented ideas and designs (eg, the Booch method, OMT or the emerging standard UML). Such languages or notations are an excellent means of communication and documentation amongst experts. However, for novice trainings they are not very suitable. Instead, they raise additional difficulties: not only a large number of new ideas and a new way of thinking has to be learned, but also a highly non-intuitive graphic notation to present these ideas. The newly developed Object Visualization and Annotation Language (OVAL) is a simple illustrative notation which aims at OO novices. It visualizes the key ideas of object-orientation in a very intuitive way and was especially designed to assist in the process of teaching the way of object-oriented thinking.
Mirko Raner, Patriot Scientific Corporation, 10989 Via Frontera, San Diego, CA 92102, USA
Abstract This paper examines a set of teaching tools in the Software Engineering Practice course at Monash University. Analyzing various aspects of the course and student survey response to their value provides evaluation of the overall success of the tools. The paper demonstrates that a successful teaching program needs to combine a range of teaching tools to achieve its aims.
Martin Dick, Margot Postema and Jan Miller School of Computer Science and Software Engineering Monash University Caulfield East, Victoria 3145 AUSTRALIA
Abstract: This paper begins with a discussion of the importance of software development and the problems encountered by those trying to work effectively on software project teams. It is argued that for students to be effective in working on teams they need the discipline and organization offered by a rigorous team software process. The author describes his experiences in using the Team Software Process (TSP) to teach an introductory course in software engineering. The structure and key elements of the process are presented, along with techniques used in selecting and forming teams. The paper examines the TSP quality assurance features and finishes with a discussion of the techniques used to acquire feedback and to evaluate the affect of the TSP on student learning.
Author: Thomas B. Hilburn Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Department of Computing and Mathematics USA, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Abstract Have you ever been overruled by your students in critical decisions relating to their learning? Have you ever attended your own classes as a guest consultant with pre-defined scope of input? Have you ever suffered from the fact that each student is different, and you have a standard program for all? Have you ever empowered your students, and watch them exceed your expectation? The only important question is whether you have the courage to throw out your safety nets and Do It. For those who are looking to be involved in an exciting, challenging, stimulating and rewarding teaching exercise, Systems Analysis with attitude is definitely it. Interested! We were too when we attempted this experiment that we do recommend to colleagues in this always-evolving analysis discipline.
author information for all author's: name, institution, country [PARA]Maurice Abi-Raad [PARA]Telephone: +613-9925-5781 RMIT University Facsimile : +613-9925-5850 School of Business Information Technology 239 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia
ABSTRACT This paper examines the role of Human Computer Interaction in the context of the Computer Science and Software Engineering curricula. We suggest there needs to be much more integration between Computer Science and HCI. We believe this can be brought about by adopting HCI as the underlying principle to the development of systems. Usability engineering would provide the necessary framework for the development of usable systems.
Xristine Faulkner South Bank University London SE1 0AA Fintan Culwin South Bank University London SE1
Tuesday, July 11th, 1530-1650
WWW.Course Management and Course Content
Abstract: A collection of tools for creation of advanced and comprehensive course home pages is presented. The tools cover the spectrum from course overview pages, over hypertext teaching materials, to interactive services that support the teaching activities during the course. From the teacher's perspective the tools allow for abstraction from details and automation of routine work in the authoring process. Furthermore, the interactive services provide for evaluation of the actual teaching activities via student feedback and collected statistics. Seen from a student's perspective the comprehensive linking of course plans, teaching material, and interactive services together with links to external WWW material provide for a valuable organization of a large body of information.
Kurt NÝrmark, Department of Computer Science, Aalborg University, Denmark
Abstract: Owing to the lack of face-to-face interactions, students of a web-based learning system may need to study alone without the support and pressure from their classmates. The teachers of a web-based learning system may apply the group-learning model to solve this problem. Thereafter, the teachers first need organizing, managing, and monitoring the group learning. Besides, they require applying proper actions based on teaching strategies to improve learning achievements of the students. To perform these tasks well, the teachers need to get required information by sarching and analyzing the huge amount web-access logs or by keeping watching the web interactions. This will be of a great burden and hard to do well for the teachers. In this paper, we devised methodologies of building instruments for assisting teachers in performing grouping, intervention and strategy analysis. The methodologies apply data mining tools provided by existing database management systems. First, a tool is devised for assisting in organizing learning groups according to the specification given by teachers. Second, the database techniques including multidimensional cube are applied to record and transform student web logs into meaningful and required information to help the teachers in managing group learning. Finally, associate rule mining tool is used to aid the teachers in analyzing their teaching strategies. By the assisting of these tools, the teacher can be relieved from the burden of tedious data collection and analysis works. Thus, they can focus on managing and intervening the groups to promote learning achievement of the students. Keywords : Feature space, Data mining, Group learning, Web-based Learning
Authors : Kuo-Liang Ou ,Gwo-Dong Chen, Chen-Chung Liu, and *Baw-Jhiune Liu Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering ,National Central University *Department of Computer Engineering and Science ,Yuan Ze University Chung-Li TAIWAN 32054
abstract: This paper introduces three interactive packages for learning image compression algorithms. The first two packages, RLE and Quadtree, animate bitmap image compression algorithms, and the third package, JPEG, is a tutorial about the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) standard. The goal in designing and developing the packages was to provide instructors with tutorial and demonstration tools for teaching various interesting algorithms to students in CS1/CS2, Data Structures and Algorithms, Data Compression and Image Processing courses. Our packages visualize image compression algorithms by displaying their different states of execution, using different colors to highlight the important areas, and providing textual explanations to help users understand the visualization. All three packages are platform-independent, easy to use and highly interactive.
authors: Sami Khuri and Hsiu-Chin Hsu Department of Mathematics and Computer Science San Jose State University One Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192-0103 USA
ABSTRACT: Yes. AUTHOR INFO: Frank Klassner Villanova University USA
Wednesday, July 12th,1100-1220
Abstract Exploration of regularities is a key element in problem analysis - the primary stage of algorithm design. The recognition of regularities during problem analysis elicits underlying principles of the design. While university teachers are well aware of the significance of regularities, high-school computer science teachers often fail to appreciate it, and focus on technical details of program design and implementation. We believe that the elaboration of regularities in high-school computer science education enhances teachers' and students' scientific conception of computer science. In this paper we present an approach for elaborating the role of regularities. The elaboration is done by directing the students, at the primary stage of algorithmic problem analysis, to look for problem characteristics from various angles, in different ways, and for diverse tasks. Our approach is based on colorful and attractive examples, which include challenging problems and games, often with physical objects. Such examples enrich the students' intuition, and leave a long-term imprint.
David Ginat Sceince Education Department Tel-Aviv University Tel-Aviv, Israel Phone: 972-3-640-8151
Abstract: Many CS101 courses purport to teach object-oriented programming, but many seem to be directly translated from traditional structured programming courses. Lynn Andrea Steins "Rethinking CS101" program at MIT offers a radically different approach to teaching OO programming by concentrating on the interactive aspects of object-oriented system. This approach has the added advantage that students who have previously learned "programming" must also relearn how to approach the problems involved in programming interactive systems. This paper reports on the authors use of this concept outside of MIT, with encouraging results. (oops, those \222s are ')
Author: Debora Weber-Wulff Technische Fachhochschule Berlin FB Informatik
Praktomat is a system which allows students to read, review, and assess each other's programs in order to improve quality and style. After a successful submission, the student can retrieve and review a program of some fellow student selected by Praktomat. After the review is complete, the student may obtain reviews and re-submit improved versions of his program. The reviewing process is independent of grading; the risk of plagiarism is narrowed by personalized assignments and automatic testing of submitted programs. In a survey, more than two thirds of the students affirmed that reading each other's programs improved their program quality.
Author Name: Andreas Zeller Institution: Universitšt Passau Country: G
ABSTRACT: Programming assignments are typically constructed with great precision, in order to ensure that students traverse the important content areas in the unit. This paper makes a case for an "ill-defined", large programming task by presenting experiences with an assignment based on flocking behavior. Providing students meet the criteria that their artificial life forms clearly exhibit flocking behavior, they become responsible for defining the exact nature of the task. The success of this approach is partly measured by the ability of novice programmers who fully engage with the course material to produce spectacular results. The paper includes a discussion of the philosophical requirements for adopting such an approach within a programming unit.
AUTHOR: Tony Greening Basser Department of Computer Science, The University of Sydney Australia
Abstract Until recently it was difficult to incorporate team projects in distance education. Nowadays, however, new technology is available which allows for distance teamwork. In this paper we will describe a project-oriented course on human-computer interaction. The course is meant for computer science students in distance education. A serious restriction is caused by the fact that the students study at home, where they usually have only a slow connection to Internet at their disposal. We will focus on the way we structured the course to make distance teamwork possible. Furthermore the tools we offered the students will be treated. Finally, in the paper we will present the first experiences gained in a pilot project with 12 computer science students.
Author information: Herman Koppelman, Open University of the Netherlands and University of Twente, the Netherlands Elisabeth M.A.G. van Dijk, University of Twente, the Netherlands Charles P.A.G. van der Mast, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands Gerrit C. van der Veer, Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands
Abstract: Network-based distributed education is a reality today. At George Mason University, we have been pursuing a capability beyond the widespread practice of supporting courses with webpages: delivering lectures and seminars in real time, over the Internet. This paper describes the range of distributed education technologies available today, focusing on issues of instructor presentation, student participation, and temporal qualities of response to student questions. The analysis supports our selection of desktop audiographics for synchronous Internet-based course delivery. Courses that have been presented in this mode are described, along with factors influencing their success and factors in student participation.
Author: J. Mark Pullen, Department of Computer Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA information on the webpage- am I missing this? Mark
An experiment with distance technology in a second-year Object-Oriented Systems Design course is described. Video and computer conferencing was used in tutorial sessions where a teacher and a student group developed and discussed solutions (both textual and graphical) to systems design problems. The experiment is evaluated, both from a technical, an economic and an educational point of view.
Author: Dr. Joakim (Jockum) von Wright, Professor, Department Head, Department of Computer Science, Abo Akademi University, Finland
Abstract: We describe a generic model for on-line learning which has been tested top-down in the development of a course unit in Computer Science, and bottom-up in the evaluation of a course unit in Economics. The model may be used to produce a template for on-line learning resources. Alternatively a template developed intuitively by an experienced teacher may be evaluated using the generic model. Using these approaches both the model and the template may be refined. We also study the use of the model and templates as ways of disseminating web-based on-line learning among colleagues in Economics and Computer Science departments.
Authors: John Rosbottom, University of Portsmouth Department of Information Systems, UK Jonathan Crellin, University of Portsmouth Department of Information Systems, UK Dave Fysh, Universit
Thursday, July 13th,1100-1220
Impact of Technology on the Curriculum
Abstract There is an increasing use of the World Wide Web in the teaching of topics in computer science. Many examples involving animation have been reported and other modeling environments (or 'Webworlds'), such as diagramming tools, are emerging. The software engineering curriculum includes topics such as testing and design which can be supported by graphical editors. This paper presents three examples of software produced to support learning in this area and a detailed analysis of the results of one pilot research study. Taken as a whole, the evidence is argued to support the case for apprenticeship learning and that the Web provides an opportunity to exploit this, if it is properly scaffolded by collaborative and other tools.
Peter Chalk School of Computing South Bank University London SE1 0AA, U.K.
Educators who wish to integrate interactive computer-based learning experiences into established courses must contend not only with the difficulty of creating quality digital content but with the often equally difficult challenge of reconfiguring their courses to use such materials. We describe our experiences with the Exploratories Project at Research University and the use of exploratories in an introductory computer graphics programming course. We offer examples of both success and failure, with the goal of helping other educators avoid both painful mistakes and lost time spent coping with unforeseen logistical and pedagogical concerns. Among the lessons we learned: planning can't begin too early for the integration of such materials into an established curriculum, and all possible methods of integration should be considered before committing to any specific approach
Anne Morgan Spalter Department of Computer Science Brown University, Box 1910 Providence, RI 02906 Rosemary Michelle Simpson Department of Computer Science Brown University, Box 1910 Providence, RI 02906
Abstract: In recent years, agent technology has been used increasingly in information management and distributed computing. Agent technology is closely related to other areas in computer science and engineering (CSE). A curriculum that cultivates an appropriate knowledge of agent technology will increase the likelihood that the next generation of IT professionals will have the background needed to design and develop software systems that are scalable, reliable, adaptable, and secure. In this paper, we present the rationale and our practice in incorporating agent technology into the CSE curriculum. We develop agent-based teaching materials and software modules and apply them to existing CSE courses including artificial intelligence, parallel and distributed processing, networking, and software engineering. Promising results have been obtained in teaching two graduate level courses using agent components.
Authors: Yi Shang, Hongchi Shi, and Su-Shing Chen Dept. of Computer Engineering and Computer Science University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211, USA
This paper presents the motivation, design and architecture of a class library and its accompanying visualization subsystem for teaching multithreaded programming in a junior level introduction to operating systems course. The role of this class library in an ideal pedagogical system and some technical details and our classroom experience are also discussed.
Ching-Kuang Shene and Steve Carr Department of Computer Science Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931-1295
The Big Picture
Abstract Students of today need to be prepared to work in globally distributed organizations. Part of that preparation involves teaching students to work effectively in teams to solve problems. Students also must be able to work with individuals located at distant sites where there is no or very little face-to-face interaction. The Runestone project, an international collaboration between two universities, adds new dimensions to student teamwork, requiring students to handle collaboration that is remote, cross-cultural, and technically challenging. Runestone is a three-year project funded by the Swedish Council for the Renewal of Undergraduate Education. A pilot study in 1998 was followed by a full-scale implementation in 1999 with another implementation set for 2000. Each time this global cooperation project is run, both students and faculty learn important lessons in how to work with each other in a virtual environment. This paper discusses both student and faculty learning outcomes for Runestone 1999.
Mary Z. Last Vicki L. Almstrum St. Edwards University University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Austin, TX Mats Daniels Carl Erickson, Bruce Klein Uppsala University Grand Valley State University
Abstract: We are concerned about a view in undergraduate computer science education, especially in the early courses, that its okay to be math-phobic and still prepare oneself to become a computer scientist. Our view is the contrary: that any serious study of computer science requires students to achieve mathematical maturity (especially in discrete mathematics) early in their undergraduate studies, thus becoming well-prepared to integrate mathematical ideas, notations, and methodologies throughout their study of computer science. A major curricular implication of this theme is that the prerequisite expectations and conceptual level of the first discrete mathematics course should be the same as it is for the first calculus course secondary school pre-calculus and trigonometry. Ultimately, calculus, linear algebra, and statistics are also essential for computer science majors, but none should occur earlier than discrete mathematics. This paper explains our concerns and outlines our response as a series of examples and recommendations for future action.
Authors: Charles Kelemen - Swarthmore College (USA) Allen Tucker - Bowdoin College (USA) Peter Henderson - Butler University (USA) Kim Bruce - Williams College (USA) Owen Astrachan - Duke University (USA)
We describe a project exploring the relationships between factors in the learning environment, student well-being and learning outcomes, in the context of a Computing department. A range of established psychometric tests identified areas of unhelpful stress in the working environment and measures were implemented to rectify these. A significant improvement in measured student well-being followed.
author information for all author's: name, institution, country John Davy (School of Computer Studies) Kerry Audin, Michael Barkham, Caroline Joyner (School of Psychology) All at University of Leeds, UK
Abstract There has been a continuing fragmentation of traditional computer science into other disciplines such as Multimedia, e-commerce, software engineering etc. In this context the standard computer technology curriculum designed for computer science students is in danger of becoming perceived as increasingly irrelevant - both by students and employers. The authors review expectations of both students and employers, as determined by market analysis, and present the results of implementing one possible solution to providing an introductory computer technology curriculum suitable not only for students from other disciplines but also as a basis for Computer Science majors.
S P Maj, D Veal P Charlesworth Edith Cowan University University College Suffolk Western Australia UK :
Thursday, July 13th,1330-1450
Teaching Concepts and Courseware
Abstract: A CS0 class with heavy lab emphasis was developed at the University of Utah in the summer of 1998. It has been taught three times by different instructors to students who were diverse in background, gender, and skill level. The culmination of these efforts is a set of original labs which can be divided into several chronological categories: a gentle introduction, computation and events, interaction and graphical user interfaces, algorithms, object-oriented programming, and Java specific issues. These labs encompassed several themes which guided the curriculum in all three semesters: creativity, visual and interactive methods, and breadth. This paper is a combined summary of these experiences.
Authors: Elizabeth Odekirk-Hash , Dominic Jones , Peter Jensen (all in the Computer Science Department at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Abstract: We present the first stage of an ongoing research project designed to improve the teaching of undergraduate computer science: the use of Lego Mindstorms robots programmed with Ada. By bypassing the standard visual programming environment for a rigorous high level language interface of our own design, we hope to be better able to teach important programming principles while at the same time offering the advantages of a more "hands on", active learning experience for both technical and non-technical majors. We discuss our reasons for choosing Ada, our choice of laboratory exercises, comparisons with similar projects, and our plans for evaluation and assessment.
Author info: Barry S. Fagin Professor of Computer Science United States Air Force Academy
Abstract This paper provides an overview of the Interactive Lab Environment (ILE) project and a report on its current status and future directions. ILE is the framework of a customized interactive lab environment for computing concepts and courseware that we developed for our department using Java. In essence ILE is a well-managed, networked set of resources that offers its users a collection of tools. The most significant of these tools are the flexible routes through an interactive learning environment combining the presentation of course information and notes, executable examples of learning materials, visual tools for presenting new concepts that are otherwise hard to visualize, and a quick means of communication within the academic unit. In addition to the ILE framework itself and a few course material demos, two interactive components were developed and implemented thus far, both of which are visual tools but with differing degrees of abstraction and disclosure. Keywords: interactive learning, animation, visualization, Java applications in education
H. Hosny, O. Khaled and M. E. Fathalla, Department of Computer Science The American University in Cairo 113 Kasr El Aini St.,Cairo, Egy
Abstract: We describe a Java toolkit that is designed to support the creation of powerful and extensible GUI interfaces during the first year computer science course. The goals of this toolkit are to provide: * an infrastructure for creating well designed programs that illustrate the concepts of computer science and its practical applications * an environment for learning the basic ideas of interface design and for doing experiments with a variety of designs * a paradigm for building interfaces using Java Swing components that scales from individual data items to large structures Additionally, the toolkits themselves can be studied as examples of the proper uses of objects and classes, of handling events, and of building input listeners.
Jeff Raab, College of Computer Science, Northeastern University Boston, MA USA Richard Rasala, College of Computer Science, Northeastern University Boston, MA USA Viera K. Proulx, College of Computer Science, Northeastern University Boston, MA USA
Title: Teaching Inter-institutional Courses: Sharing Challenges and
Automated AssesssmentTitle:Algorithm Simulation with Automatic Assessment :
Abstract Visualization is a useful aid for understanding the working of algorithms. Therefore many interactive algorithm animation tools have been developed. However, students may misinterpret the visualization and therefore the correctness of their interpretation should be confirmed by tests supplemented with feedback. In this paper, a learning environment for data structures and algorithms is presented. The combination of algorithm animation and simulation with automatic assessment provides a way to give meaningful feedback to the students. The experiences show that this combination is of great value for the students studying algorithms.
Ari Korhonen and Lauri Malmi Department of Computer Science and Engineering Helsinki University of Technology Finland
Abstract Desirable though fully automated assessment of student programming assignments is, it is an area that is beset by difficulties. While it is not contested that some aspects of assessment can be performed much more efficiently and accurately by computer, there are many others that still require human involvement. We have therefore designed a system that combines the strengths of the two approaches, the assessment software calling upon the skills of the human tutor where necessary to make sensible judgements. The technique has been used successfully on a systems programming course for several years, and student feedback has been supportive.
David Jackson Dept. of Computer Science University of Liverpool Chadwick Building Peach Street Liverpool L69 7ZF United Kingdom
This paper describes our experiences of developing and running an introductory module for first year Computing undergraduates. The 'Supporting Technologies' module is intended to equip students with basic computing skills that they will need for the rest of their course. A novel feature of the work discussed here is that several different automated assessment tools and techniques are integrated into a common framework sharing a common results database. This allows a wide range of different assessment formats within the same module framework.
John English | Senior Lecturer | Dept. of Computing | University of Brighton |
ABSTRACT: This paper describes a novel approach to the on-line assessment of large groups of students, in which it may be desirable to maintain common questions between the groups. It is clear from the literature that computer based assessment has the potential to dramatically reduce the effort involved in testing and marking although problems arise where the cohort of students is larger than the number of available computers. However, the opposite situation is often true in practice, due to the perceived need to design multiple tests. The solution described here uses a small computer laboratory (20 machines) to administer a test to a series of groups of students in existing lab sessions. Each group receives the same set of questions but the data to which the questions apply, and hence the test answers, vary from group to group. The data from tests that have been applied to students is analysed to determine whether discussions with early candidates have influenced the performance of students in later testing sessions.
AUTHOR 1: Tony Greening Basser Department of Computer Science The University of Sydney Australia AUTHOR 2: Glenn Stevens School of IT and Mathematical Sciences The University of Ballarat Australia AUTHOR 3: David Stratton School of IT and Mathematical Sciences The University of Ballarat Australia