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A distributed system for learning programming on-line

by Elena Verdu, Luisa M Regueras, Maria J Verdu, Jose P Leal, Juan P de Castro, Ricardo Queiros
Computers & Education ()

Abstract

Several Web-based on-line judges or on-line programming trainers have been developed in order to allow students to train their programming skills. However, their pedagogical functionalities in the learning of programming have not been clearly defined. EduJudge is a project which aims to integrate the "UVA On-line Judge", an existing on-line programming trainer with an important number of problems and users, into an effective educational environment consisting of the e-learning platform Moodie and the competitive learning tool QUESTOURnament. The result is the EduJudge system which allows teachers to apply different pedagogical approaches using a proven e-learning platform, makes problems easy to search through an effective search engine, and provides an automated evaluation of the solutions submitted to these problems. The final objective is to provide new learning strategies to motivate students and present programming as an easy and attractive challenge. EduJudge has been tried and tested in three algorithms and programming courses in three different Engineering degrees. The students' motivation and satisfaction levels were analysed alongside the effects of the EduJudge system on students' academic outcomes. Results indicate that both students and teachers found that among other multiple benefits the EduJudge system facilitates the learning process. Furthermore, the experiment also showed an improvement in students' academic outcomes. It must be noted that the students' level of satisfaction did not depend on their computer skills or their gender. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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