Minimally invasive programming courses: learning OOP with (out) instruction

  • Hubwieser P
  • Berges M
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Abstract

In this paper, we describe a research project that investigates how far freshmen at the University (without any programming background) are able to learn object-oriented programming with as little (human) instruction as possible. We designed specific tasks for programming assignments and supporting worksheets that contained the only information input that the students received during the courses. We examined the program code the students produced in order to assess the quality of their products. The surprising result was that most of the students were able to write quite satisfying programs. Additionally, a cluster analysis of the results showed that there are two different types of students: the ones that accept and apply the object-oriented concepts quite willingly, while the others prefer to program in a more traditional, procedural style.

Author-supplied keywords

  • higher education
  • object-oriented programming
  • programming novices
  • programming projects
  • self-conducted learning

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Authors

  • Peter Hubwieser

  • Marc Berges

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