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How to study programming on mobile touch devices - Interactive Python code exercises

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 13th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling 2013
Pages51-58
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event13th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling 2013 - Koli, Finland
Duration: 14 Nov 201317 Nov 2013

Conference

Conference13th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling 2013
CountryFinland
CityKoli
Period14/11/1317/11/13

Abstract

Scaffolded learning tasks where programs are constructed from predefined code fragments by dragging and dropping them (i.e. Parsons problems) are well suited to mobile touch devices, but quite limited in their applicability. They do not adequately cater for different approaches to constructing a program. After studying solutions to automatically assessed programming exercises, we found out that many different solutions are composed of a relatively small set of mutually similar code lines. Thus, they can be constructed by using the drag-and-drop approach if only it was possible to edit some small parts of the predefined fragments. Based on this, we have designed and implemented a new exercise type for mobile devices that builds on Parsons problems and falls somewhere between their strict scaffolding and full-blown coding exercises. In these exercises, we can gradually fade the scaffolding and allow programs to be constructed more freely so as not to restrict thinking and limit creativity too much while still making sure we are able to deploy them to small-screen mobile devices. In addition to the new concept and the related implementation, we discuss other possibilities of how programming could be practiced on mobile devices.

Keywords

  • learning, mLearning, mobile learning, mobile touch devices, parsons problem, parsons puzzle, programming, Python, teaching