Bachelor and Master Theses

Title: A tool to facilitate interactive and collaborative learning of execution flow and code for novice computer science
Subject: Computer Science
Level: Advanced
Description: The drop-out rates for university programs related to computer science are rather high and a lot of students do not complete their introductory programming course. One possible reason for this is that some find programming hard to learn.

There are many software tools which tries to help students who find learning programming is hard; online course material, games which aim to teach programming, Program Visualization tools and many more. Among the Program Visualization tools are a class of tools which are commonly referred to as visual debuggers. These work similarly to the debugger tools which can be found in many modern development environments, with the addition that they create some form of visualization of the state of the program being visualized. However, they generally only visualize the current state of the program with the current state of the data the program holds in memory.

This work has the hypothesis that a visualization tool which not only shows the current state of the program but also displays state changes in a historic manner could be beneficial to students reading their first introductory imperative programming course. The aim of the work is therefore to design and prototype one approach to visualizing historic state during program execution in a visual debugger, with the hope that future studies might include such a visualization approach in studies of the pedagogic effects of visualization tools.
Prel. end date: 2014-06-08
Presentation date: 2014-06-12
Student: Robert Westerlund
IDT supervisor: Björn Lisper, +46-21-151709

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