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Another FaCTS Mellon Project

Reading Software for Remediating Introductory Programming Courses

by Dr. Andrea Edwards

Programming begins with reading a problem statement and deciding on best approaches to solving the problem. Many students in the introductory programming sequence (CPSC 1710, 1720, and 2730) have reading comprehension deficiencies that are affecting their understanding of ways to apply programming techniques. This project will produce a programming remediation tool (PREP) designed for computing students to be active readers of programming problem statements. The strength of PREP is based on the integration of programming problems with solution hints, a set of similar problems for cognitive recognition, and simulations that encourage students to explore more complex problem sets. Students will access PREP via a web application, select a topic-based module, and then see a listing of problem statements particular to that module. The problem sets have solution hints (but no programming solutions). The hints will guide students to actively read the problem statement using the mindset of an experienced programmer. The project objectives are: (1) to develop an innovative, engaging, and effective remediation tool; (2) to motivate students to actively read programming problem statements and discern the similarities and differences between problem statements; and (3) to enhance student learning (hence retention) especially for students in need of programming remediation.

Start date: Monday, May 10, 2010
Finish date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011