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Teachers’ Perspectives on Learning and Programming Environments for Secondary Education

Abstract : Teaching and learning programming is a challenge. Although several learning and programming environments have been proposed for classes, there seems to be more dissent than consensus as to which tools are preferable over others. This paper investigates teachers’ perspectives on popular learning and programming environments used in secondary computer science education in Germany. The environments investigated are: BlueJ, Scratch, Greenfoot, Eclipse, MIT App Inventor, Processing IDE, and Alice. Based on prior research, a catalogue of environment features supporting the learning processes of students was constructed. Using these criteria, an online-survey was conducted with computer science teachers in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In the survey, the participating teachers evaluated the selected tools’ adequacy for teaching object-oriented programming. The findings support the results of prior research conducted with students, stressing the importance of a simple and user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) as well as the option to visualise classes and objects. Contrary to prior studies, the results show that teachers do not see the editor as equally important, as students do, and that there is no consensus about the role of the area of application for choosing an integrated development environment (IDE). Student-friendly debugging messages as well as a step-by-step execution of programs were identified as important features. Although no tool excelled for every criterion, the clear favourite was BlueJ.
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Riko Kelter, Matthias Kramer, Torsten Brinda. Teachers’ Perspectives on Learning and Programming Environments for Secondary Education. Open Conference on Computers in Education (OCCE), Jun 2018, Linz, Austria. pp.47-55, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-23513-0_5⟩. ⟨hal-02370936⟩

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