Special Issue "Computer Programming Education"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ricardo Queirós
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Informatics, School of Media Arts and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: e-learning interoperability; computer programming education; gamification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Mário Pinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
uniMAD, School of Media Arts and Design, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: computer programming education; gamification; knowledge management systems; e-learning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Alberto Simões
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
2Ai, School of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave, 4750-810 Barcelos, Portugal
Interests: natural language processing; programming languages; compilers; computer programming education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Computer programming is a fascinating area, but at the same time, complex. In the teaching–learning process, teachers face many difficulties in finding techniques and methodologies to facilitate the learning of languages and to foster problem-solving skills.

At the same time, students find it difficult to understand the subjects and do not feel motivated to continue pursuing their studies and achieve good grades.

This Special Issue will specifically focus on the new and innovative methodologies, best practices, trends, techniques, and tools toward improving the teaching–learning process of computer programming.

In this Special Issue, we will publish an extended version of the best papers selected from the International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC’2020), and will also be open to receiving independent submissions.

Prof. Ricardo Queirós
Prof. Mário Pinto
Prof. Alberto Simões
Prof. Carlos Filipe Portela
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Cybersecurity Challenges in Industry: Measuring the Challenge Solve Time to Inform Future Challenges
Information 2020, 11(11), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11110533 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities in industrial control systems have been steadily increasing over the last few years. One possible way to address this issue is through raising the awareness (through education) of software developers, with the intent to increase software quality and reduce the number [...] Read more.
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities in industrial control systems have been steadily increasing over the last few years. One possible way to address this issue is through raising the awareness (through education) of software developers, with the intent to increase software quality and reduce the number of vulnerabilities. CyberSecurity Challenges (CSCs) are a novel serious game genre that aims to raise industrial software developers’ awareness of secure coding, secure coding guidelines, and secure coding best practices. An important industry-specific requirement to consider in designing these kinds of games is related to the whole event’s duration and how much time it takes to solve each challenge individually—the challenge solve time. In this work, we present two different methods to compute the challenge solve time: one method based on data collected from the CSC dashboard and another method based on a challenge heartbeat. The results obtained by both methods are presented; both methods are compared to each other, and the advantages and limitations of each method are discussed. Furthermore, we introduce the notion of a player profile, which is derived from dashboard data. Our results and contributions aim to establish a method to measure the challenge solve time, inform the design of future challenges, and improve coaching during CSC gameplay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Programming Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fostering Programming Practice through Games
Information 2020, 11(11), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11110498 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Loss of motivation is one of the most prominent concerns in programming education as it negatively impacts time dedicated to practice, which is crucial for novice programmers. Of the distinct techniques introduced in the literature to engage students, gamification, is likely the most [...] Read more.
Loss of motivation is one of the most prominent concerns in programming education as it negatively impacts time dedicated to practice, which is crucial for novice programmers. Of the distinct techniques introduced in the literature to engage students, gamification, is likely the most widely explored and fruitful. Game elements that intrinsically motivate students, such as graphical feedback and game-thinking, reveal more reliable long-term positive effects, but those involve significant development effort. This paper proposes a game-based assessment environment for programming challenges, built on top of a specialized framework, in which students develop a program to control the player, henceforth called Software Agent (SA). During the coding phase, students can resort to the graphical feedback demonstrating how the game unfolds to improve their programs and complete the proposed tasks. This environment also promotes competition through competitive evaluation and tournaments among SAs, optionally organized at the end by the teacher. Moreover, the validation of the effectiveness of Asura in increasing undergraduate students’ motivation and, consequently, the practice of programming is reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Programming Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
TechTeach—An Innovative Method to Increase the Students Engagement at Classrooms
Information 2020, 11(10), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11100483 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Higher education is changing, and a new normal is coming. Students are even more demanding, and professors need to follow the evolution of technology and try to increase student engagement in the classrooms (presential or virtual). Higher education students recognise that the introduction [...] Read more.
Higher education is changing, and a new normal is coming. Students are even more demanding, and professors need to follow the evolution of technology and try to increase student engagement in the classrooms (presential or virtual). Higher education students recognise that the introduction of new tools and learning methods can improve the teaching quality and increase the motivation to learn. Regarding a question about which type of classes students preferred, ninety-one point ninety-nine per cent (91.99%) of the students wanted interactive classes over traditional. Having this concern in mind over the past years, a professor explored a set of methods, strategies and tools and designed a new and innovative paradigm using gamification. This approach is denominated TechTeach and explores a set of trending concepts and interactive tools to teach computer science subjects. It was designed to run in a B-learning environment. The paradigm uses flipped classrooms, bring your own device (BYOD), gamification, training of soft-skills and quizzes and surveys to increase the student’s engagement and provide the best learning environment to students. Currently, COVID-19 is bringing about new challenges, and TechTeach was improved in order to be more suitable for this new way of teaching (from 0% to 100% online classes). This article details this method and shows how it can be applied in a real environment. A case study was used to prove the functionality and relevance of this approach, and the achieved results are motivating. During the semester, more than a hundred students experienced this new way of teaching and assessment. In the end, more than eighty-one per cent (81%) of the students gave a positive grade to the approach, and more than ninety-five per cent (95.65%) of the students approved the use of the concept of BYOD in the classroom. With TechTeach, the classroom is not a boring place anymore; it is a place to learn and enjoy regardless of being physical or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Programming Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Enhancing Software Comments Readability Using Flesch Reading Ease Score
Information 2020, 11(9), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11090430 - 07 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Comments are used to explain the meaning of code and ease communications between programmers themselves, quality assurance auditors, and code reviewers. A tool has been developed to help programmers write readable comments and measure their readability level. It is used to enhance software [...] Read more.
Comments are used to explain the meaning of code and ease communications between programmers themselves, quality assurance auditors, and code reviewers. A tool has been developed to help programmers write readable comments and measure their readability level. It is used to enhance software readability by providing alternatives to both keywords and comment statements from a local database and an online dictionary. It is also a word-finding query engine for developers. Readability level is measured using three different formulas: the fog index, the Flesch reading ease score, and Flesch–Kincaid grade levels. A questionnaire has been distributed to 42 programmers and 35 students to compare the readability aspect between both new comments written by the tool and the original comments written by previous programmers and developers. Programmers stated that the comments from the proposed tool had fewer complex words and took less time to read and understand. Nevertheless, this did not significantly affect the understandability of the text, as programmers normally have quite a high level of English. However, the results from students show that the tool affects the understandability of text and the time taken to read it, while text complexity results show that the tool makes new comment text that is more readable by changing the three studied variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer Programming Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop