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Frontiers in Education: Computer Science and Computer Engineering

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FECS is an international conference that serves researchers, scholars, professionals, students, and academicians who are looking to both foster working relationships and gain access to the latest research results. It is being held jointly (same location and dates) with a number of other research conferences; namely, The 2014 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing (WORLDCOMP'14). The Congress is among the top five largest annual gathering of researchers in computer science, computer engineering and applied computing. We anticipate to have attendees from about 85 countries/territories. The 2014 Congress will be composed of research presentations, keynote lectures, invited presentations, tutorials, panel discussions, and poster presentations.

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Session - Teaching Programming + Software Engineering + Performance Enhancement Methods + Integrated Learning and Related Issues

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Mining Student Time Management Patterns in Programming Projects

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

3

Mining Student Time Management Patterns in

Programming Projects1

Dr. Dale E. Parson and Allison Seidel

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Kutztown, PA, 19530, USA

Abstract

Computer science faculty members cite procrastination as one of the key causes of poor student performance in programming projects. In contrast, students cite conflicting demands for time. This study uses a tool-driven process of automated compilation and testing of student programs to collect student-project data. Data include when, for how long, how often, and with what magnitude of effort and accomplishment, students engage in work to complete programming assignments. Participation is voluntary, and data from auxiliary sources, including a questionnaire on conflicting demands on time, complement automatically collected data. Analyses reveal that procrastination and excessively brief work sessions are the main indicators of problems for students with inadequate prior success in earlier computer science courses. Some students with successful track records know when they can afford late starts and short sessions. The time of day that students work is a contributing factor to success. The goal is to build an automated warning system for at-risk students.

 

Introducing Java’s Enumerated Type

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Introducing Java’s Enumerated Type

J. Mohr

University of Alberta, Augustana Campus,

4901 46 Ave., Camrose, Alberta, Canada T4V 2R3 jmohr@ualberta.ca

Abstract— The enumerated types that were introduced in

Java 5.0 provide a way to treat arithmetic operators as enumeration constants with an eval method that is customized for each operator, allowing us to take an object-oriented approach to applying an operator to its arguments, using dynamic dispatch instead of case logic, when implementing a calculator or an arithmetic expression evaluator. When used in conjunction with variable arity methods (or varargs, also introduced in Java 5.0) or by passing an operand stack as the single argument to an operator’s eval method, an enumeration for operators can be extended to handle operators of differing arities using a single abstract eval method in the enumerated type. Such an example gives an opportunity to expose our students to Java’s version of enumerated types by using an Operator enumeration in an assignment on infix expression parsing and evaluation.

 

Helping Students Succeed by Improving CS1 - A Case Study

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

17

Helping Students Succeed by Improving CS1 - A Case

Study

Robert Hatch

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

One College Ave.

Wise, VA 24293

rjh7g@mcs.uvawise.edu

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses an attempt to boost retention and better understanding of programming concepts by making changes to a CS1 course. These changes included nightly homework, more exams, and the addition of a lab hour where students worked in teams to complete activities assigned.

Prior offerings of the course assigned weekly programming assignments, three exams over the course of a semester, and a final exam. The changes made to the course are compared to prior offerings of the course, based on student performance, as well as student feedback on the new aspects of the course. The course continues to be tweaked, based on student feedback, and the instructor’s in-class observations.

Keywords

C++, CS1, lab, student enhancement

1.

INTRODUCTION

Within our department, there has been a shift in of focus to

 

Lessons Learned from an Introductory Java Course for Non-Technical Students

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

23

Lessons Learned from an Introductory Java Course for

Non-Technical Students

M. Scaiano, A. Javadtalab, and L. Peyton

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Abstract— In this paper, we present lessons learned from teaching an introductory Java course to a group of students from diverse fields of study not related to computer science or engineering. In particular, we were interested in evaluating how such students conceptualize programming and what the most effective ordering of topics and course structure would be for them. The lessons learned have been drawn from observations, discussions, and self-reflection, as well as a student survey and the actual achievements of the students in the course. Based on these results, this paper recommends ways to improve the teaching of programming to students from non-technical disciplines.

Keywords: Objects First, Guided Problem Solving, Introductory

 

Transforming Computing Education Through Integrated Learning: A 3D Programming Course For Undergraduate Students

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Transforming Computing Education Through Integrated Learning:

A 3D Programming Course For Undergraduate Students

Bowu Zhang1 , and Mira Yun2 of Mathematics and Computer Systems, Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA, USA

2 Department of Computer Science & Networking, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, USA

1 Department

Abstract— Computing is increasingly used in a wide variety of fields, i.e., to compose music, to analyze literature and to detect the century-old remains in archeology research.

Those interests in computing have led to a growing global trend in the college education where students and faculty are engaged in computer-based study of human-computer interaction, digitization, advanced visualization and other research techniques. This paper explores the integrated learning in computing and other non-computing disciplines by looking at an undergraduate course of 3D programming. Students in this course can experience programming through multiple lenses so that they can have a comprehensive understanding of not only programming concepts, but also the knowledge of applying the computing tools to issues in their own fields.

 

Offering Service Learning Projects in a New Environment

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Offering Service Learning Projects in a New Environment

Donald R. Schwartz

School of Computer Science and Mathematics

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Abstract - The focus of service learning is to provide opportunities for our students to gain real, practical experience while completing “real world” projects, which often become extensions of the classroom itself. One of the major goals of service learning is to enhance student learning while at the same time meeting a need within the local community “beyond the gates” of our College. This paper briefly describes the challenges of starting up Service Learning projects at a new

College and how I dealt with those challenges. The remainder of the paper describes several of the Service Learning projects my students completed during my first semester at the new school.

Keywords: Team Projects and Case Studies, Collaborative

Learning, Service Learning, Projects and Software Engineering

1

 

Using a Web-Based Testing Tool Repository in Programming Course: An Empirical Study

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

43

Using a Web-Based Testing Tool Repository in

Programming Course: An Empirical Study

Anurag Goswami

Gursimran S. Walia

Sameer Abufardeh

North Dakota State University

Computer Science Department

Fargo, USA

North Dakota State University

Computer Science Department

Fargo, USA

North Dakota State University

Computer Science Department

Fargo, USA

anurag.goswami@ndsu.edu

Gursimran.walia@ndsu.edu

Sameer.abufardeh@ndsu.edu

ABSTRACT

This paper highlights an important issue of the knowledge and skill deficiency of software testing among undergraduate students in software engineering discipline. The paper provides an approach for integrating software testing into computer programming course in a non-obtrusive manner. The paper describes the use of the Web Based Repository of Software

Testing Tools (WReSTT) that can assist the instructors in integrating the testing component into their software engineering course and also provides the students with all the necessary resources (tutorials, quizzes, videos etc) for them to gain general testing knowledge, be able to apply the testing techniques, and become proficient in the usage of testing tools. This paper presents the design of the WReSTT, and then presents an empirical study that was conducted in an introductory computer programming course at North Dakota State University. The results from the study showed that the WReSTT can be used to significantly impact the testing knowledge gained by the students and that the increased use of the WReSTT resulted in a better grade for the students on their programming assignments.

 

The Effect of Changing Programming Language to Student Success in Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

THE EFFECT OF CHANGING PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE TO STUDENT

SUCCESS IN UNDERGRADUATE COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM

Ebru Celikel Cankaya

University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA

{ebru.cankaya@utdallas.edu}

Abstract- . We measure and compare the effects of changing the programming language in introductory level courses (Computer Science I and II) in undergraduate Computer Science (CS) curriculum. The study presents the example of University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) case, where we present the results of two approaches: Approach 1 where both CS I and CS II courses are taught in

Java, and Aprroach 2 where CS I is taught in C++, and CS II in Java. The paper presents the data collected from four consecutive semesters and analyzes and compares the effect of using different programming languages on student success, as well as drop rates. The results show that changing the programming language in consecutive sequences of introductory level undergraduate courses in

 

Using Visual Logic with Pseudocode to Teach an Introductory Programming Course

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58

Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Using Visual Logic with Pseudocode to Teach an

Introductory Programming Course

G. Cooper, PhD

Engineering and Information Sciences, Devry University, Downers Grove, IL, USA

Abstract - Introductory programming courses experience large attrition rates due to the challenges of the material and incoming student learning styles. CIS115 is an introductory logic and design course at DeVry University. To improve student satisfaction and reduce attrition in the course, Visual

Logic (www.visuallogic.org) with pseudocode was introduced as an alternative to a standard programming language. Using

Visual Logic, students were able to create executable flowcharts while learning fundamental programming concepts. Pseudocode was taught in conjunction with Visual

Logic so that students learned to translate the flowchart into workable code. Visual Logic was employed in both an online and onsite delivery of the course. Student satisfaction survey data and grades were evaluated. Grades from this course were compared with the course when a high level programming language was taught. This paper explains the outcomes of using Visual Logic with pseudocode in an introductory programming course and explores the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.

 

Visualizing Problem Solving in a Strategy Game for Teaching Programming

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

63

Visualizing Problem Solving in a Strategy Game for

Teaching Programming

Eshwar Bachu, Margaret Bernard

Department of Computing and Information Technology

University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract - Lack of problem solving skill has been identified as the major cause of students’ failure in introductory programming courses. This paper presents a strategy game,

COPS, which helps students improve their problem solving ability by building program flowcharts as a jigsaw puzzle. For each move, pseudocode equivalents are immediately generated by the system. Students therefore have two visual representations of the problem solution and can more easily follow the logic in their solution. COPS provides dynamic feedback using visual and textual aids to guide students throughout the process. The results of two studies done with secondary school students in Trinidad and Tobago using

COPS had positive results.

Keywords: COPS, problem solving, educational game, flowchart, programming

 

Guidelines for Implementing Pair Programming in Introductory CS Courses: Experience Report

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Guidelines for Implementing Pair Programming in

Introductory CS Courses: Experience Report

Alex Radermacher, Gursimran S. Walia, Sameer Abufardeh, Oksana Myronovych

Department of Computer Science

North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND 58108

{alex.radermacher, gursimran.walia, Sameer.abufardeh, Oksana.myronovych}@ndsu.edu

ABSTRACT

Pair programming has been shown to be an effective method of improving the learning outcomes of students in introductory computer science courses. However, much of the existing literature related to pair programming does not focus how to effectively implement pair programming. Researchers studying multiple aspects of pair programming have conducted several empirical studies at our university over the past two years. During this time, researchers received valuable feedback from course instructors about the effects of implementing pair programming in their introductory computer science courses. These instructors also expressed concerns about the use of pair programming in their courses. These include being able to ensure equal participation from pair members and not being able to assess individual learning outcomes effectively. This paper reports these concerns and uses empirical evidence from the pair programming studies to provide guidelines for the effective use of pair programming in beginning programming courses. Based on the experiences at our university along with those experiences of other researchers, we provide recommendations for course design when using pair programming.

 

Programming at Different Levels: A Teaching Module for Undergraduate Computer Architecture Course

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

77

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Session - Tools and Systems + Attendance Tracking, Class Management Systems,Testing and Quizz Systems, Instructional Design and Related Issues

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WUTexter: A Classroom Interaction Tool For Anybody Who Can Text

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

87

WUTexter: A Classroom Interaction Tool For Anybody Who Can

Text

Benjamin Murray, Hunter LaTourette1, and Ron K. Cytron1

1 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Abstract— The classroom experience is enhanced for both teacher and student alike when feedback mechanisms are in place to measure the students’ engagement. Specialized devices such as the iClicker have been developed along these lines, but these devices have limited range and use.

This paper describes the design and implementation of a device that can be used within reach of the Internet or cell tower, allowing students to interact with the instructor in the classroom by sending simple text messages. The application currently accommodates polls, student-supplied questions, and a mechanism to express confusion or boredom. We provide some early anecdotal experiences using this device, articulate plans for the future, and describe how others can use this technology in their own settings.

 

The Value of Video Quizzes in a Computer Science Flipped Classroom: An Empirical Study

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

The Value of Video Quizzes in a Computer

Science Flipped Classroom: An Empirical Study

Lisa L. Lacher

Mark C. Lewis

Department of Computer Science

University of Houston – Clear Lake

Houston, Texas, USA llacher@uhcl.edu

Department of Computer Science

Trinity University

San Antonio, Texas, USA mlewis@trinity.edu

Abstract—Flipping the classroom has become much more common in the last several years, but in the field of Computer

Science it is still a much rarer means of delivery than the traditional classroom setting. One big concern is whether or not students will spend the preparation time necessary outside of the classroom in order to come prepared to class ready to engage in the active learning activities prepared by the instructor and thus maximize their learning potential. The study concerns four class sections in a Principles of Computer Science I course. Each student was required to watch video lectures prior to class. Some students were also required to take pre-class video quizzes which provided those students with immediate feedback on the level of their preparedness. Statistical analyses did not support the hypothesis that the pre-class video quizzes were effective in helping the students earn better grades. Student perceptions of the usefulness of video quizzes and anecdotal evidence from instructor experience are also presented.

 

Tracking Attendance Pilot

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Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

101

Tracking Attendance Pilot

1

D. Deugo1

The School of Computer Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Abstract – Students experiencing difficulty with their studies often don’t identify themselves as students in need of support.

The Science Student Success Centre at Carleton University actively seeks out these science students to give them the help they require. One approach is to look at a student’s grades as an indicator of need. Another indicator, along side of grades, is attendance in class. In this paper we look at the usage results of piloting an attendance tracking system in two classes, both containing less than 50 students. While our online card swiping attendance tracking system is usable for small class sizes, we also discuss the groundwork of our attendance tracking Android mobile application that is suitable for much larger classes.

Keywords: Attendance, Tracking, Android, Pilot

1

Introduction

In [1], we described the initial view of our attendance tracking system. Our motivation for building the system came from The Science Student Success Centre (SSSC) at Carleton

 

Computational Quiz Generation

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108

Int'l Conf. Frontiers in Education: CS and CE | FECS'14 |

Computational Quiz Generation

Daniel Hoffman, Felix Giannelia and Ming Lu

Department of Computer Science

University of Victoria

PO Box 3055 STN CSC

Victoria, BC V8W 3P6

Telephone: 250-472-5768

FAX: 250-472-5708

Email: {dhoffman,niteling,luming}@cs.uvic.ca

Abstract—Every computer science instructor would like to have quizzes which can be delivered online, with the answers captured and marked automatically. Online quizzes are useful in traditional lecture courses, more useful in online courses and extremely useful in massively online open courses (MOOC).

While multiple choice quizzes are already widely used, they are limited. In particular, they are often not effective in evaluating procedural mastery, e.g., tracing a C program. We present

CQG, a novel online quiz generation framework focusing on evaluation of procedural mastery. The framework includes code and detailed processes for the development of new questions and new question types. The question type development process is based on a reference architecture and a verification procedure aimed at minimizing server crashes and marking errors. CQG has been used in first, second and third-year courses. Twentythree quizzes have been developed, focusing on code tracing in

 

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