SIGCSE 2014: Collecting and Analysing Student Data 1, Paper 3, Thursday 3:15 – 5:00pm (#SIGCSE2014)

Ok, this is the last paper, with any luck I can summarise it in four words so you don’t die of work poisoning.┬áThe final talk was “Using CodeBrowser to Seek Difference Between Novice Programmers” by Kenny Heinonen,┬áKasper Hirvikoski, Matti Luukkainen, and Arto Vihavainen, from the University of Helsinki. I regret to say that due to some battery issues, this blog is probably going to be cut short. My apologies to the speakers!

The takeaway from the talk is that CodeBrowser is a fancy tool for identifying challenges that students face as they are learning to program. it sues your snapshot data and, if you have lots of students, course outcomes and another measures should be used to find a small number of students to analyse first. (Oh, and penguins are cool.)

Helsinki has hundreds of locals and thousands of MOOC participants learning to program, recording student progress as they learn to program. The system is built on top of NetBeans and provides scaffolding for students as they learn to program. Ok, so were recording the students’ progress but so what? Well, we have snapshots with time and source and we can use this to identify students at risk of dropping CS1 and a parallel maths course. (Retention and early drop-out? Subjects close to my heart!) It can also be used to seek insight into the problems that students are facing. There are not a great many systems that allow you to analyse and visualise code snapshots, apparently.

Looks interesting, I’ll have to go and check it out!

Sorry, battery is going, committing before this all goes away!