# Problets: Online Programming Tutors for Computer Science I Amruth N. Kumar Ramapo College of New Jersey

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Problets: Online Programming Tutors for Computer Science I Amruth N. Kumar Ramapo College of New Jersey amruth@ramapo.edu

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu What Problets do: Present problems: –Debugging programs –Predicting the output of programs –Evaluating expressions Grade student’s answer Provide instant feedback Record student performance Provide summary to the instructor

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Problems presented to the student No two problems are alike Problems presented ad-infinitum Adapted to the learning needs of the student Hard to guess the correct answer

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Feedback provided to the student Whether the student’s answer is correct or wrong Whether the student’s answer is correct or wrong Step-by-step explanation of the execution of the problem code Step-by-step explanation of the execution of the problem code Animated Animated Visualized Visualized Question promoting reflection Question promoting reflection

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Summary provided to the instructor Progress of Jane Doe: Pretest: Solved 16 problems, 50% correct Practice: Solved 24 problems, 46% correct Post-test: Solved 20 problems, 72% correct Concepts not understood by at least 60% of the students: When loop variable is updated before the action in a loop Nested independent loops

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Using the problets For problem-solving exercises in/after class – Provides instant feedback – Promotes active, self-paced learning For assignments and tests – Automatically grades and logs scores – Deters plagiarism/cheating

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu The topics (C++/Java/C/C#) Expression evaluation (Arithmetic, Relational) Expression evaluation (Arithmetic, Relational) Variables, Scope Variables, Scope Selection statements (if, if-else) Selection statements (if, if-else) Loops (while, do-while, for) Loops (while, do-while, for) Functions Functions Classes in C++ Classes in C++ Pointers in C++ Pointers in C++ Other topics to come (all CS I topics) Other topics to come (all CS I topics)

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu The logistics Instructor requests a problet for a specific language + topic: –Free for educational use Instructor assigns the problet in a course: –Announces the URL Students use the problet online: –Takes 35-45 minutes –Supervision not necessary Instructor requests summary

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Stages in using a typical problet Registration Pre-Survey Trial Run Pre-Test Practice Feedback Post-Test Post-Survey

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu The pedagogy of problets  Active learning Learning by solving problems  Deep learning  Self-paced learning Immediate feedback/reinforcement Asynchronous learning  Learning from mistakes Supplements classroom instruction Complements programming projects

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Evaluation - Some results Problets help students learn programming concepts Step-by-step explanation promotes learning Women learn just as well as men Class self-confidence improves Students very positive about learning from problets

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Literature about the problets Case studies: Expressions [CCSCNE 01], Selection [FIE 00], for Loops [FIE 03], C++ Pointers [FIE 02, ITiCSE 01], C++ Classes [ED-MEDIA 03], Scope Concepts [SIGCSE 04, ITiCSE 00], Parameter Passing [ITiCSE 02] Technology: [AI 04, ICALT 03, AI-ED 03, ITS 02] Evaluation: [SIGCSE 05, FIE 04, ICTEM 02]

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Contact Information If interested, please contact: amruth@ramapo.edu Acknowledgements: NSF CCLI DUE 0088864 NSF EI CNS 0426061

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Problet on expression evaluation

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Problet on debugging

Amruth Kumar, amruth@ramapo.edu Problet on predicting the output

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