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Title: Use of the Alice visual environment in teaching and learning object-oriented programming
Authors: Dwarika, Jeraline 
De Villiers, M. Ruth 
Keywords: Abstraction;Alice;Motivation;Object-oriented programming;Problem solving;Teaching and Learning;Visualisation;Visual programming environments
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
Source: Dwarika, J. and de Villiers, M.R. 2015. Use of the Alice visual environment in teaching and learning object-oriented programming. 2015 Annual Research Conference on South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists. 14: 1-10.
Learners at tertiary institutions struggle with writing object-oriented programs in complex object-oriented programming (OOP) languages. This paper describes a study that sought to improve learners’ understanding of programming in the domain of OOP. This was done through the use of a visual programming environment (VPE) called Alice, which was designed to help novice programmers learn OOP concepts, whilst creating animated movies and video games. A questionnaire was administered to obtain quantitative and qualitative data regarding learners’ understanding of OOP and their experience with the Alice environment. Findings indicate that learners spend insufficient time on programming exercises and struggle with problem-solving, applying OOP concepts, and abstraction. However, the use of Alice addressed challenges faced by experiment participants within the object-oriented domain and improved their motivation to learn OOP. Further results revealed that the test and exam performance of learners who used Alice, was not statistically better than those of similar learners who were not exposed to the Alice intervention.
ISBN: 978-1-4503-3683-3
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Accounting and Informatics)

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