ERIC Number: ED388228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Teaching Programming to Novices: A Review of Approaches and Tools.
Brusilovsky, P.; And Others
Three different approaches to teaching introductory programming are reviewed: the incremental approach, the sub-language approach, and the mini-language approach. The paper analyzes all three approaches, providing a brief history of each and describing an example of a programming environment supporting this approach. In the incremental approach, the language being taught is presented as a sequence of language subsets. Each subset introduces new programming language constructs while retaining all the constructs of the preceding subsets. One of the most developed applications of the incremental approach is the PMS (Pascal Made Simple) system. The idea of the mini-language approach is to design a small and simple language to support the first steps in learning programming. A student learns what programming is by studying how to control an actor, which can be a turtle, robot, or any other active entity, acting in a microworld. Karel Genie is an example of a novice programming environment. The idea of the sub-language approach is to design a special starting subset of the full language containing several easily visualizable operations. This subset can support the first steps of learning programming and helps later in introducing more complex programming concepts. An example is Ku-Mir, a text editor with a zero-response-time incremental compiler system distributed widely in Soviet schools and universities. Analysis of the similarities of the environments provides some ideas about how to teach programming to novices and how a novice programming environment should be constructed. These lessons learned are examined in detail. (Contains 23 references.) (MAS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 1994. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 94--World Conference on Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 25-30, 1994); see IR 017 359.