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Supporting novices in learning programming on-the-fly using examples

Michelle Ichinco, Washington University

  • Computer Science Seminar
  • Colloquium
When Mon, Jan 29, 2018
from 03:10 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Ritter Hall 115
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Abstract: Many people, including children, begin learning programming independently in open-ended contexts. This prevents them from receiving feedback that would introduce them to new skills. In this talk, I will present a system called the Example Guru, which suggests new skills to novice programmers using example code. Both in lab studies and the wild, novices chose to access suggestions significantly more often than common forms of support, like documentation or tutorials. Accessing suggestions often led to more use of new code. I will also discuss my approach for semi-automatically generating suggestions and examples. This approach generated both a set of suggestions similar to an expert hand-authored set, as well as an additional set of original suggestions. This type of support for independent novice programmers has the potential to significantly help the large population of non-expert programmers learning on-the-fly as they work toward their own goals. 

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