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Evaluation of a Frame-based Programming Editor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Thomas W. Price, Neil Christopher Charles Brown, Dragan Lipovac, Tiffany Barnes, Michael Kölling

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICER 2016. 2016 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherACM
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4449-4
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2016

King's Authors

Abstract

Frame-based editing is a novel way to edit programs, which claims to combine the benefits of textual and block-based programming. It combines structured ‘frames’ of preformatted code, designed to reduce the burden of syntax, with ‘slots’ that allow for efficient textual entry of expressions.
We present an empirical evaluation of Stride, a frame-based language used in the Greenfoot IDE. We compare two groups of middle school students who worked on a short programming activity in Greenfoot, one using the original Java editor, and one using the Stride editor. We found that the two groups reported similarly low levels of frustration and high levels of satisfaction, but students using Stride progressed through the activity more quickly and completed more objectives. The Stride group also spent significantly less time making purely syntactic edits to their code and significantly less time with non-compilable code.

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