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The State Of Play: A Notional Machine for Learning Programming

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

Michael Berry, Michael Kölling

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 19th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2014)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2014

King's Authors


Comprehension of programming and programs is known to be a difficult task for many beginning students, with many computing courses showing significant drop out and failure rates. In this paper, we present a new notional machine de- sign and implementation to help with understanding of pro- gramming and its dynamics for beginning learners. The no- tional machine offers an abstraction of the physical machine designed for comprehension and learning purposes. We in- troduce the notional machine and a graphical notation for its representation. We also present Novis, an implementation of a dynamic real-time visualiser of this notional machine, integrated into BlueJ.

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