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Teaching programming with objects

Roy, G.G. and Armarego, J. (2004) Teaching programming with objects. In: ASCILITE 2004 Conference, 5-8 December 2004, Perth, W.A. pp. 811-820.

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This paper describes a new tool (P-Coder) that can assist in the teaching of Object-Oriented (O-O) programming concepts to novices. It builds on a pseudocode model that focuses on the most basic computational principles of sequence, iteration, selection and recursion. These are developed within an O-O framework that provides several views of the model: a Design View where the user interacts with the model to design the program (algorithms and structure); a Class View where the class structure can be visualised; a Code View where the generated code can be inspected, compiled and executed; and an Object View where objects can be instantiated from the defined classes.

P-Coder provides a complete environment to demonstrate and implement many O-O concepts for novice users. There is a focus on developing an understanding of basic principles through a graphic/text based pseudocode notation representing the key program elements in a tree structured diagram.

Users are able to design and build complete programs, compile and execute them in the normal way. Interactive object instantiation is also supported, allowing users to create, inspect and manipulate objects in their runtime state. This provides a useful perspective in teaching where the distinctions between Classes and Objects are often left confused.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering Science
Publisher: ASCILITE
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2004 Geoffrey G. Roy & Jocelyn Armarego
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