Usability evaluation of SOLA: an object-oriented programming environment for children

McArdle, E., Holdsworth, J., and Lui, S.M. (2009) Usability evaluation of SOLA: an object-oriented programming environment for children. In: Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009, pp. 2922-2929. From: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009, 26 - 30 October 2009, Vancouver, Canada.

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Abstract

This paper presents a study and evaluation of a programming language designed for teaching Object-oriented programming to children. Many programming languages for children exist, and many reduce or remove the entering of code in an attempt to lower the learning burden on novice users. However this may dampen the learning of underly¬ing programming concepts and transferability of skills. In this study a programming environment called the Students Object-oriented Language (SOLA) is developed to address these potential issues. SOLA was designed with a focus on ease-of-use, simple commands, and English-like syntax. We conducted a study to evaluate SOLA compared to C++. Com¬parisons were made across code writing, reading and debugging tasks. Time to complete and correctness for each task were measured. Results indicate a faster pickup time when writing SOLA code, as well as a better understanding when reading code, and finding errors. Further development and testing of SOLA will incorporate more complex programming capabilities, while maintaining a simple and easy to use syntax.

Item ID: 11464
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-880094-76-1
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2010 04:19
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0806 Information Systems > 080608 Information Systems Development Methodologies @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 100%
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