Assisting Students in Finding Bugs and their Locations in Programming Solutions

Assisting Students in Finding Bugs and their Locations in Programming Solutions

Long H. Pham (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam), Giang V. Trinh (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam), Mai H. Dinh (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam), Nam P. Mai (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam), Tho T. Quan (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) and Hung Q. Ngo (State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijqaete.2014040102
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Abstract

Teaching experience shows that programming is time consuming and can be acquired with substantial practice. Besides, students need to know whether their solutions are correct or incorrect and the root causes of their errors. Thus, teaching programming in a large class requires considerably many teaching assistants, which is costly. More importantly, a communication means that can support students virtually any time is also desirable. In order to handle these problems, a static method was applied to build an online intelligent tutoring system that can assist students checking their solutions. In addition, when detecting the errors, this system can suggest students to investigate the suspected code. This feature is really significant for students to self-practice and improve their learning.
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The Proposed Framework

Figure 1 depicts the proposed framework on three components: Teacher, Learner and Coordinator. The Teacher provides the programming problems presented in the Problem Description Module. When the Learners visit the system, they can try to solve these problems. The Learner’s submitted program is verified by the Correctness Proving module. The Model Checking component will identify and show the execution paths which lead to error, if the program is false.

Figure 1.

The proposed framework

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