Tools for the Learning of Programming Languages and Paradigms: Integration of a Code Validator and Exercises Module Into the Moodle eLearning Platform

Tools for the Learning of Programming Languages and Paradigms: Integration of a Code Validator and Exercises Module Into the Moodle eLearning Platform

María A. Pérez-Juárez (University of Valladolid, Spain), Míriam Antón-Rodríguez (University of Valladolid, Spain), María I. Jiménez-Gómez (University of Valladolid, Spain), Francisco J. Díaz-Pernas (University of Valladolid, Spain), Mario Martínez-Zarzuela (University of Valladolid, Spain) and David González-Ortega (University of Valladolid, Spain)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7455-2.ch005

Abstract

The learning of programming languages and paradigms is complex and requires a lot of training. For this reason, it is very important to detect students' main problems and needs to be able to provide professors with tools that help students to overcome those problems and difficulties. One type of tool that can be used for this purpose is the code validator. This chapter explores the possibilities and impact of using different tools and strategies for learning programming languages and paradigms. To achieve this goal, the authors have conducted a comprehensive search of relevant scientific literature that has been complemented with their experience using a JavaScript code validator and exercises module integrated into the e-learning platform Moodle, with university students during a web programming course.
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Background

A first key issue is the fact itself of having to use technology-based educational tools. The use of technology-based educational tools to support the process of learning programming languages and paradigms is necessary as, according to Jara et al. (2008), theoretical classes do not provide enough knowledge to students. It is true that nowadays technology is present in most schools and students reach university level having taken part in technology-based learning experiences. However, technology anxiety can assault individuals that have to use technology. In the latest years researchers had paid an increasing attention to technology anxiety and numerous studies have been published. Now the focus is not on the use of the technology itself, as younger generations are more used to use technology, but on the anxiety generated by the use of certain complex software applications. Anxiety and a negative attitude negatively affect learning and condition the use of technology (Gurcan-Namlu, 2003). For this reason, it is important that students quickly and easily adapt to use these type of software applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Programming Paradigm: A style of programming.

Programming Language: Coded language used by programmers to write instructions that a computer can understand to do what the programmer wants.

Code Validation: The process of checking that the code is correct. In the case of web applications, it is the process of checking that the code is in compliance with the standards and recommendations set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for the web.

Learning Management System (LMS): A software application that allows to manage learning courses. A well-known and widely used example is Moodle.

JavaScript: A client-side scripting language commonly used in web development.

Moodle: Acronym for modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment, a free popular learning management system used at many institutions like for example the University of Valladolid in Spain.

Web Application: Any software application that runs in a web browser or that is created by using a browser-supported programming language. It is stored on a remote web server and delivered over the internet to a web browser.

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