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      A Prototype Structured but Low–viscosity Editor for Novice Programmers

      The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI)

      Human Computer Interaction

      12 - 14 September 2012

      Programming, Greenfoot, Java, Scratch, Alice, CogTool, viscosity, cognitive dimensions

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          Abstract

          This paper presents work in progress on a prototype programming editor that combines the flexibility of keyboard-driven text entry with a structured visual representation, and drag-and-drop blocks. Many beginners learn with Java, a traditional text-based language. While text entry is ideal for experts desiring speed and efficiency, there is evidence in the literature that a significant portion of novice errors are related to syntax. Some beginners learn with Scratch, Alice and Star Logo, all of which have drag-and-drop, “block” –based interfaces. Validation makes them less prone to syntax errors, but they are very “viscous” – there is resistance to changing or rearranging statements once they have been entered. The new system combines keyboard input with statements that can still be manipulated with the mouse as whole blocks. Standard text idioms can be used – highlighting code by dragging the mouse, copying & pasting (as text), etc. With CogTool cognitive/keystroke models, we show that the new system effectively overcomes the viscosity found in block-based languages, but it retains much of the error-proofing. Work is ongoing, but there are implications for the design of a new novice programming system.

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          The keystroke-level model for user performance time with interactive systems

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            Predictive human performance modeling made easy

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              Teaching objects-first in introductory computer science

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                September 2012
                September 2012
                : 363-368
                Affiliations
                School of Computing, University of Kent

                Canterbury, UK. CT2 7NF
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/HCI2012.52
                © Fraser McKay. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction, Birmingham, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                The 26th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction
                HCI
                26
                Birmingham, UK
                12 - 14 September 2012
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Human Computer Interaction
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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