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Iconic Vs. Text Based Programming In The Introductory Programming Sequence

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Conference

1996 Annual Conference

Location

Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

1.241.1 - 1.241.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/6093

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

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H. Paul Haiduk

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Donald J. Bagert

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Ben A. Calloni

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1626

Iconic vs. Text-Based Programming in the Introductory Programming Sequence†

Donald J. Bagert, Ben A. Calloni, H. Paul Haiduk Texas Tech University

Abstract

Research has been undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of using iconic (as opposed to visual) programming environments in teaching the first two computer programming courses. The authors have developed a Windows-based iconic programming language named BACCII, which allows the user to program with icons representing all the major programming constructs and data structures within a syntax-directed environment. The user can then generate syntactically correct code for any one of several text-based languages such as C++ and Pascal. More recently, work on adding object-oriented extensions to BACCII for use in the data structures/object-oriented programming (CS2) course was undertaken, resulting in BACCII++.

Recent research involving BACCII had included the development of a complete set of course materials for the use of BACCII++ in teaching both CS1 and CS2 using C++. Laboratory courseware, tutorials and other materials were developed. An experiment, addressing the question "Can icon-based programming languages be used to teach first-year programming concepts to undergraduate students more effectively than text-based languages?", is being run using the new teaching materials at Texas Tech during the 1995-96 school year. Future research hopes to extend this program to series of pilot programs at other institutions.

1. Introduction

Research has been undertaken to answer the following question: Can icon-based programming languages be used to teach first year programming concepts to undergraduate students more effectively than text-based languages? 5 6 Many noted researchers (e.g. Glinert and Scanlan ) have empirically established the cognitive advantage which graphical methodologies provide over textual ones. Research undertaken by the co-authors resulted in development a Windows-based iconic programming language named BACCII‡. This environment allows the user to program with icons representing all the major programming constructs, such as loops, conditional 2,3 branching, within a syntax-directed environment . The user can then generate syntactically correct code for any one of five text-based languages.

† This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation Division of Undergraduate Education under Grant DUE- 9455614 to Texas Tech University.

‡ BACCII (pronounced ba-chee) is © and ™ 1992-1996 Ben A. Calloni. BACCII stands for Ben A. Calloni Code for Information Interchange.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Haiduk, H. P., & Bagert, D. J., & Calloni, B. A. (1996, June), Iconic Vs. Text Based Programming In The Introductory Programming Sequence Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6093

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