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On Line Examinations For Object Oriented Programming

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education III

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.925.1 - 14.925.8



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Paper Authors

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Cordelia Brown Purdue University

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Yung-Hsiang Lu Purdue University

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Melissa Yale Purdue University

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Deborah Bennett Purdue University

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

On-Line Examinations for Object-Oriented Programming Abstract

On-line content (such as handouts) have been widely adopted in today's classrooms. On-line examinations have yet to be accepted due to several reasons. For example, computers and networks may be unavailable during an examination; email and instant messaging may compromise academic honesty. This paper reports our experience in using on-line examinations for a course on object oriented programming. It has been observed that traditional paper examinations do not necessarily reflect students' programming skills. We study whether on-line examinations are more appropriate for a programming course. The examinations can be taken on-line or on paper in a classroom. Both formats are open-book and open-note and have the same amount of time. This study considers the following questions: (1) Do students perform better in on-line examinations because they can type, instead of writing, code and have access to compilers? (2) Do students prefer on-line examinations to traditional paper-based examinations? What are the reasons? (3) How can appropriate technology be used to maintain honesty? We measured the appropriateness of on-line examinations through comparing the performance of students taking the exam on-line to those taking the paper version of the exam. We also measured the appropriateness through surveys and focus groups with the students and the instructors.


This study involved students in an elective senior-level “Object-Oriented Programming using C++ and Java” course at Purdue University1. In this class, the students learned the concepts of object-oriented design and programming, including: (1) class and objects, (2) inheritance and polymorphism, (3) function overriding in derived classes, (4) operator overloading in C++, (5) exception handling, (6) container classes, (7) multiple inheritance in C++, (8) graphical user interface using Netbeans and Qt, (9) client-server networking, and (10) multithreading. The textbook is “Programming with Objects: A Comparative Presentation of Object-Oriented Programming with C++ and Java” by Avinash C. Kak published by Wiley2. All lectures were recorded in advance using Camtasia Studio. This tool performed screen capture with narration so that the instructor could show slides, websites, code, and demonstrations of program execution.

The course included five programming assignments, ten laboratory exercises, four exams, and a final exam. There were three lecture sessions (50 minutes per session) scheduled per week. The lectures were recorded on video. Students were encouraged to view the lecture according to a schedule for the course materials. There were two lecture videos per week. The instructors were available in the software laboratory during the lecture hours, three times a week. Students could use the lecture hours for programming assignments, lab exercises, discussion, or asking questions. Additional office hours could be arranged by email.

The lectures, assignments, and lab exercises were recorded in separate videos. Questions were embedded in the lectures as self tests. The lab exercises were closely integrated with the programming assignments. There were practice questions at the end of each video clip. The source code used in each lecture was available separately so students can study the source code.

Brown, C., & Lu, Y., & Yale, M., & Bennett, D. (2009, June), On Line Examinations For Object Oriented Programming Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5380

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