Publication Date

Fall 12-15-2016

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Cay Horstmann

Second Advisor

Ronald Mak

Third Advisor

Thomas Austin

Abstract

As tablets become more powerful and more economical, students are attracted to them and are moving away from desktops and laptops. Their compact size and easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI) reduce the learning and adoption barriers for new users. This also changes the environment in which undergraduate Computer Science students learn how to program. Popular Integrated Development Environments (IDE) such as Eclipse and NetBeans require disk space for local installations as well as an external compiler. These requirements cannot be met by current tablets and thus drive the need for a web-based IDE. There are also many other challenges of moving a desktop-based IDE to a web-based one.

There are many web-based IDEs currently in development. However, this project focuses on four particular open-sourced web-based IDEs: Ace, CodeMirror, ICEcoder and CloudCoder. Ace, CodeMirror and ICEcoder are web-based code editors and CloudCoder is a complete web-based exercise system. All of them were found to be integrable with CodeCheck except for ICEcoder.

The CloudCoder integrated Codecheck was deployed for three classes during the Fall 2016 term at San Jose State University. Empirical data showed that students had a better grasp of the subject matter when exposed to exercises hosted by the enhanced CodeCheck. This was measured indirectly via the scores from projects, quizzes and exams.

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