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Bridging the Gap Between Observing and Doing: Facilitating the Learning of Object-Oriented Programming
Ray H. Kemp, Elisabeth A. Todd, Rosemary F. Krsinich and Chris M. Elgar

The Leopard Tutor (LT) is a computer-based system for helping students learn Object-Oriented (OO) programming. Students are presented with working programs and required to demonstrate their understanding of the code by creating corresponding class diagrams. Guidance and support is given by the system, but there is still a significant element of challenge involved. LT has been used in a course for introducing Java to University students majoring in Computer Science and Software Engineering. A questionnaire was then administered to test their reaction to the software. This was followed by a controlled experiment with a smaller group to investigate whether the tutor had a positive impact on learning. In this paper, we describe the principles that have guided the development of the tutor, its operational features, the experiments we have carried out, and the analysis of results.

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