Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Problems first

Hill, G. and Turner, S. J. (2011) Problems first. In: Hussey, M., Wu, B. and Xiaofei, X. (eds.) Hussey, Matthew, Wu, Bing and Xiaofei, Xu Software Industry-Oriented Education Practices and Curriculum Development: Experiences and Lessons. Hershey, Pa.: IGI Global. pp. 110-126.

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Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: This chapter considers the need to focus initial programming education on problem-solving, in advance of programming syntax and software design methodology. The main vehicle for this approach is simple Lego based robots programmed in Java, followed by the programming of a graphical representation/simulation to develop programming skills. Problem solving is not trivial (Beaumont & Fox, 2003) and is an important skill, central to computing and engineering. An approach will be considered, illustrated with a series of problem-solving tasks that increase in complexity at each stage and give the students practice in attempting problem-solving approaches, as well as assisting them to learn from their mistakes. Some of the problems include ambiguities or are purposely ill-defined, to enable the student to resolve these as part of the process. The benefits to students will be discussed including students’ statements that this approach, using robots, provides a method to visually and physically see the outcome of a problem. In addition, students report that the method improves their satisfaction with the course. The importance of linking the problem-solving robot activity and the programming assignment, whilst maintaining the visual nature of the problem, will be discussed, together with the comparison of this work with similar work reported by other authors relating to teaching programming using robots (Williams, 2003)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA76.6 Programming. Study and teaching. Research
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ210.2 Mechanical devices and figures. Automata. Ingenious mechanisms. Robots (General)
Creators: Hill, Gary and Turner, Scott J
Editors: Hussey, Matthew, Wu, Bing and Xiaofei, Xu
Publisher: IGI Global
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > School of Science and Technology (2010-2016)
Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Computing
Date: June 2011
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 110-126
Title of Book: Software Industry-Oriented Education Practices and Curriculum Development: Experiences and Lessons
Series Name: Premier reference source
Place of Publication: Hershey, Pa.
Number of Pages: 234
Language: English
ISBN: 9781609607975
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60960-797-5.ch007
Status: Published / Disseminated
References: Adams, J., Turner, S., Kaczmarczyk, S., Picton, P. & Demian, P. (2008). Problem Solving and Creativity for Undergraduate Engineers: findings of an action research project involving robot,s Paper presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education ICEE August 2008, Budapest, Hungary. Beaumont, C., & Fox, C. (2003). Learning Programming: Enhancing Quality Through Problem-Based Learning (pp. 90-95) 4th Annual Conference of the ICS HE Academy Galway: ICS. Bell, D., & Parr, M. (2006). Java for Students, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, 0131735799. Bloom, B., S. (ed.) (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals – Handbook I: Cognitive Domain New York: McKay. Culwin, F., Adeboye, K., & Campbell, P. (2006). Pooples-Pre-Object Orientated Programming Learning Environments (pp. 59-63) 7th Annual Conference of the ICS HE Academy Trinity College, Dublin: ICS. Fagin, B. (2003). Ada/Mindstorms 3.0 IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine June pp 19-24 Lawhead, P., B., Bland, C., G., Barnes, D., J., Duncan, M., E., Goldweber, M., Hollingsworth R., G., & Schep, M. (2003). A Road Map for Teaching Introductory Programming Using LEGO Mindstorms Robots SIGCSE Bulletin, 35(2): (pp.191-201). McGettrick, A., Boyle, R., Ibett, R., Lloyd, J., Lovegrove, G., & Mander, K. (2004). Grand Challenges in Computing: Education, The British Computing Society, ISBN 1–902505–63–8. Microsoft (2006). Microsoft Robotics Studio. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/robotics/aa731520.aspx Oracle (2010). javadoc – The Java API Documentation Generator. Retrieved October 12, 2010, from http://download.oracle.com/javase/1.4.2/docs/tooldocs/windows/javadoc.html Oracle (1999). Code Convention for the Java Programming Language. Retrieved October 12, 2010, from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/codeconvtoc-136057.html Price, B., A., Richards, M., Petre, M., Hirst, A., & Johnson, J. (2003). Developing robotics e-teaching for teamwork, Int. J. Cont. Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning, Vol. 13 Nos1/2. Straeter, W., & Kuensting, B. (2007). LMS-Lego Mindstorms Simulator. Retrieved October 31, 2007, from http://ddi.uni-paderborn.de/en/software/lego-mindstorms-simulator.html Sourceforge (2006). LeJOS: Java for Mindstorms. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from http://lejos.sourceforge.net/p_technologies/rcx/downloads.php Turner, S., & Hill, G. (2008). Robots within the Teaching of Problem-Solving ITALICS 7(1) June (pp.108-119). University of Minnesota (2003). Five steps in problem- solving. Retrieved October 10, 2003, from http://cda.mrs.umn.edu/~fauxr/computing/problemsolve.html Williams, A., B. (2003). The Qualitative Impact of Using LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot to Teach Computer Engineering, IEEE Trans. Educ. Vol. 46, 206. Wing, J. (2006). Computational Thinking, Communications of the ACM 49(3) 33
URI: http://nectar.northampton.ac.uk/id/eprint/3875

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