Design and Evaluation of a Programming Tutor Based on an Instant Messaging Interface

Claudio Alvarez*, Luis A. Rojas, Juan de Dios Valenzuela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Computer programming skills are essential for a variety of disciplines in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). To support learning of programming in personalized ways, Programming Tutors (PTs) have been utilized in higher education contexts for decades. However, implementation of PTs with mobile devices has remained unexplored from both design and adoption standpoints. In this research, we designed, implemented, and trialled a PT based on Telegram Messenger. The tutor was introduced to a cohort of engineering freshmen (N= 227 ) in a computer programming course; however, it was introduced as an optional learning tool with no extrinsic incentives for fostering its adoption. Under these conditions, students’ activity with the tool was monitored for 11 days. A total of 99 students (44.7 % ) chose to use the tutor and did so at least once. In average, students who used the tutor solved 9.2 tasks out of a maximum of 18 (SD= 5.49 ). The use of notifications was found highly influential to motivate tutor use: within 3 days of a student receiving a reminder notification, 80.6% of responses to tasks were registered. The tutor scored a mean of 73.8 (SD= 13.81 ) in the Systems Usability Scale. Students suggestions for improvement emphasized the need for more elaborate feedback after submitting their responses to problems and leveling of task difficulty. Regarding the tutor’s best features, mobility and ease of use of the interface were found the most prominent.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Computing and Social Media
Subtitle of host publicationApplications in Education and Commerce - 14th International Conference, SCSM 2022, Held as Part of the 24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022, Proceedings
EditorsGabriele Meiselwitz
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages3-20
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783031050633
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event14th International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, SCSM 2022 Held as Part of the 24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 26 Jun 20221 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13316 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference14th International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, SCSM 2022 Held as Part of the 24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022
CityVirtual, Online
Period26/06/221/07/22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Alyssa F. Wise for her cooperation with this research. This research was funded by ANID/FONDECYT Initiation into Research grant 11160211.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Instant messaging
  • Programming tutor
  • User study

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