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An Integrated Approach to Instruction in Debugging Computer Programs

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PDF IntegratedApproachToInstruction.pdf (249KB) Chmiel & Loui 2006 Faculty Retreat Poster PDF
Title: An Integrated Approach to Instruction in Debugging Computer Programs
Author(s): Chmiel, R.
Contributor(s): Loui, Michael C.
Subject(s): debugging computer programming instruction
Abstract: We conducted a study to demonstrate that formal training in debugging helps students develop skills in diagnosing and removing defects from computer programs. To accomplish that goal in an assembly language course, we designed multiple activities to enhance students' debugging skills. The activities included debugging exercises, debugging logs, development logs, reflective memos, and collaborative assignments. The debugging exercises were optional, but the other activities were mandatory. Students who also completed the debugging exercises spent 37% of their time on debugging programming assignments, whereas students who did not complete the debugging exercises spent 47% of their time debugging. We also collected qualitative data for each activity through summative evaluation surveys. Students agreed that formal debugging abilities and habits based on students' comments in their debugging logs, development logs, reflective memos, and evaluation surveys. Students and instructors could use the model to diagnose students' current debugging skills and take actions to enhance their skills. This poster was also presented at Proceedings of the Thirty-Third ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Westminster, CO, 2003 and Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Norfolk, VA, 2004.
Issue Date: 2003
Type: Text
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8688
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-06-02
 

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