Troubleshooters for Tasks of Introductory Programming MOOCs
Learning programming has become more and more popular and organizing introductory massive open online courses (MOOCs) on programming can be one way to bring this education to the masses. While programming MOOCs usually use automated assessment to give feedback on the submitted code, the lack of understanding of certain aspects of the tasks and feedback given by the automated assessment system can be one persistent problem for many participants. This paper introduces troubleshooters, which are help systems, structured like decision trees, for giving hints and examples of certain aspects of the course tasks. The goal of this paper is to give an overview of usability (benefits and dangers) of, and the participants’ feedback on, using troubleshooters. Troubleshooters have been used from the year 2016 in two different programming MOOCs for adults in Estonia. These MOOCs are characterized by high completion rates (50–70%), which is unusual for MOOCs. Data is gathered from the learning analytics integrated into the troubleshooters’ environment, letters from the participants, questionnaires, and tasks conducted through the courses. As it was not compulsory to use troubleshooters, the results indicate that only 19.8% of the users did not use troubleshooters at all and 10% of the participants did not find troubleshooters helpful at all. The main difference that appeared is that the number of questions asked from the organizers about the programming tasks during the courses via helpdesk declined about 29%.
Copyright (c) 2018 Marina Lepp, Tauno Palts, Piret Luik, Kaspar Papli, Reelika Suviste, Merilin Säde, Kaspar Hollo, Vello Vaherpuu, Eno Tõnisson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The copyright of all content published in IRRODL is retained by the authors.
This copyright agreement and use license ensures, among other things, that an article will be as widely distributed as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific and/or scholarly archive.
You are free to
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms below:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.