«On the impact of programming exercise descriptions. Effects of programming exercise descriptions to scores and working times»
This paper examines the effects of exercise descriptions and supplied hints to achieved scores and required working times of programming exercises within a MOOC. We conducted an A/B test on more than 2.400 students using an exercise with four descriptions differing in clarity, description detail, order of presented instructions and presence or absence of exemplary program output. Results show that the expressiveness and structure of the instructions influence the required work times as well as the number of issued program runs. We suggest further experimentation to outline effects on programming errors and to determine guidelines for optimal exercise descriptions.
Ralf Teusner is a research assistant at the Hasso Plattner Institute, part of the University of Potsdam. His research area is centered around eLearning and MOOCs. Especially the adoption of programming languages and concepts as well as the potential and influence of social interaction are in his focus.