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\English

Description

\English is a programming language, a method of allowing programmers to write instructions such that a computer may understand and execute said instructions in the form of a program. Though many programming languages exist, this particular language is designed for

\English is a programming language, a method of allowing programmers to write instructions such that a computer may understand and execute said instructions in the form of a program. Though many programming languages exist, this particular language is designed for ease of development and heavy optimizability in ways that no other programming language is. Building on the principles of Assembly level efficiency, referential integrity, and high order functionality, this language is able to produce extremely efficient code; meanwhile, programmatically defined English-based reusable syntax and a strong, static type system make \English easier to read and write than many existing programming languages. Its generalization of all language structures and components to operators leaves the language syntax open to project-specific syntactical structuring, making it more easily applicable in more cases. The thesis project requirements came in three parts: a compiler to compile \English code into NASM Assembly to produce a final program product; a standard library to define many of the basic operations of the language, including the creation of lists; and C translation library that would utilize \English properties to compile C code using the \English compiler. Though designed and partially coded, the compiler remains incomplete. The standard library, C translation library, and design of the language were completed. Additional tools regarding the language design and implementation were also created, including a Gedit syntax highlighting configuration file; usage documentation describing in a tutorial style the basic usage of the language; and more. Though the thesis project itself may be complete, the \English project will continue in order to produce a new language capable of the abilities possible with the design of this language.

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2016-05

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Bridging cyber and physical programming classes: an application of semantic visual analytics for programming exams

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With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) educators have the opportunity to collect data from students and use it to derive insightful information about the students. Specifically, for programming based courses the ability to identify the specific areas

With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) educators have the opportunity to collect data from students and use it to derive insightful information about the students. Specifically, for programming based courses the ability to identify the specific areas or topics that need more attention from the students can be of immense help. But the majority of traditional, non-virtual classes lack the ability to uncover such information that can serve as a feedback to the effectiveness of teaching. In majority of the schools paper exams and assignments provide the only form of assessment to measure the success of the students in achieving the course objectives. The overall grade obtained in paper exams and assignments need not present a complete picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. In part, this can be addressed by incorporating research-based technology into the classrooms to obtain real-time updates on students' progress. But introducing technology to provide real-time, class-wide engagement involves a considerable investment both academically and financially. This prevents the adoption of such technology thereby preventing the ideal, technology-enabled classrooms. With increasing class sizes, it is becoming impossible for teachers to keep a persistent track of their students progress and to provide personalized feedback. What if we can we provide technology support without adding more burden to the existing pedagogical approach? How can we enable semantic enrichment of exams that can translate to students' understanding of the topics taught in the class? Can we provide feedback to students that goes beyond only numbers and reveal areas that need their focus. In this research I focus on bringing the capability of conducting insightful analysis to paper exams with a less intrusive learning analytics approach that taps into the generic classrooms with minimum technology introduction. Specifically, the work focuses on automatic indexing of programming exam questions with ontological semantics. The thesis also focuses on designing and evaluating a novel semantic visual analytics suite for in-depth course monitoring. By visualizing the semantic information to illustrate the areas that need a student’s focus and enable teachers to visualize class level progress, the system provides a richer feedback to both sides for improvement.

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2016

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The effect of embedded questions in programming education videos

Description

One of the primary objective in a computer science related course is for students to be able to write programs implementing the concepts covered in that course. In educational psychology, however, learning gains are more commonly measured using recall or

One of the primary objective in a computer science related course is for students to be able to write programs implementing the concepts covered in that course. In educational psychology, however, learning gains are more commonly measured using recall or problem solving questions. While these types of questions are relevant to computer science exams, they do not necessarily reflect a student’s ability to apply concepts by writing an original program to solve a novel problem.

This thesis investigates the effectiveness of including questions within instructional multimedia content to improve student performance on a related programming assignment. Similar techniques have proven effective in educational psychology research using other measures. The objective of this thesis is to apply educational techniques used in other domains to an experiment with real world measures of students in a computer science course. The findings of this paper demonstrate that the techniques used were promising in improving student performance on a programming assignment.

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2016

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Analyzing digital literacy demands, practices, and discourses within a library computer programming club for children

Description

Among researchers, educators, and other stakeholders in literacy education, there has been a growing emphasis on developing literacy pedagogies that are more responsive to the ways young people experience literacy in their everyday lives, which often make use of digital

Among researchers, educators, and other stakeholders in literacy education, there has been a growing emphasis on developing literacy pedagogies that are more responsive to the ways young people experience literacy in their everyday lives, which often make use of digital media and other technologies for exchanging meaning. This dissertation project sought to explore the nature of these digital-age literacies in the context of children learning through and about new technologies. Conducting a year-long, multimethod observational study of an out-of-school library-based program designed to engage students in self-directed learning around the domain of computer programming, this project was framed around an analysis of digital-age literacies in design, discourse, and practice. To address each of these areas, the project developed a methodology grounded in interpretive, naturalistic, and participant-observation methodologies in collaboration with a local library Code Club in a metropolitan area of the Southwestern U.S between September 2016 and December 2017. Participants in the project included a total of 47 students aged 8-14, 3 librarians, and 3 parents. Data sources for the project included (1) artifactual data, such as the designed interfaces of the online platforms students regularly engaged with, (2) observational data such as protocol-based field notes taken during and after each Code Club meeting, and (3) interview data, collected during qualitative interviews with students, parents, and library facilitators outside the program. These data sources were analyzed through a multi-method interpretive framework, including the multimodal analysis of digital artifacts, qualitative coding, and discourse analysis. The findings of the project illustrate the multidimensional nature of digital-age literacy experiences as they are rendered “on the screen” at the content level, “behind the screen” at the procedural level, and “beyond the screen” at the contextual level. The project contributes to the literature on literacy education by taking an multi-method, interdisciplinary approach to expand analytical perspectives on digital media and literacy in a digital age, while also providing an empirical account of this approach in a community-embedded context of implementation.

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2018