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Authors: Janke, Erica
Brune, Philipp
Wagner, Stefan
Title: Does outside-in teaching improve the learning of object-oriented programming?
Issue Date: 2015 Konferenzbeitrag Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '15)
URI: The present work as part of the EVELIN project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under grant number 01PL12022E
Abstract: Object-oriented programming (OOP) is widely used in the software industry and university introductory courses today. Following the structure of most textbooks, such courses frequently are organised starting with the concepts of imperative and structured programming and only later introducing OOP. An alternative approach is to begin directly with OOP following the Outside-In teaching method as proposed by Meyer. Empirical results for the effects of Outside-In teaching on students and lecturers are sparse, however. We describe the conceptual design and empirical evaluation of two OOP introductory courses from different universities based on Outside-In teaching. The evaluation results are compared to those from a third course serving as the control group, which was taught OOP the "traditional" way. We evaluate the initial motivation and knowledge of the participants and the learning outcomes. In addition, we analyse results of the end- term exams and qualitatively analyse the results of interviews with the lecturers and tutors. Regarding the learning outcomes, the results show no signif- icant differences between the Outside-In and the “traditional” teaching method. In general, students found it harder to solve and implement algorithmic problems than to understand object oriented (OO) concepts. Students taught OOP by the Outside-In method, however, were less afraid that they would not pass the exam at the end of term and understood the OO paradigm more quickly. Therefore, the Outside-In method is no silver bullet for teaching OOP regarding the learning outcomes but has positive effects on motivation and interest.
Appears in Collections:05 Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

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