3 years ago

Computational Thinking with the Web Crowd using CodeMapper.

Patrick Vanvorce, Hasan M. Jamil

It has been argued that computational thinking should precede computer programming in the course of a career in computing. This argument is the basis for the slogan "logic first, syntax later" and the development of many cryptic syntax removed programming languages such as Scratch!, Blockly and Visual Logic. The goal is to focus on the structuring of the semantic relationships among the logical building blocks to yield solutions to computational problems. While this approach is helping novice programmers and early learners, the gap between computational thinking and professional programming using high level languages such as C++, Python and Java is quite wide. It is wide enough for about one third students in first college computer science classes to drop out or fail. In this paper, we introduce a new programming platform, called the CodeMapper, in which learners are able to build computational logic in independent modules and aggregate them to create complex modules. Code{\em Mapper} is an abstract development environment in which rapid visual prototyping of small to substantially large systems is possible by combining already developed independent modules in logical steps. The challenge we address involves supporting a visual development environment in which "annotated code snippets" authored by the masses in social computing sites such as SourceForge, StackOverflow or GitHub can also be used as is into prototypes and mapped to real executable programs. CodeMapper thus facilitates soft transition from visual programming to syntax driven programming without having to practice syntax too heavily.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.04162

DOI: arXiv:1811.04162v1

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