A study of tool support for the evaluation of programming exercises

H. Dobler, R. Ramler. A study of tool support for the evaluation of programming exercises. volume 4739, pages 376-386, 2007.

  • Heinz Dobler
  • Rudolf Ramler
BuchComputer Aided Systems Theory - EUROCAST 2007
TypIn Sammelband
SerieLecuture Notes in Computer Science

To foster the process of learning to program, theory and exercises are necessary. Traditionally, manual review of the source is used to provide feedback for the solutions. The effort is substantial and identified problems are prone to subjective interpretation. We study static analysis and testing tools as an enhancement to reviews and discuss the benefits. We analyze our findings by comparing the results from analysis by cross-checking the outcomes of the different tools with each other, with the tutors’ remarks, and with the course outcome additionally taking into account final examination results. The effort was substantial and it turned out, that the tools are no replacement for manual review. Tool support is an enhancement due to localization of problem areas, accurate check of programming rules, and an efficient way to detect plagiarism.