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Retina: Helping Students and Instructors Based on Observed Programming Activities

Murphy, Christian; Kaiser, Gail E.; Loveland, Kristin; Hasan, Sahar

t is difficult for instructors of CS1 and CS2 courses to get accurate answers to such critical questions as 'how long are students spending on programming assignments?', or 'what sorts of errors are they making?' At the same time, students often have no idea of where they stand with respect to the rest of the class in terms of time spent on an assignment or the number or types of errors that they encounter. In this paper, we present a tool called Retina, which collects information about students' programming activities, and then provides useful and informative reports to both students and instructors based on the aggregation of that data. Retina can also make real-time recommendations to students, in order to help them quickly address some of the errors they make. In addition to describing Retina and its features, we also present some of our initial findings during two trials of the tool in a real classroom setting.

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Academic Units
Computer Science
Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-039-08
Published Here
April 26, 2011
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