From WebEx to NavEx


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0164 SIP 2007 PIEEE 1 From WebEx to NavEx Interactive Access to Annotated Program Examples Peter Brusilovsky and Michael Yudelson Abstract This paper reviews our work on providing students interactive access to annotated program examples We review our experience with WebEx the system that allows students to explore examples line by line After that we present NavEx an adaptive environment for accessing interactive programming examples NavEx enhances WebEx with a specific kind of adaptive navigation support known as adaptive annotation The classroom study of NavEx discovered that adaptive navigation support can visibly increase student motivation to work with non mandatory educational content NavEx boosted the overall amount of work done and the average length of a session In addition various features of NavEx were highly regarded by the students Index Terms Adaptive systems Computer science education Educational technology Hypertext systems Programming User modeling P I INTRODUCTION ROBLEM solving examples play an important role in teaching many engineering disciplines In the area of teaching programming program examples in the form of small meaningful programs help students to understand syntax semantics and the pragmatics of programming languages as well as to provide useful problem solving cases Experienced teachers of programming related courses prepare several program examples for every lecture and spend a reasonable fraction of lecture time analyzing these examples To let the students further explore these examples and use them as models for solving assigned problems teachers often include the code from these examples in their handouts and may even make it accessible online Unfortunately these study tools are not a substitute for an interactive example presented during the lecture While the example code is still there the explanations are not For the students who failed to understand the example in class or who missed the class the power of the example is lost

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