CCSE Reading Group: A Usability Model for Web-based Interactive Programming e-Tutorial Systems

Published: 25 January 2021

Reading and discussion of "A Usability Model for Web-based Interactive Programming e-Tutorial Systems", a work-in-progress paper presented by Ohud.

DATE: 8th February 2021
TIME: 13:00-14:00
LOCATION: Quintin’s Zoom Room
Web-based Interactive Programming e-Tutorials provide a basis for free and open interactive programming education at scale. Such browser-based systems featuring automated feedback are increasingly popular as remote learning has become normalized. Programming students with different social and cultural backgrounds from all over the world can access these platforms. In addition, Web-based Interactive Programming e-Tutorials facilitate practical coding experiences that form an integral part of the learning process for novice programmers.

However, such systems will only be truly effective if they meet diverse programming learner requirements. In this paper, we argue that these requirements must be informed by a range of disciplines, including system usability, computing pedagogy, and internationalization. We conducted a wide-ranging survey of partially relevant usability models; from these studies we synthesized a specialized hierarchical usability model for Web- based Interactive Programming e-Tutorials. This new model has four dimensions: pedagogy, platform, culture and cognition.

We claim these dimensions cover the comprehensive range of requirements for online programming language learners. We demonstrate the applicability of our synthesized model by using it to analyse three mainstream platforms: LearnPython, TryRuby, and TryJavaScript.

First published: 25 January 2021