CCSE Reading Group: Towards an Open Source IDE for Collecting Student Interactions

Issued: Mon, 25 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT

DATE: 8th March 2021
TIME: 13:00-14:00
LOCATION: Quintin’s Zoom Room

In a reading group session a while back, following Ohud’s talk on browser-based IDEs, the idea was brought up that IDEs are powerful data collection instruments for a CS education researcher. The supply of data and the expense at which good data is collected is a key limiting factor to CS education research productivity. Some universities collect all their students’ program compilations/executions/submissions (or even keystrokes!) during the entire semester, giving an unparalleled view into how students learn programming, and some studies have been based on such data. Now imagine if we have a generic IDE tool that could be specialised to particular research studies, for example, to run A/B-tests on programming support, or collect other types of relevant data.

Hence, the session on Monday is designed as a collaborative brainstorm to explore this topic further, with the possible outcome that we go ahead and start designing and building such a tool - most likely as an open source project to which anyone can contribute.

Aspects to explore are:

  • Motivation for such a system - why do you think it be useful?  What would you use it for?  Specific examples…
  • Features of this - what could it collect?  how would you see it working
  • How would we build such a thing?  Given limited funding?
  • What other contexts (bar CS education) may find this valuable?

Possible outcomes of the meeting are:

  • Should we go ahead with this?
  • Suggests on how to go forward with it
  • Initial list of requirements