We examine whether augmenting traditional coding environments with prodirect manipulation improves several learning measures. Prodirect manipulation is a novel user interaction model that provides a bidirectional link between code and outputs. Instead of reasoning abstractly about outputs a program could produce, users instead directly manipulate the outputs of a computation (e.g., using a keyboard and mouse). Program text is then updated to reflect the change. We report the effects on learning using a prodirect manipulation environment versus a standard development environment for more than one hundred middle school students.
To conduct the study, we built SWELL, a programming language and integrated development environment that includes a prodirect manipulation interface. Based on our study, we conclude that within the context of an Hour-of-Code course, prodirect manipulation interfaces do not offer a significant advantage. At the same time, we make several observations regarding the way students interact with SWELL, which could inform future programming language design for this age group.
Fri 25 Oct
|14:00 - 14:30|
|14:30 - 15:00|
|15:00 - 15:15|
|15:15 - 15:30|
Rohan PadhyeUniversity of California, Berkeley, Koushik SenUniversity of California, Berkeley, Paul N. HilfingerUniversity of California, BerkeleyPre-print