Visualizing Source-Code Evolution for Understanding Class-Wide Programming Processes

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in online classes, and programming classes are no exception. In such a learning environment, understanding every student’s programming process is mostly impractical for teachers, despite its significance in supporting students. Giving teachers feedback on programming processes is a typical approach to the problem. However, few studies have focused on visual representations of the evolution process of source-code contents; it remains unclear what visual representation would be effective to this end and how teachers value such feedback. We propose two feedback tools for teachers. These tools visualize the temporal evolution of source-code contents at different granularities. An experiment was conducted in which several university teachers performed a user evaluation of the tools, particularly with regard to their usefulness for reviewing past programming classes taught by another teacher. Questionnaire results showed that these tools are helpful for understanding programming processes. The tools were also found to be complementary, with different aspects being highly evaluated. We successfully presented concrete visual representations of programming processes as well as their relative strengths and weaknesses for reviewing classes; this contribution may serve as a basis for future real-time use of these tools in class.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8084
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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