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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

Programming assignments are used to assess a student's understanding of the theoretical aspect of programming and their ability to put that theory into practice. When assigning programs for students to complete, it is necessary to make sure that the problem is well specified, realistic, yet is able to be completed in a relatively short period of time. In addition, each assignment should require the use of a different technique. Developing new problems for each assignment is not only time consuming for the instructor, it also requires the student to understand the problem before they can start to write the program using the specified technique. Whilst this is not a bad thing, it sometimes means that students do not really know why they use a particular technique, apart from it being part of the requirements. In this paper, we describe an approach that uses the same problem for all programming assignments within a course. The only difference between the assignments is the technique to be used. This allows students to compare techniques, see the advantages and disadvantages of them, and improve their programming style.

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