Does Outside-In Teaching Improve the Learning of Object-Oriented Programming?

Creators: Janke, Erica and Brune, Philipp and Wagner, Stefan
Title: Does Outside-In Teaching Improve the Learning of Object-Oriented Programming?
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Event Title: (Proceedings of the) 37th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), Vol.2
Event Location: Florenz, Italy
Event Dates: May, 16-24, 2015
Page Range: pp. 408-417
Date: 2015
Divisions: Informationsmanagement
Abstract (ENG): Object-oriented programming (OOP) is widely used in the software industry and university introductory courses today. Following the structure of most textbooks, such courses frequently are organised starting with the concepts of imperative and structured programming and only later introducing OOP. An alternative approach is to begin directly with OOP following the Outside-In teaching method as proposed by Meyer. Empirical results for the effects of Outside-In teaching on students and lecturers are sparse, however. We describe the conceptual design and empirical evaluation of two OOP introductory courses from different universities based on Outside-In teaching. The evaluation results are compared to those from a third course serving as the control group, which was taught OOP the "traditional" way. We evaluate the initial motivation and knowledge of the participants and the learning outcomes. In addition, we analyse results of the end-term exams and qualitatively analyse the results of interviews with the lecturers and tutors. Regarding the learning outcomes, the results show no significant differences between the Outside-In and the "traditional" teaching method. In general, students found it harder to solve and implement algorithmic problems than to understand object oriented (OO) concepts. Students taught OOP by the Outside-In method, however, were less afraid that they would not pass the exam at the end of term and understood the OO paradigm more quickly. Therefore, the Outside-In method is no silver bullet for teaching OOP regarding the learning outcomes but has positive effects on motivation and interest.
Forthcoming: No
Language: English
Link eMedia: Download
Citation:

Janke, Erica and Brune, Philipp and Wagner, Stefan (2015) Does Outside-In Teaching Improve the Learning of Object-Oriented Programming? In: (Proceedings of the) 37th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), Vol.2, May, 16-24, 2015, Florenz, Italy, pp. 408-417. ISBN 9781479919345

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