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OLYMPIADS IN INFORMATICS, 2013, Vol. 7, 3-13
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1822-7732

Growing Algorithmic Thinking Through Interactive Problems to Encourage Learning Programming

Sébastien COMBÉFIS, Virginie VAN den SCHRIECK, Alexis NOOTENS

Department of Computer Science Engineering, Université catholique de Louvain Place Sainte Barbe 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium École Pratique des Hautes Études Commerciales (EPHEC) Avenue du Ciseau 15, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium Computer Science and IT in Education ASBL, Belgium E-mail: sebastien.combefis@uclouvain.be, v.vandenschrieck@ephec.be, alexis.nootens@csited.be

Abstract

Attracting pupils from secondary schools (12-18 years old) to learn programming is not easy. It is especially the case in Belgium where there is no or very few programming and algorithm design courses in secondary schools. Another issue is that teachers who are in charge of computer science courses are afraid of teaching a matter they do not feel comfortable with, especially when they are not informatics teachers. This paper presents ILPADS, interactive learning of programming and algorithm design skills, an interactive website which aims at gradually growing algorithmic thinking skills to lead pupils towards the learning of the Python programming language. That website aims to serve as working material to support teachers for their computer science courses in secondary schools. Pupils can also use the website at home to continue learning on their own. The paper presents the interactive website and mainly focuses on the design of the ILPADS activities. Future work includes testing the website in real classrooms and evaluating it.

Keywords:

algorithmic thinking, learning programming, teaching, distance learning, interactive learning


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