Title: Comparing novice programing environments for use in secondary education: App Inventor for Android vs. Alice

Authors: Stamatios Papadakis; Vasileios Orfanakis

Addresses: Faculty of Education, Department of Preschool Education, University of Crete, Crete, Greece ' 1st Vocational School of Agios Nikolaos, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

Abstract: Coding is part of logical thinking and is one of the basic skills which are known as '21st-century skills'. Coding acquisition is necessary as it is used in a wide range of occupations. However, computer programing is difficult to learn and programing courses often have high drop-out rates. Novice programmers suffer from a wide range of difficulties and deficits. Research in teaching and learning programing across different countries and educational contexts reveal that novice programmers face the same challenges in their efficiency of writing, debugging and running programs. These difficulties have led those involved in the teaching of programing to further consider the most effective ways that can facilitate novice programmers in learning the basic programing concepts. Visual programing environments which support the construction of programs through a drag-and-drop interface are among the most popular coding tools for teaching novice programmers. In this paper, we investigate the use of Alice and App Inventor for Android, with regard to their effectiveness for teaching and learning programing in secondary education students.

Keywords: Alice; App Inventor for Android; novice programmers; visual programing environments.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2018.088333

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2018 Vol.10 No.1/2, pp.44 - 72

Received: 05 Jan 2017
Accepted: 27 Mar 2017

Published online: 21 Oct 2017 *

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