Design of a blocks-based environment for introductory programming in Python

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Abstract

This paper details the design of a visual blocks-based tool for editing Python programs. Its purpose is to close the gap between programming using a simplified blocks-based language and textual programming in a mainstream language. As well as helping to guarantee the syntactic validity of programs, the tool aims to reduce the occurrence of run-time errors, a source of learner frustration with dynamic languages, by ensuring that constructed programs will remain well-typed during execution. The design promotes understanding of how data types are used in the language by representing them using colors: each expression block is colored according to its type, and each unfilled hole contains colors which indicate valid argument types. Connected blocks preserve conventional use of whitespace, demonstrating good practice for novice programmers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop
PublisherIEEE
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1467383677
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2016
EventBlocks and Beyond - Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 22 Oct 201522 Oct 2015

Workshop

WorkshopBlocks and Beyond - Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period22/10/1522/10/15

Keywords

  • Blocks-based programming
  • Introductory programming
  • Python

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