Dealing with Stumbling in C Language Programming Using Visual Programming Environment

  • Kousuke Abe Kanagawa Institute of Technology
  • Yuki Fukawa Kanagawa Institute of Technology
  • Tetsuo Tanaka Kanagawa Institute of Technology
Keywords: visual programming, block-based, C language, novice programmer, web application, interpreter


For the education of beginning programmers, visual programming that develops programs by combining blocks has attracted significant attention. An environment for generating code in a conventional programming language is also provided. However, existing environments are not fully visualized. In this investigation, we prototyped a development environment for the C language in which users can intuitively understand the concept of variable declarations and include statements, and an execution environment that visualizes the state of evaluation of expressions and changes in the values of variables before and after the execution of the statement. It also has step-forward and step-backward functions. This programming environment is a web application developed with JavaScript. For step-by-step evaluation of an expression, it converts the expression internally to Reverse Polish Notation and visualizes the change in the terms in the expression. To implement the step-backward function, it has a history-of-execution context. We determined experimentally that students who are not proficient in C can program more accurately and quickly in this environment than with text-based coding.


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