Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Greenfoot in Problem Solving and Artificial Intelligence

Presented at The 10th China-Europe International Symposium on Software Engineering Education, Chengdu, China

Greenfoot is an interactive environment based around Java that enables two-dimensional graphical games and simulations to be set-up relatively simply. Currently maintained by the University of Kent, UK and La Trobe University, Australia, it provides a piece of free software (under a GPL licence), multiplatform and is multiplatform.

In this paper its use within the teaching of problem-solving and artificial intelligence will be considered. Three case studies of it use will be considered:
·        Exercises in developing problem solving within a problem-solving and programming module.
·        Greenfoot for a problem solving assignment within a problem-solving and programming module.

·        Use of greenfoot within a module on artificial intelligence.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Reflection for Scientists: a collaborative approach through university and beyond

Some work presented by a member of STRiPe at the 11th ALDinHE Conference: Learning Development Spaces and Places University of Huddersfield

Reflection for Scientists: a collaborative approach through university and beyond
Helena Beeson, University of Northampton

Employers in the Engineering and Computing disciplines notice that graduates often enter the workplace with limited transferable skills outside of their technical expertise (Davies and Rutherford, 2012). This seminar will discuss a collaboration between a learning developer, a module leader and a local employer (course team) to develop a ‘real world’ project assessment which emphasises the importance of reflecting on progress throughout the learning process, establishing clients’ needs and working successfully within a team. The proposed project is being developed for a Masters cohort at the University of Northampton, many of whom have relocated to the UK in order to specialise in computing practices in this country. The assessment will be set in February 2014 for the first time.

At the start of the project the groups will meet with the course team and find out key project requirements from the employer who will explain the relevance of reflection in their chosen career path. A model of reflection has been developed, adapted from Brookfield’s lenses (1995) and Rolfe’s framework (2001). Each group creates and maintains a blog to chart their progress which other students can add to by asking questions for clarification and making suggestions. The course team will monitor and contribute to the blog posts as part of the assessment for this module. It is anticipated that the online blog will serve as a platform for students to develop the visibility of their advancements to colleagues and employers, both at university and throughout their careers.

This paper will share the design and development of this collaboration and assessment and offer suggestions of how to reinforce reflection as a key skill in traditionally non-reflective subject areas.

Brookfield, S. (1995) Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Davies, J.W. and Rutherford, U. (2012) Learning from fellow engineering students who have current
professional experience European Journal of Engineering Education 37 (4), 354-365,

Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D. and Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection for nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Details of the conference can be found at Conference site

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

EOMOSA- Progress in IS: Software Engineering Education for a Global E-service Economy

The chapter "Electronic Online Marking Of Software Assignments  (EOMOSA)" published n the forthcoming book  Progress in IS: Software Engineering Education for a Global E-service Economy, Motta, Gianmario; Bing, Wu (Eds.), Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-04216-9. Due for publication April 2014.

Electronic Online Marking Of Software Assignments (EOMOSA) 

Gary Hill and Scott Turner


With the advent of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and online electronic submission of assignments, computing lecturers are increasingly assessing code online. There are various tools for aiding electronic marking, grading and plagiarism detection. However, there appears to be limited shared advice to computer science tutors (and students) on the effective use of these tools.

This paper aims to stimulate peer-discussion amongst tutors involved in the assessing (marking and grading) of software code. Many United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education Institutions (HEI) are using electronic marking. This paper discusses the authors’ experience and proposes suggestions for appropriate and effective solutions to the electronic assessment of software code. This will be based on the authors’ experience of electronically assessing code over three academic years and the current advice given to their students.