A group of CSEE students from the Maple lab is developing Playing to Program (PtP) as an intelligent tutoring system to teach programming concepts. PtP uses the open source RUR-PLE visual programming environment for Python and automatically selects and loads problems from a catalogue which the student then attempts to solve. The student's work is analyzed for correctness and the results used to update a model of her understanding of programming concepts and ability to solve complex problems. That model is then used to select the next problem to present, resulting in an adaptive learning process.
The PtP project involves both undergraduate and graduate students and is led by Professor Marie desJardins. You can get more information on PtP and download the prototype code at the PtP Google code site. CSEE undergraduate students Amy Ciavolino, Eliana Feasley, and Robert Deloatch will present the work this Friday morning at the CSEE Research Review based on a recent paper accepted at the Second Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Graduate student David Walser also recently completed a MS thesis on Problem Selection of Program Tracing Tasks in an Intelligent Tutoring System and Visual Programming Environment which will be available later in May.