Complex Online Material Development in CS Courses

Lassi Haaranen, Giacomo Mariani, Peter Sormunen, Teemu Lehtinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)


Computer Science (CS) education has a tradition of using online materials to teach courses, whether as a part of a course or having fully online courses. Commonly, the materials to present the subject matter are not just static objects like text or images but also contain automatically assessed exercises and other interactive content. This makes the course systems inherently tied to teaching – limiting pedagogical approaches, types of exercises, and available functionality. Increasingly, CS courses utilize multiple systems to handle various learning and course management related activities. The use of multiple systems brings about traditional software engineering problems, such as development, integration, maintenance, and testing. We present two small studies (case study and interviews) to highlight the issues in developing and running modern online CS courses. Based on these two studies we argue that online courses should be developed with a stronger software engineering approach considering the development process and tools. In addition, we define the term Complex Online Learning Material (COLM) to foster discussion and further research into improving instructor practices in online education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 20th Koli Calling Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling 2020
Editors Nick Falkner, Otto Seppala
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450389211
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventKoli Calling - International Conference on Computing Education Research - Virtual, Online
Duration: 19 Nov 202022 Nov 2020


ConferenceKoli Calling - International Conference on Computing Education Research
CityVirtual, Online
Internet address


  • course development
  • CS education
  • material development
  • online education
  • service oriented architectures


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