Event-driven Programming in Programming Education: A Mapping Review

Aleksi Lukkarinen, Lauri Malmi, Lassi Haaranen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
881 Downloads (Pure)


During the past two decades, event-driven programming (EDP) has emerged as a central and almost ubiquitous concept in modern software development: Graphical user interfaces are self-evident in most mobile and web-based applications, as well as in many embedded systems, and they are most often based on reacting to events. To facilitate both teaching practice and research in programming education, this mapping review seeks to give an overview of the related knowledge that is already available in conference papers and journal articles. Starting from early works of the 1990s, we identified 105 papers that address teaching practices, present learning resources, software tools or libraries to support learning, and empirical studies related to EDP. We summarize the publications, their main content, and findings. While most studies focus on bachelor’s level education in universities, there has been substantial work in K–12 level, as well. Few courses address EDP as their main content—rather it is most often integrated with CS1, CS2, or computer graphics courses. The most common programming languages and environments addressed are Java, App Inventor, and Scratch. Moreover, very little of deliberate experimental scientific research has been carried out to explicitly address teaching and learning EDP. Consequently, while so-called experience reports, tool papers, and anecdotal evidence have been published, this theme offers a wide arena for empirical research in the future. At the end of the article, we suggest a number of directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages31
JournalACM Transactions on Computing Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • event-driven
  • event-oriented
  • event-based
  • CS0
  • CS1
  • CS1.5
  • CS2
  • CS3
  • K–12
  • programming education
  • computer science education


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