Improving Engagement in Program Construction Examples for Learning Python Programming

Roya Hosseini*, Kamil Akhuseyinoglu, Peter Brusilovsky, Lauri Malmi, Kerttu Pollari-Malmi, Christian Schunn, Teemu Sirkiä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


This research is focused on how to support students’ acquisition of program construction skills through worked examples. Although examples have been consistently proven to be valuable for student’s learning, the learning technology for computer science education lacks program construction examples with interactive elements that could engage students. The goal of this work is to investigate the value of the “engaging” features in programming examples. We introduce PCEX, an online tool developed to present program construction examples in an engaging fashion. We also present the results of a controlled study with a between-subject design that was conducted in a large introductory Python programming class to compare PCEX with non-interactive worked examples focused on program construction. The results of our study show the positive impact of interactive program construction examples on student’s engagement, problem-solving performance, and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-336
Number of pages38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Classroom study
  • CS1
  • Introductory programming education
  • Program construction
  • Python
  • Worked examples

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