Program visualization (PV) is potentially a useful method for teaching programming basics to novice programmers. However, there are very few studies on the effects of PV. We have developed a PV tool called ViLLE at the University of Turku. In this paper, multiple studies on the effects of the tool are presented. In addition, new qualitative data about students' feedback of using the tool is presented. Both, the results of our studies and the feedback indicate that ViLLE can be used effectively in teaching basic programming concepts to novice programmers.
We present a collaborative learning tool for programming, Jeliot Collaboratively or JeCo. Jeliot Collaboratively is a combination of a program visualization tool for Java programs, called Jeliot 3, and a collaborative authoring tool, Woven Stories. We introduce these systems and explain how they can be used in learning. Furthermore, we present future directions in order to support a wider range of use cases with JeCo.
In this paper, we present an open-source program visualization tool, Jeliot 3. We discuss the design principles and philosophy that gave rise to this successful e-learning tool and to several other related environments. Beside Jeliot 3, we introduce three different environments, BlueJ, EJE, and JeCo that use Jeliot 3 as a plug-in to allow visualization of the program code. Another system, FADA, is a tool that was derived from Jeliot 3 but serves for different pedagogical goals. A community of users and developers of these projects has been created and supported, that allows for global and iterative improvements of the Jeliot 3 tool. This way, both academic research and feedback from the user community contribute to the development. We compare the presented approach of the tool development to some of the current tools and we discuss several instances evidencing a particular success.