Generating and Evaluating Object-Oriented Designs for Instructors and Novice Students

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Executive Summary

Creating object-oriented designs for even simple problems of the type assigned to beginning students is a challenging task. While rules can be applied to identify key design components, multiple acceptable solutions often exist, and instructors may have different preferences for which variation(s) are best. The paper describes a tool one developed to assist instructors in designing solutions for problems to be assigned to novice CS1 students. The tool generates a design template of acceptable solutions which the instructor may modify and add comments. Given an updated template, the Expert Evaluator component of DesignFirst-ITS assists novice students as they design a class diagram that models the assigned problem.

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