Evaluation of a Frame-based Programming Editor


Frame-based editing is a novel way to edit programs, which claims to combine the benefits of textual and block-based programming. It combines structured ‘frames’ of prefor- matted code, designed to reduce the burden of syntax, with ‘slots’ that allow for efficient textual entry of expressions. We present an empirical evaluation of Stride, a frame-based language used in theGreenfoot IDE.We compare two groups of middle school students who worked on a short program- ming activity in Greenfoot, one using the original Java edi- tor, and one using the Stride editor. We found that the two groups reported similarly low levels of frustration and high levels of satisfaction, but students using Stride progressed through the activity more quickly and completed more ob- jectives. The Stride group also spent significantly less time making purely syntactic edits to their code and significantly less time with non-compilable code.

Proceedings of the International Computing Education Research Conference