Experience using virtual programming labs, screencasts and concept maps in a first-year programming course

Hernández-Figueroa, Z.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, G.; Carreras-Riudavets, F.J.; Rodríguez-del-Pino, J.C.
4th Internacional Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI). ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
Noviembre, 2011.

The Spanish university system is undergoing a deep transformation process in the context of building the European Higher Education Area, better known as the Bologna process. The new system places special emphasis on student effort, which attempts to measure through a credit system (the European Credits Transfer System) were each credit is equivalent to between 25 and 30 hours of student work. As a result, teaching methods based on the student's work and continuous assessment are favored against other like, by example, lectures. In the past academic year 2010/2011 the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has launched the first year of its new degree in Computer Engineering. The year consists of ten 6 credits courses spread over two semesters, each comprising five courses. One of these courses is Fundamentos de Programación (Programming Fundamentals) which is taught on the second half. Similar courses taught in previous curricula, which were not adapted to the European Higher Education Area, were organized using lectures, textbooks, lecture notes and other online readings. To guide the new subject in accordance with methodologies to better harness the efforts of students and evaluate their results more in line with the goals of the renewal process, Fundamentals of Programming was designed using three basic tools: a virtual programming laboratory, screencasts and enriched concept maps. The classic tools mentioned above were used as complementary, losing much of its former dominance. This paper summarizes the results of this experience, both objective and subjective, based on the assessment and acceptance by students of the various proposed elements.