PVC: Visualizing C programs on web browsers for novices
SIGCSE 2018 - Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
- Association for Computing Machinery, Inc
Many researchers have proposed program visualization tools for memory management because this is a challenging concept for novice programmers. For example, SeeC and PythonTutor (PT) are state-of-the-art tools for C languages. However, three problems hinder the use of these and other tools: capability (P1), installability (P2), and usability (P3). (P1) Tools do not fully support dynamic memory allocation or File Input / Output (I/O) and Standard Input. (P2) Novice programmers often have difficulty installing SeeC due to its dependence on Clang and setting up an offline environment that uses PT. (P3) Revisualization of the modified source code in SeeC requires several steps. To alleviate these issues, we propose a new visualization tool called PlayVisualizerC (PVC). PVC, which is designed for novice C language programmers to provide solutions (S1-3) for P1-3. S1 offers complete support for dynamic memory allocation, standard I/O, and file I/O. S2 involves installation in a user web browser and its server program is initiated by executing a jar file. S3 reduces the steps required for revisualization. To evaluate PVC, we conducted an experiment and questionnaire involving 30 students. Students using PVC solved a set of four programming tasks on average 1.7 times faster and with 19% more correct answers than those using a current state-of-the-art visualization tool.
- DOI : 10.1145/3159450.3159566
- SCOPUS ID : 85046077908