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Blackbox: A Large Scale Repository of Novice Programmers’ Activity

Brown, Neil C.C., Kölling, Michael, McCall, Davin, Utting, Ian (2014) Blackbox: A Large Scale Repository of Novice Programmers’ Activity. In: Proceedings of the 45th SIGCSE technical symposium on computer science education (SIGCSE 2014). SIGCSE '14: Proceedings of the 45th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education. . pp. 223-228. ACM, New York NY United States ISBN 978-1-4503-2605-6. (doi:10.1145/2538862.2538924) (KAR id:38938)


Automatically observing and recording the programming be- haviour of novices is an established computing education research technique. However, prior studies have been con- ducted at a single institution on a small or medium scale, without the possibility of data re-use. Now, the widespread availability of always-on Internet access allows for data col- lection at a much larger, global scale. In this paper we re- port on the Blackbox project, begun in June 2013. Black- box is a perpetual data collection project that collects data from worldwide users of the BlueJ IDE – a programming environment designed for novice programmers. Over one hundred thousand users have already opted-in to Blackbox. The collected data is anonymous and is available to other researchers for use in their own studies, thus benefitting the larger research community. In this paper, we describe the data available via Blackbox, show some examples of analyses that can be performed using the collected data, and discuss some of the analysis challenges that lie ahead.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/2538862.2538924
Uncontrolled keywords: Blackbox, BlueJ, data collection, programming education
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Michael Kolling
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2014 16:20 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 03:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Brown, Neil C.C..

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Kölling, Michael.

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McCall, Davin.

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Utting, Ian.

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