Test-driven development (TDD) has been shown to reduce defects and to lead to better code, but can it help beginning students learn basic programming topics, specifically arrays? We performed a controlled experiment where we taught arrays to two CS0 classes, one using WebIDE, an intelligent tutoring system that enforced the use of Test-Driven Learning (TDL) methods, and one using more traditional static methods and a development environment that instructed, but did not enforce the use of TDD. Students who used the TDL approach with WebIDE performed significantly better in assessments and had significantly higher opinions of their experiences than students who used traditional methods and tools.


Computer Sciences

Publisher statement

It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the Proceedings of the 17th ACM Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, {(July 3, 2012)}.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/csse_fac/229