Heuristic Evaluation of Code::Blocks as a Tool for First Year Programming Courses

Published in International Conference of the Chilean Computer Science Society (SCCC), 2018


There are many factors present in the current problems found in the teaching-learning of programming. This is a world-wide situation that affects our school, as well as others in the country. In this paper we focus on the effects of the Integrated Development Environment used in the classroom, specifically for first-year programming courses. More concretely, the paper shows the design, application and results of an heuristic evaluation performed on the Code::Blocks IDE, currently used for teaching C programming, and which is more of a professional tool than a teaching instrument. Based on state-of-theart heuristics tailored for learning environments, we found 60 problems in which Code::Blocks is perceived as threaning and non-motivating, thus potentially hampering the learning process of our students. We conceive this work as a step towards the development of a student-focused programming environment for our programming courses.