Use of Automatic Code Assessment Tools in the Programming Teaching Process

Authors Marílio Cardoso , António Vieira de Castro , Álvaro Rocha , Emanuel Silva , Jorge Mendonça

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Author Details

Marílio Cardoso
  • Department of Informatics, ISEP, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
António Vieira de Castro
  • Department of Informatics, ISEP, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Álvaro Rocha
  • Department of Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Emanuel Silva
  • Department of Informatics, ISEP, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Jorge Mendonça
  • Department of Mathematics, ISEP, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal

Cite AsGet BibTex

Marílio Cardoso, António Vieira de Castro, Álvaro Rocha, Emanuel Silva, and Jorge Mendonça. Use of Automatic Code Assessment Tools in the Programming Teaching Process. In First International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 81, pp. 4:1-4:10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


The teaching of programming process is essential to prepare students for the development of computer applications and software solutions. During the last decade, a variety of tools facilitating automatic validation of programming code have been developed. In this context, authors start to analyze and studying some tools with this potential and a possible use with pedagogical purposes. For the last three years a study has been carried out related with the implementation of VPL (Virtual Programming Lab) a plug-in developed specifically for Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) on a Java-based programming discipline during the Informatics Engineering degree of the Informatics Engineering Department (DEI) from the School of Engineering of Polytechnic Institute of Porto (ISEP/P.PORTO). This paper will present how VPL was introduced and some results of this experiment before the implementation in the learning process of another tool (Mooshak) as a real-time automatic code evaluation. These tools allow to edit and execute programs, in a large range of languages, and enables automatic assessment and prompt feedback.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Software and its engineering
  • Applied computing → Interactive learning environments
  • Teaching programming
  • Moodle
  • VPL
  • Mooshak
  • Automatic assessment


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