Mooshak’s Diet Update: Introducing YAPExIL Format to Mooshak (Short Paper)

Authors José Carlos Paiva , Ricardo Queirós , José Paulo Leal

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Author Details

José Carlos Paiva
  • CRACS - INESC-Porto LA, Portugal
  • DCC - FCUP, Porto, Portugal
Ricardo Queirós
  • CRACS - INESC-Porto LA, Portugal
  • uniMAD - ESMAD, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Portugal
José Paulo Leal
  • CRACS - INESC-Porto LA, Portugal
  • DCC - FCUP, Porto, Portugal

Cite AsGet BibTex

José Carlos Paiva, Ricardo Queirós, and José Paulo Leal. Mooshak’s Diet Update: Introducing YAPExIL Format to Mooshak (Short Paper). In 10th Symposium on Languages, Applications and Technologies (SLATE 2021). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 94, pp. 9:1-9:7, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Practice is pivotal in learning programming. As many other automated assessment tools for programming assignments, Mooshak has been adopted by numerous educational practitioners to support them in delivering timely and accurate feedback to students during exercise solving. These tools specialize in the delivery and assessment of blank-sheet coding questions. However, the different phases of a student’s learning path may demand distinct types of exercises (e.g., bug fix and block sorting) to foster new competencies such as debugging programs and understanding unknown source code or, otherwise, to break the routine and keep engagement. Recently, a format for describing programming exercises - YAPExIL -, supporting different types of activities, has been introduced. Unfortunately, no automated assessment tool yet supports this novel format. This paper describes a JavaScript library to transform YAPExIL packages into Mooshak problem packages (i.e., MEF format), keeping support for all exercise types. Moreover, its integration in an exercise authoring tool is described.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Computer-managed instruction
  • Applied computing → Interactive learning environments
  • Applied computing → E-learning
  • programming exercises format
  • interoperability
  • automated assessment
  • learning programming


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  1. José Paulo Leal and Fernando Silva. Mooshak: A web-based multi-site programming contest system. Software: Practice and Experience, 33(6):567-581, 2003. Google Scholar
  2. José Carlos Paiva, Ricardo Queirós, José Paulo Leal, and Jakub Swacha. Fgpe authorkit – a tool for authoring gamified programming educational content. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE '20, page 564, New York, NY, USA, 2020. Association for Computing Machinery. URL:
  3. José Carlos Paiva, Ricardo Queirós, José Paulo Leal, and Jakub Swacha. Yet Another Programming Exercises Interoperability Language (Short Paper). In Alberto Simões, Pedro Rangel Henriques, and Ricardo Queirós, editors, 9th Symposium on Languages, Applications and Technologies (SLATE 2020), volume 83 of OpenAccess Series in Informatics (OASIcs), pages 14:1-14:8, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2020. Schloss Dagstuhl-Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik. URL:
  4. Ricardo Queirós and José Paulo Leal. Making programming exercises interoperable with PExIL. In José Carlos Ramalho, Alberto Simões, and Ricardo Queirós, editors, Innovations in XML Applications and Metadata Management, pages 38-56. IGI Global, 2013. URL:
  5. Tom Verhoeff. Programming task packages: Peach exchange format. International Journal Olympiads In Informatics, 2:192-207, 2008. Google Scholar
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