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The Benefits
  • For Students
  • For CS Departments
  • For Faculty
  • Testimonials

  • For CS Departments

    Retention
    From its beginning as an academic NSF project, one of the development goals of CodeLab was reduced attrition. CodeLab achieves this by flattening the CS1 learning curve by providing a setting where students can master the syntax and semantics of a programming language. This is clearly having benefits. For example, one instructor reported that six weeks into the term, instead of the usual 30 student withdrawals (out of 150), only 2 had dropped out.

    Language Switching
    Many departments have a sequence of programming courses in which the language for the introductory course is different from what is used in the Data Structures or Object Oriented Programming course. CodeLab makes it much easier to switch languages without having to devote class time to teaching the fundamentals. Students who have programming experience in one language can quickly get up to speed on a new language by using CodeLab. This allows the instructor to focus on the concepts of Data Structures or Object Oriented Programming, rather than language details..

    Confidence of Achievement Level
    CodeLab certifies that the student has correctly written code that solves a stated problem. This provides an additional measure of confidence that students coming out of an introductory class have obtained mastery of the topics covered by CodeLab. Instructors in succeeding courses can assume this competence and spend less time reviewing basic concepts and more time teaching the more complicated programming ideas that depend on this base level of mastery.

    Automated Placement Exam
    CodeLab can also be used as an automated placement exam. Students coming into the program can be accurately assessed with relation to their mastery of programming basics and fundamentals. Many students come in as freshmen with programming experience but without AP credit. CodeLab can reduce the amount of work needed to assess a student's placement out of CS1. The student simply logs on to CodeLab at a particular time and completes as many exercises as they can and the results are automatically delivered to the administrator of faculty member.
    What our students say
    "Being a student who is entirely unfamiliar with Java and actually ALL forms of computer programming, it really does help me learn the language by putting it to use. I truly feel it has assisted me a great deal." Lindsay Fowler, Student, University of Oklahoma . (more)

    What our instructors say
    "Code Lab has indeed proven to be invaluable in giving students additional hands-on experience and hence a better understanding of programming. The students have also given it favorable reviews. I will certainly be recommending it for next semester's introductory programming class." Glenn Jones, Professor, Medgar Evers College (more)

    What our students say
    "I really enjoyed the way we were able to actually practice the techniques online." Jon L, University of Maryland. (more)

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