This description will soon appear on the OOPSLA'98 web site.
We propose a full-day workshop of presentations and collaborative sessions to study and discuss:
This workshop will focus on design evaluation for educators involved in introducing object-oriented design at an early point in computer science education. This will continue the work begun at OOPSLA 1996 with our workshop on "Teaching and Learning Object Design in the First Year". We see an increased and early emphasis on design as an important step forward in OO education.
The original workshop resulted in agreement that object-oriented design should be emphasized to a greater extent in the early stages of computer science education. However, we also identified some key difficulties to making progress. We saw the need to foster creation and sharing of resources to support early OO design: we addressed this need in our OOPSLA 1997 workshop, and created a web repository. Other difficulties we saw concerned evaluating design at an early stage, and communicating to students what "good" design means: we plan to address these issues specifically at OOPSLA 1998.
Design evaluation is an important subject both from the perspective of software engineering, and the perspective of pedagogy. Students must understand that any design has consequences, and they must themselves learn how to determine good and bad consequences that may flow from design decisions. Educators must lead students through this process, facilitate their learning, and also provide critical guidance. Moreover, evaluation also relates to practical issues of concern to many educators, including student assessment, team-building, and management of large groups.
Prospective participants are invited to submit a position paper with a contribution on this topic. The workshop will consist of presentations of these papers in the morning session, followed by an afternoon session of discussion and collaboration on the basis of the presentations from the morning. We hope this process will facilitate understanding and insight, yield practical advice, and allow us to make progress in increasing early emphasis on OO design.
As before, we will prepare a report summarizing the workshop and results for the OOPSLA addendum, and make workshop papers and related resources available via our web repository. We also hope to be able again to present an immediate report to the OOPSLA Educators Symposium.
We will stay true to the key principles of the earlier workshops by continuing to stress design over implementation, explicitly avoiding language wars, and above all working to help educators perform their role more successfully. We again specifically invite people from industry to contribute their perspective.
We propose to follow a similar plan to that of the 1996 and 1997 workshops. Broadly, we will use the morning for specific presentations, and with these presentations to focus us, we will use the afternoon for discussion. As before, we will split the morning presentations into major presentations, to allow enough time for critical ideas, and brief presentations, to allow everyone to outline their approach and hence facilitate later discussion.
AM: Introduction Presentations of Position Papers -- 4 major presentations: 20 minutes each 1.5 hours Break 16 brief presentations: 5 minutes each 1.5 hours Lunch PM: Discussions: Papers presented in the morning 1 hour Design Evaluation approaches and issues in general 1 hour Break Workshop outcome and strategies for future work 1 hour Conclusion
Our view is that recently there has been an increasing acceptance of OO as the paradigm of choice for introductory computer science courses. However, interest has typically focussed on language and implementation issues. In research and industry there have been important developments in better understanding of OO design, but these have not been directly suitable as resources for educators at early levels. Some new approaches have emerged, and we see our workshop as playing an important role in supporting educators.
Also, existing textbooks are being revised with greater emphasis on design, and now feature patterns and heuristics, e.g.: "Computing Fundamentals with Standard C++, Object-Oriented Programming and Design", Rick Mercer, Franklin Beedle and Associates, 1998.
Also, many of these ideas have been discussed on CS1OBJ, an active mailing list for discussion of issues concerning introductory computing courses and OOP, which was created by Rick Mercer in 1992.
Robert Biddle, Victoria University, Mathematical and Computing Sciences
PO Box 600, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Tel: 64-4-471-5341, Fax: 64-4-495-5045, E-Mail: email@example.com
Rick Mercer, Penn State Berks, Computer Science and Engineering
PO Box 7009, Reading, PA, 19610-6009, USA
Tel: 1-610-396-6140, Fax: 1-610-396-6024, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eugene Wallingford, University of Northern Iowa, Dept of Computer Science
Cedar Falls, IA, 50614-0507, USA
Tel: 1-319-273-5919, Fax: 1-319-273-7123, E-Mail: email@example.com