Design and evaluation of an alternative programming paradigms course


The knowledge of the most common programming paradigms, and the basic abstractions provided by each paradigm, are competencies to be attained by Software Engineering undergraduate students. These abstractions also include the basis of concurrent and parallel programming, present in different programming paradigms. In an existing Software Engineering degree, these competencies were assigned to the Programming Technology and Paradigms course. We present the approach followed in the design of that course to teach object-oriented, functional, concurrent and parallel programming to second year undergraduate students with basic knowledge of Java. The time limitations of the course prevented us from using various programming languages. After analyzing different alternatives, we chose C# to teach the course. We describe the most important challenges faced and how we addressed them. The course success rate is slightly greater than the rest of courses in the same year and degree, while performance rates and average marks are analogous. There is no influence of age and gender on the final mark, but students retaking the course have significantly worse evaluation than those enrolled for the first time. The students’ self-evaluation revealed that the proposed course has a strong influence on the achievement of the expected learning outcomes, and their satisfaction with the course was significantly higher than with the rest of courses in the same degree.

In Telematics and Informatics