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UMINF 09.07

He[d]uristics - Heuristics for designing object oriented examples for novices

The use of examples is known to be important in learning, they should be “exemplary” and function as role-models.

Teaching and learning problem solving and programming in the object oriented paradigm is recognised as difficult. Object orientation is designed to handle complexity and large systems, and not with education in focus. The fact that object orientation often is used as first paradigm makes the design of examples even more difficult and important.

In this thesis, a survey of the literature is made to establish a set of characteristics for object orientation in general. This set of characteristics is then applied to the educational setting of introducing novices to object oriented problem solving and programming, resulting in a number of heuristics for educational purposes, called He[d]uristics. The proposed He[d]uristics are targeted towards educators designing small-scale examples for novices, and is an attempt to provide help in designing suitable examples, not a catalogue of good ones.

The He[d]uristics are discussed and exemplified and also evaluated versus the derived set of characteristics and known common problems experienced by novices.


Object orientation, Heuristics, Examples, Design


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Entry responsible: Marie Nordstrom

Page Responsible: Frank Drewes