5Code – An Integrated Programming Environment for Beginners

  • 1 HS Düsseldorf Univ. of Applied Science – Media, Josef-Gockeln-Str. 9, 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2 HS Düsseldorf Univ. of Applied Science – Media, Düsseldorf, Germany
Prof. Dr.-Ing. MSc Markus Dahm
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  • Markus Dahm studied at RWTH Aachen and Imperial College London, conducting research in user centered design in health care. At T-Systems he managed projects for mobile systems. Currently he is professor in informatics and software ergonomics at Hochschule Düsseldorf. His research in human computer interaction currently focusses on support for learning as well as teaching informatics.
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, Frano Barnjak
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  • Frano Barnjak earned his BSc. Media Informatics at HS Düsseldorf and is currently student of MSc Media Informatics. He is working on master thesis about collaboration over the Web.
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and Moritz Heilemann
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  • Moritz Heilemann earned his BSc. Media Informatics at HS Düsseldorf and is currently student of MSc Media Informatics.
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Based on experience in teaching programming, we developed the integrated development environment (IDE) 5Code especially to support beginners. As a first step, a simple, understandable formula was developed how to advance from the problem to the program in 5 operative steps:


In order to reduce the cognitive load of the learners effectively, 5Code was designed such that all 5 steps are permanently presented, accessible and executable. Thus, learners are provided with the entire programming context from presentation of the task via own notes and annotations to the code area. Learners can mark and annotate any part of the given task’s text; these annotations can be edited as notes with own comments. Furthermore, the notes can be dragged into the code area, where they are shown as comments in the coding language. Any modifications in the comments are synchronized between notes and code. 5Code is implemented as a web-application. It is used in university introductory courses on object oriented programming.

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