• Marten van den Berg

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Many teachers and computer science students find it challenging to work with logical formulas and rewrite rules. It often takes a significant amount of effort from students to fully
comprehend these concepts, which can lead to discouragement and even dropout of the
Learning the subject matter can be challenging due to various aspects, such as knowing
the rewrite rules, recognising patterns, and dealing with mathematical syntax. When these
aspects are learnt at the same time, they can overwhelm students and hinder their learning
process due to cognitive overload.
Learning programming is also found to be challenging, but tools are available to make
it easier. The Parsons problem is a puzzle designed to teach programming by allowing students to complete tasks through drag-and-drop without typing or starting from scratch.
This method, known as scaffolding, reduces cognitive load and promotes learning by helping
In the study, a prototype is designed and implemented that utilises Parsons problems
in an online logic tutoring system with feedback services. This study aims to determine
whether this puzzle method can be applied in a broader context for learning to work with
logical formulas by testing this approach within a single tutor system with feedback services.
Domain experts were consulted to assess its generalisability and usefulness.
The prototype presented can be adjusted to user preferences, feedback can be given in
various forms, and difficulty can be adjusted to the current knowledge level of the learner.
Additionally, a variation of the Parsons problem is introduced, allowing the user to select a
rewrite rule between blocks.
This research shows that the use of Parsons problems in an online tutoring system with
feedback services can be beneficial for novice learners. Future work of incorporating Parsons
problems into an online tutoring system with feedback services will lead to a useful
learning tool for novice learners in computer science education.
Date of Award14 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBastiaan Heeren (Examiner) & Ebrahim Rahimi (Co-assessor)

Master's Degree

  • Master Computer Science
  • Master Software Engineering

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