Investigation of Value Trace Problem for C++ Programming Self-study of Novice Students

Shune Lae Aung, Nem Khan Dim, Soe Mya Mya Aye, Nobuo Funabiki, Htoo Htoo Sandi Kyaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


—Presently, C++ programming has been taught in many universities around the world as the first object-oriented programming language for undergraduate students to start studying programming concepts and computer architecture. However, many of them may struggle in studying C++ programming due to the nature in the formal language. Thus, hands-on self-study tools can be effective. In previous, we have developed Java programming learning assistant system (JPLAS) for assisting self-study of Java programming. JPLAS offers the value trace problem (VTP) for novice students to study Java programming through code reading study. In a VTP instance, actual values of important variable or standard output messages in a given source code are questioned, where the correctness of each answer is checked through string matching. In this paper, we investigate the effectiveness of VTP for hands-on self-study of C++ programming by novice students. We generated 37 VTP instances for basic grammar concepts using source codes in textbooks or websites for C++ programming, and asked 46 students in three universities in three countries to solve them using the answer interface for JPLAS. The results suggest that most of the students are satisfactory, but some students need cares at early programming study stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-636
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Education Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • C++ programming
  • code reading
  • grammar concepts
  • value trace problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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