There was a choice of three workshops.

Hybrid Java Programming: A Visual-Textual Programming Language Workshop

Mark Noone, Keith Nolan and Aidan Mooney (Maynooth University)

Learning a first programming language is not an easy task. Regardless of student age or language choice, difficulties will always arise for some students. This workshop will involve the demonstration and testing of a hybrid (visual-textual) programming language “Hybrid Java”. It was created using the platform “Snap!” which allows for the development of custom visual “drag-and-drop” blocks. Blocks-based programming allows us to provide a browsable library of commands which has been shown to reduce the complexity of a language.

The first thirty minutes of the workshop will detail the setup and structure of Hybrid Java, as well as demonstrate some initial results from our usage of the system. Please bring a laptop. The next sixty minutes will allow you time to experiment with the system. A book of suggested exercises will be given to highlight the system’s usage. The final thirty minutes will involve an open discussion on the usage and benefits of the platform and on collecting feedback.

At the end of the session, you will have a knowledge of what the hybrid programming approach entails. You will receive executable of the environment to take home. In return, we will receive valuable feedback on the system for future development.