On Changing the Curriculum Programming Language from Java to Python

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The rapid evolution of programming languages in recent years has introduced new languages, tools, libraries, and technologies. Python has emerged as a prevalent programming language, leading many institutions and universities to adopt it as the default language for their programming curriculum. This paper examines the transition from Java to Python as the main programming language of the curriculum at the University of Helsinki. The shift to a new language of instruction is a significant and critical undertaking that profoundly impacts the curriculum. Thus, it requires careful consideration and meticulous execution. To assess our success in the change, we analyzed the pass rates and average student grades across multiple courses before and after the change. Moreover, we administered a questionnaire to teaching assistants experienced in Java and Python and collected weekly feedback from students in the first implementations of the renewed course. Based on our findings, the change was successfully executed, as the learning outcomes were not adversely affected by the language change. Thus, this article likely offers valuable insights for educational institutions considering similar transitions.
Titel på värdpublikationProceedings of the 23th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
Status!!Accepted/In press - 13 nov. 2023
MoE-publikationstypA4 Artikel i en konferenspublikation

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