Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 572-579
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
While widely acknowledged as one of the basic and more important subjects taught in any Computer Science curriculum, Theoretical Computer Science has such a highly theoretical and conceptual nature that students often have difficulties in its assimilation. In this paper, we present a web-based tool designed to automatically pose and correct problems about the part of Theoretical Computer Science concerning finite state machines, concretely deterministic and non-deterministic finite automata. The tool is integrated into a more general e-learning environment, the ACME framework, a web-based problem-solving environment developed at the University of Girona with the aim of reinforcing teaching and learning processes in technical/engineering degrees. ACME can assign personalized exercises to the students and allows them to try possible solutions, providing on-line feedback about their correctness. Additionally, ACME can also collect statistics, useful for the teacher in order to monitor the students' learning process. The finite state machines module presented in this paper has three parts, the first part allows the teacher to enter and edit problems and their corresponding correct solutions. The second part allows the students to design deterministic and not deterministic finite automata through a user-friendly graphical interface. Finally, the third part of the module assesses the correction of the proposed solutions and gives advice, when needed. The tool only requires a web browser and is being used in our university with very promising results.

e-learning, acme, automata, finite state machines.