From Concrete to Abstract - About Teaching UML Class Diagrams to Novice Programmers

João Paulo Barros

Abstract

Object-oriented programming is frequently taught in the first programming course. The implicit level of indirection, expressed in the name-value duality of objects, demands an additional level of abstraction ability. This brings an additional complication for novice students, which are also fighting with flow control and composition. Graphical languages can help visualise the program structure but only if they are not seen as an additional burden. UML class diagrams are the most widely used structure diagram for object-oriented code, but they are very complex for novices. This paper presents a set of translation rules from code to a UML class diagrams that can be introduced in the first or second programming course. To that end, it discusses how to meaningfully explain the semantics of class and object relations, namely by presenting a minimal subset of the UML class diagram metamodel that supports simple and direct translations from object-oriented code. As most students learn better from concrete to abstract, this minimal subset and the respective code translation provide an intermediate step towards the use of a more complete metamodel in more advanced courses.

References

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Paulo Barros J. (2013). From Concrete to Abstract - About Teaching UML Class Diagrams to Novice Programmers . In Proceedings of the 8th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2013) ISBN 978-989-8565-68-6, pages 278-283. DOI: 10.5220/0004594302780283


in Bibtex Style

@conference{icsoft-ea13,
author={João Paulo Barros},
title={From Concrete to Abstract - About Teaching UML Class Diagrams to Novice Programmers},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 8th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2013)},
year={2013},
pages={278-283},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0004594302780283},
isbn={978-989-8565-68-6},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the 8th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2013)
TI - From Concrete to Abstract - About Teaching UML Class Diagrams to Novice Programmers
SN - 978-989-8565-68-6
AU - Paulo Barros J.
PY - 2013
SP - 278
EP - 283
DO - 10.5220/0004594302780283