The Practice of Teaching Java Programming Language to Undergraduate Students

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education (ACE2021)
Title: The Practice of Teaching Java Programming Language to Undergraduate Students
Stream: Higher Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Weijun Chen, Tsinghua University, China


The paper presents our practice of teaching java programming language to undergraduate students at Tsinghua University, China. The biggest challenge is the design of the course to improve students’ programming ability. The course consists of two parts: the class lectures and the after-class exercises, both are designed deliberately. The purpose of the lectures is to help the students understand the kernel ideas of the object-oriented programming (OOP) and learn the common used java classes. OOP is difficult for many students, therefore we used different methods to make the process smoother. For example, Tony Stark and his armor in the movie “Iron Man” are presented when interpreting the storage of the superclass object and the subclass object. The java class library is an important component of the language which contains exceptions, input and output streams, files, graphics user interface, threads, network programming, etc.
The most important part of the after-class exercises is a programming project. Learning by doing is probably the best way to get familiar with a new language. The students are required to write a complete program (generally a computer game) using java individually. In such a project, all the technologies learnt in classroom are used and combined together. The games written include Tetris, Snake, Battle City, etc. This course has been taught for 6 years at Tsinghua and about 740 students were enrolled totally. These students were from different majors. The examination results and the programs they wrote indicate that they achieved major improvements after the course.

Virtual Presentation

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