WHELP: Web-Based Holistic E-Learning Platform
ISSN der Zeitschrift
Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V.
In education, finding the appropriate learning pace that fits to the members of a large group is a challenging task. This becomes especially evident when teaching multidisciplinary subjects such as epidemiology in medicine or computer science in most study programs, since lecturers have to face a very heterogeneous state of previous knowledge. Approaching this issue requires an individual supervision of each and every student, which is obviously bounded by the available resources. Moreover, when referring back to the second example, writing computer programs requires a complex installation and configuration of development tools. Many beginning programmers already become stuck at this entry stage. This paper introduces WHELP, a Web-based Holistic E-Learning Platform, which provides an integrated environment enabling the learning and teaching of computer science topics without the need to install any software. Moreover, WHELP includes an interactive feedback system for each programming exercise, where lecturers or tutors can supply comments, improvements, code assistance or tips helping the students to accomplish their tasks. Furthermore, WHELP offers a statistical analysis module as well as a real-time classroom polling system both promoting an overview of the state of knowledge of a course. In addition to that, WHELP enables collaborative working including code-sharing and peer-to-peer learning. This feature enables students to work on exercises simultaneously at distinct places. WHELP has been successfully deployed in the winter term 2013 at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences supporting the 120 students and 3 lecturers to learn and teach basic topics of computer science in an engineering study program.