IRILL - Research and Innovation on Free Software
IRILL, Paris

Amélioration de l'interface LearnOCaml pour les enseignants

Learn-OCaml is an online teaching platform dedicated to the OCaml functional programming language. It allows students to

  • freely explore Ocaml programming using an integrated IDE to write OCaml programs.;
  • use an integrated toplevel that is able to typecheck, compile and execute, directly in the browser with no need of installing locally any additional software, virtually all the programs written in the Learn-Ocaml IDE.

It also provides a dedicated environment for teaching lessons, in a way very similar so jupyter notebook.

The most interesting feature of Learn-OCaml is its exercises and practical laboratory environment. A set of exercises can be prepared by the teacher, along with their solutions and input/output test generation. Learn-Ocaml proposes then a very convenient environment for solving the exercises. Each time a student submits a solution, the code is stored, compiled, executed, and tested against the input/output test generation provided by the teacher. A report is prepared and shown to the student either in case of failure or success. The students can freely propose new solutions to the exercises during the time frame the exercises are available to the students. The platform shows both to the teacher and to the student the student progress (percentage of solved exercises and failed exercises, etc.). This makes Learn-OCaml a very effective online teaching platform for a MOOC course. But in the context of a more standard course with students solving the exercise during a very specific time frame, and an active tutoring by the teacher, the Learn-OCaml misses a convenient interface and associated mechanisms that allows the teacher to easily detect student difficulties or progress, and act accordingly. An online and real-time interaction facility would increase the effectiveness of Learn-OCaml in this learning context.

This project proposal aims at providing such interaction.

Contacts : Simão de Melo Sousa & Emmanuel Chailloux