Main Publications


Petri Ihantola, Ville Karavirta (2011). Two-Dimensional Parson's Puzzles: The Concept, Tools, and First Observations. Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, 10, pp. 1–14. (pdf)

  • This is the original article introducing the concept of constructing pythong code by draggind and dropping code fragments and the first prototype of js-parsons.

Juha Helminen, Petri Ihantola, Ville Karavirta, Lauri Malmi (2012). How Do Students Solve Parsons Programming Problems? – An Analysis of Interaction Traces. In Proceedings of the 8th International Computing Education Research Conference, pp. 119–126, Auckland, New Zealand. (link)

  • Do students backtrack or go in circles in their solution paths, i.e., do the solution paths have loops where students return to an earlier state in their solution path? How can these loops be characterized?
  • How do students use automatic feedback? When and how often do they ask for feedback? How can the situations when they use feedback be characterized?

Juha Helminen, Satu Alaoutinen, Petri Ihantola, Ville Karavirta (2013). How Do Students Solve Parsons Programming Problems? – Execution-Based vs. Line-Based Feedback. In Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE), 2013, pp. 55-61. (link)

  • We have extended js-parsons with what we call execution-based feedback where tests are run on learner’s code and then checked for expected results. In our implementation, the Python code is executed directly within the browser environment.
  • We have compared the new execution-based feedback and the previously existing line-based feedback in terms of how students use feedback and how it affects their behavior while solving the problems.

Ville Karavirta, Juha Helminen, Petri Ihantola (2012). A Mobile Learning Application for Parsons Problems with Automatic Feedback. In Proceedings of the 12th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, pp. 11–18. (link)

  • How to adapt Parsons problems to mobile devices with smaller screens and touch interaction?
  • How to both provide meaningful feedback on (partial) solutions to Parsons problems and discourage undesired problem solving behavior?

Petri Ihantola, Juha Helminen, Ville Karavirta (2013). How to Study Programming on Mobile Touch Devices: Interactive Python Code Exercises. In Proceedings of the 13th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, pp. 51–58, New York, NY, USA. (link)**

  • allow more choice in how programs are constructed by allowing some choice in and modifications to the given code through toggleable elements in the code fragments

Related Dissertations


Petri Ihantola (2011). Automated Assessment of Programming Assignments: Visual Feedback, Assignment Mobility, and Assessment of Students' Testing Skills. Aalto University, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. (link)


Juha Helminen (2014). Supporting Acquisition of Programming Skills in Introductory Programming Education – Environments for Practicing Programming and Recording and Analysis of Exercise Sessions. Aalto University, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. (link)