Penumbra: Enhancing Eclipse for Introductory Programming

Mueller, Frank


In recent years, Java has become the most popular programming language for introductory programming courses; however, there has been a lack of a good Java development environment for novice computer science students. We decided to adapt Eclipse for teaching purposes by developing a plug-in called Penumbra. Through our experience teaching with standard Eclipse, as well as research on alternative environments, we determined that the goals of the plug-in should be simplicity, process integration, focus on Java concepts, easy transition to professional Eclipse, as well as specialized help documentation. Penumbra has been used by approximately 350 students in the introductory computer science course at Purdue University for the last two semesters with great success. Eclipse has proved to be an excellent platform for a teaching environment, and we will continue to develop Penumbra to expand and improve features.

  author = {Mueller, Frank},
  title = {Penumbra: Enhancing Eclipse for Introductory Programming},
  school = {Purdue University},
  year = {2004},
  month = {May}