The eCoach teaching innovation project receives funding from Wikimedia Germany, the Stifterverband, and the Volkswagen Stiftung

The eCoach system supports programming courses by automatically checking students’ coding assignments upon submission. The system provides benefits for students and teachers alike. Students benefit from the immediate feedback provided by the system and the chance to improve and resubmit their solutions. Teachers benefit from a reduction in the manual effort required to test and assess students’ code.

eCoach, an abbreviation for Electronic Coding Assigments Checker, is a teaching innovation project initiated at the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz. In 2017, the Department of Computer and Information Science provided seed funding to the eCoach project. The goal was to create the eCoach system by extending the open source software Praktomat and to test the newly created system in a pilot study using two computer science courses at the University of Konstanz. Over the course of this project, Moritz Schubotz, a postdoc in the Information Science Group, enhanced the existing software by adding support for the version control system GIT, the continuous integration service Travis, the trusted timestamping service OriginStamp, and the Prestos SQL parser. As a result of these improvements, eCoach now enables students to gain experience with modern software engineering tools. Together with Norman Meuschke, another member of Prof. Gipp’s group, Moritz successfully tested the eCoach system in the courses ‘Database System Architecture and Implementation’ and ‘Introduction to Computation for the Social Sciences’.

Recently, Moritz received an Open Knowledge Fellowship funded by Wikimedia Germany, the Stifterverband and the Volkswagen Stiftung. This 9-month fellowship is allowing Moritz to continue the development on eCoach and to further extend it as an Open Science project. For more details, refer to this blog post by Wikimedia Germany (in German).