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A website featuring interactive examples used to teach introductory programming to both on-campus and, recently, distance students is described. On-line notes are created using a pair of tools, Web-Writer++, an authoring system for programming instructors, and the Teaching Machine, a program animator which is used to interactively display the examples. The tools allow the instructor in the classroom or the student on their own to step through computer programs written in C++ or Java. The animations that unfold are designed to build a deep understanding of how computers process programs, consonant with the kind of mental models we believe professional programmers hold. In-class versus distance experience will be discussed.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Oct. 2007