Debugging in the classroom - enough with sneaker didactics!

About the project

Finding and fixing errors independently is a major hurdle for novice programmers, which can often lead to frustration and even reluctance in computer science classes. Sometimes this also becomes a major challenge for the teacher, who rushes from student PC to student PC, trying to do everyone justice as much as possible. Only by enabling students to independently and successfully correct their programming errors, i.e. debugging, can this problem of "sneaker didactics" be addressed. As various studies show, debugging is different from general programming skills and must be taught explicitly. Moreover, debugging skills do not only play a major role in the programming domain: debugging is also ubiquitous in our everyday life and an approach to computational thinking. Yet debugging is an underrepresented topic both in the classroom and in computer science didactic research, and there are surprisingly few studies, materials, and concepts that address the explicit teaching of debugging skills. As a result, novice debuggers are often left on their own in acquiring debugging skills. In this research project, debugging is analyzed from a didactics perspective, strategies for integrating it into the classroom are developed as well as evaluated, and thus a didactics of debugging is designed.


Michaeli, T. & Romeike, R. (2021). Developing a Real World Escape Room for Assessing Preexisting Debugging Experience of K12 Students. In 2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON). Vienna, AUT.

Michaeli, T. (2021). Debugging im Informatikunterricht. Dissertation, Freie Universität Berlin.

Michaeli, T., & Romeike, R. (2020). Investigating Students' Preexisting Debugging Traits: A Real World Escape Room Study. In Proceedings of the 20th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Michaeli, T., & Romeike, R. (2019). Improving Debugging Skills in the Classroom – The Effects of Teaching a Systematic Debugging Process. In Proceedings of the 14th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 57-63). Glasgow, UK, GB: New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Michaeli, T., & Romeike, R. (2019). Debuggen im Unterricht – Ein systematisches Vorgehen macht den Unterschied. In Tagungsband INFOS 2019 - GI-Fachtagung Informatik und Schule. Dortmund.

Michaeli, T., & Romeike, R. (2019). Current Status and Perspectives of Debugging in the K12 Classroom: A Qualitative Study. In 2019 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) (pp. 1030-1038). Dubai, AE. 

Michaeli, T., & Romeike, R. (2017). Addressing Teaching Practices Regarding Software Quality: Testing and Debugging in the Classroom. In Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 105--106). Nijmegen, Netherlands: New York, NY, USA: ACM.