You are being invited to participate in a study entitled “GILD / Eclipse User Study of Novice Programmers: Developing a Groupware enabled Integrated Learning and Development environment”. This study looks at issues surrounding first year computer science teaching and learning.

The study is being conducted by Ms. Mary Sanseverino, who is a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria, and by Ms. Suzanne Thompson, who is a graduate student at the University of Victoria. You may contact Ms. Mary Sanseverino if you have further questions. Phone: (250)721-8753 or email

This research is being funded by an IBM Eclipse Innovation Grant

Learning to program can be a challenging task for anyone. The purpose of this research project is to look at how we can design and build an environment that facilitates this type of learning and teaching. This study is important because it will have benefits for teachers, researchers and developers interested in improving how computer science is taught. It will have benefits for students taking computer science. To date, there has been little work done in this area. Our study will be breaking new ground, and the results will be of interest to the larger computer science and software engineering community.

We are asking your permission to observe you using software. Your participation is completely voluntary. No names or other methods of identifying you in reports will be used. The observations will be used only to describe what, in general, goes on when you interact with the software. Only trained researchers will be analyzing the data. These researchers are neutral third parties and are not responsible for any evaluation of your work.

This study will consist of a software monitoring program that will log your interactions with Gild. Data logged will include: views, editors, commands, and preference changes. Information about program elements that you navigate will be identified by name. At no time will the contents of files or edits be logged. When you exit from the program, you will be prompted to allow the data to be sent to a UVic server. You may preview this data before it is sent. Questionnaires may also be conducted.

In terms of protecting your anonymity, information gathered from the observation process will only ever be reported as an aggregate description, unless specific permission is given to report individual results. No names are gathered or used. At no time will anyone be able to identify any of the participants by using any reported material. If you choose, you can withdraw from the study at any time by not submitting data to the server. You will be able to preview the data that will be submitted.

All information disclosed to researchers in this project is confidential. All data will be kept secure and protected at all times. Study data will be kept for five years. At the end of this time computer data files will be deleted. There are no known or anticipated risks to you by participating in this research. The observations made will not be shared with the lab instructor or the course instructor and will not impact your mark in this course in any way.

All participants will be able to examine the dissemination of the study results via the study website: Results from this study will be published in computer science and software engineering journals, presented at scholarly meetings, and will form part of several theses and dissertations. In addition to being able to contact the researchers, you may verify the ethical approval of this study, or raise any concerns you might have, by contacting the Associate Vice-President, Research at the University of Victoria (250-472-4362).

For more information on our research group, look at

By clicking “I agree…” you are acknowledging that you have read the consent form and are agreeing to participate in the study. You may opt out of this study by selecting “I do not wish to participate…” Please fill out the form below if you choose to participate in the study.