A Semi-Automatically Assessable Design for a Hands-On Compilers Course

Omar Mohammad Othman .


This paper describes the author's experience with a
hands-on compilers course designed and carried on in the
German University in Cairo. The five main points are the course
objectives, the course organization, the author's approach to
formulating the lab exercises – an approach recommended for
programming courses in general (which is also the main
contribution as it offers a method for “semi-automatic” grading
without the need for an automatic assessment system, besides
documenting the author's experience categorizing and offering a
hands-on compilers course), the small language “invented” for
which the lexical analyzer, syntactic analyzer and interpreter are
to be written by the students (which is the course's ongoing
project) and the adopted grading scheme. Besides, having the
course’s project seamlessly integrated within the other exercises
(as opposed to a separate bulk at the end of the course) is another
point stressed in its design. An idea for a system for automating
the whole process is proposed at the end.

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