Wiley launched Advannced zyLabs, an addition to classic zyLabs in zyBooks computer and data science courses designed to help computer programming students learn coding skills in a realistic, professional environment. The new labs will be offered starting this fall. More than a million students across more than 1,200 institutions have used zyBooks.
“Advanced zyLabs are a real game-changer for computer programming students and instructors,” said Smita Bakshi, Wiley senior vice president for academic learning. “These labs will help students acquire job-ready skills, better connecting them from college to career. The goal is to get them ready to succeed on day one.”
Advanced zyLabs allow students to work in one environment for all their coding assignments. Like the classic zyLabs, the new labs are accessed by students directly within their zyBooks online course materials, without the need to download additional software or go to a different website.
The new labs will offer advanced auto-grading capabilities, providing students with instant feedback as they work so they can see where they went wrong and immediately learn from their mistakes. They also will offer a number of new professional-quality development features designed to enrich students’ learning experience, including:
- Code formatting/auto-completion
- Interactive debugging
- Multiple file/folder support
- Command-line execution, shells, and graphics
- Simultaneous editing by classmates and instructors
Students will also have the ability to collaborate with instructors and teaching assistants within the labs, and eventually they will have the ability to collaborate with other students.
New Instructor Benefits
As with classic zyLabs, the new labs offer instructors the ability to create their own labs within the same courseware from which they are teaching. However, Advanced zyLabs also offer instructors a number of new authoring capabilities, such as:
- New test types for immediate feedback
- Collaboration with students in real time
- Run GUI (graphical user interface) and desktop applications for robust projects
- More than 50 programming languages
- Live rendering environments for web programming
More than 60% of instructors report going to an external source to create their labs currently.
Advanced zyLabs, which can be accessed from any browser, promote equity by leveling the technical playing field for students. Students can access a professional environment configured for their lab regardless of the computer they are using.
Improved Academic Integrity
Advanced zyLabs will allow instructors to follow student’s step-by-step progress as they complete the lab, which is not possible when students are completing the lab on an external website. By doing so, instructors can gain valuable insights into the learning process.
This “show your work” aspect is also a helpful tool in protecting academic integrity. When students complete labs in an external setting, instructors can see and grade only the final results; within Advanced zyLabs, in contrast, they can see the work students have completed at each step along the way.
Advanced zyLabs are powered by Coding Rooms technology, which recently became a part of Wiley.
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