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virtual programming lab

Ad-hoc unit testing on simAVR and VPL

Ad-hoc unit testing on simAVR and VPL

In the previous post I showed you how to use VPL and simAVR together to write a basic activity that would test to see if a student could change or assign the value of a register in the simulated microcontroller using the C programming language. While it was the most straight-forward way that I could […]

VPL & Java 17

VPL & Java 17

In our first year programming class for engineering students, EECS 1021, we're using modern features like jShell and var. Unfortunately, the OS that our VPL instance sits on came with an older version of Java, so we've had to modify our scripts to point to the Java 17 JDK. If you get an error like […]

Verilog in Virtual Programming Lab

Verilog in Virtual Programming Lab

Unit testing is really important in general programming, but it's also really useful when creating interactive programming assignments. With Java, I like to use JUnit and with C I like to use the Unity unit tester. With Verilog it's actually really straight-forward to set up testing frameworks. In the EECS 2021 (Computer Organization) labs written […]

VPL: Simple C Assignment with Unit Testing

VPL: Simple C Assignment with Unit Testing

August 2021 Background Here, we're going to apply ThrowTheSwitch's Unity unit test framework to C programs. The test framework is available on GitHub. Three files need to be downloaded from the GitHub. There are a few more files that need to be developed within VPL to make it work, and those are described below. We're […]

VPL: Using Maple for Math Assignments

VPL: Using Maple for Math Assignments

One of the places that Moodle falls down in is in supporting math assignments. It occurred to me that we could treat math assignments like we do programming assignments by extending the Virtual Programming Lab plugin for Moodle to support Maple. This doesn't replace existing products like the Maple / DigitalEd Möbius platform, nor does […]

VPL: Basic Custom Evaluation Example

VPL: Basic Custom Evaluation Example

Sometimes you need to go beyond the default settings in VPL. That means creating a custom "run" and "evaluate" setup. Here, I'll simplify a great example by Dominique Tiebaut, Emeritus prof at Smith College, written for an assignment in C. (archive) We'll check a "hello world" example in C, but won't use the default evaluate.cases […]

VPL: Simplest Working Example

VPL: Simplest Working Example

Virtual Programming Lab can be a little intimidating to use, but once you get the swing of things, it's pretty good. So, let's get you started with the simplest possible working example. We assume that: you have Moodle working at your institution someone has installed VPL on Moodle and you don't need or have access […]

eClass "Playground" course

eClass "Playground" course

UIT has rebadged Moodle as "eClass" and now made the "Playground" feature front and centre for teaching faculty to create areas for us to test ideas without immediately changing an existing course. Access it via the "Create Playground" link on the left of your welcome page: We can now more easily name the playground.  This […]

Virtual Programming Lab

Virtual Programming Lab

Virtual Programming Lab is a plugin for Moodle (eClass at YorkU) that permits interactive programming assignments to be made for students.   There are some really good examples at Smith College on how to set it up with Python and a few with Java and C. I've posted, on YouTube, an example of how to […]