Improving Compilers Education through Symbol Tables Animations
This paper presents the evaluation of an educational tool focused on the visualization of the symbol table in the context of a compiler course. In a first evaluation we used simulation exercises and tested basic concepts of symbol tables. We detected efficiency improvements, students who used the tool completed the exercises with the same grading and significantly faster than the students who did not use the tool. In addition students' opinion was positive. In a second evaluation we used more active tasks, and tested students' skills on writing parser specifications regarding symbol table management. We have detected significant improvements. Students who used the tool outperformed those who did not use the tool in a 22%.