Create programming tasks in ILIAS with ViPLab

As of now, ViPLab can be used in test mode at KIT via the KIT Pilot platform. In addition, an info event is planned for the summer.

The ViPLab virtual programming lab is a browser-based programming environment that enables the execution of programming tasks in ILIAS. The plug-in can be used as a question type in online tests or programming exercises and can be combined with other question formats.

Contact persons at the ZML
Sarah Holstein
Phone: +49 721 608-48219

Judith Borel
Phone: +49 721-608-48205

Application scenarios

ViPLab is particularly suitable for elementary tasks from numerical mathematics that are limited to a few lines of source code and offers a low-threshold introduction to electronic programming. Students who have little experience in using programming environments benefit from the clear user interface and direct feedback through the integrated output.

ViPLab in teaching:

  • Within the framework of courses, programming tasks in ViPLab can be used to deepen learning content and to show students their personal learning progress through practical exercises.
  • The graphical output of calculations is particularly suitable for visualizing different parameters and the effects of their change on different examples.

ViPLab in exams

  • In online exams, ViPLab tasks can be combined with other question types in ILIAS and replace handwritten code submission.
  • The information provided by the exam takers is documented centrally and uniformly, which simplifies the evaluation process of the exam.

ViPLab thus offers a tool that can be used in various teaching-learning settings to design learning and examination tasks in a practical way.

Structure and functions

ViPLab supports the creation of assignments in the programming languages C, C++, Matlab, Octave and Java, as well as DuMuX and does not require the installation of additional software due to a code editor and compiler integrated in ILIAS. Outputs can be interpreted in textual or graphical form. An interactive function plotter is available for visualizing calculation results.

The evaluation of solutions of individual programming tasks can be started manually by entering a correction algorithm or can be automated if configured accordingly. In the case of automatic evaluation, the score achieved is transferred directly to the learning platform. Regardless of the selected evaluation mode, the points awarded can be subsequently adjusted by examiners, for example, to compensate for trivial carelessness errors in the task solution.

ViPLab tasks consist of one or more translation units, which in turn are divided into several sections. The structuring into sections makes it possible to assign certain characteristics to parts of the program code and thus to make them editable for students or to protect them from changes as constant code. In addition, code parts that are irrelevant from a didactic point of view can be hidden for students.

In order to activate the automatic evaluation of exercises, a constant code part must be supplemented by a correction algorithm and configured with the corresponding score.

ViPLab at KIT

Via the KIT Pilot platform you can create ViPLab tasks by creating a course and selecting the question type "ViPLab" in an ILIAS test or in an ILIAS question pool.

More information about the program and demo tasks can be found on the pages of the University of Stuttgart, where the application was developed and has been in use for several years.

During the summer semester 2022, an information event is planned where users can ask their questions about the use of ViPLab to Expert:innen of the University of Stuttgart. If you are interested in the event or have feedback about ViPLab, please feel free to contact us by sending an email to Judith.Borel∂