GPTutor: A ChatGPT-Powered Programming Tool for Code Explanation

Eason Chen*, Ray Huang, Han Shin Chen, Yuen Hsien Tseng, Liang Yi Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Learning new programming skills requires tailored guidance. With the emergence of advanced Natural Language Generation models like the ChatGPT API, there is now a possibility of creating a convenient and personalized tutoring system with AI for computer science education. This paper presents GPTutor, a ChatGPT-powered programming tool, which is a Visual Studio Code extension using the ChatGPT API to provide programming code explanations. By integrating Visual Studio Code API, GPTutor can comprehensively analyze the provided code by referencing the relevant source codes. As a result, GPTutor can use designed prompts to explain the selected code with a pop-up message. GPTutor is now published at the Visual Studio Code Extension Marketplace, and its source code is openly accessible on GitHub. Preliminary evaluation indicates that GPTutor delivers the most concise and accurate explanations compared to vanilla ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot. Moreover, the feedback from students and teachers indicated that GPTutor is user-friendly and can explain given codes satisfactorily. Finally, we discuss possible future research directions for GPTutor. This includes enhancing its performance and personalization via further prompt programming, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of GPTutor with real users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education. Posters and Late Breaking Results, Workshops and Tutorials, Industry and Innovation Tracks, Practitioners, Doctoral Consortium and Blue Sky - 24th International Conference, AIED 2023, Proceedings
EditorsNing Wang, Genaro Rebolledo-Mendez, Vania Dimitrova, Noboru Matsuda, Olga C. Santos
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9783031363351
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event24th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education , AIED 2023 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2023 Jul 32023 Jul 7

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1831 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference24th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education , AIED 2023


  • ChatGPT
  • Developer Tool
  • Natural Language Generation
  • Prompt Engineering
  • Tutoring System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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