Would you recommend to teach the OOP topics by making use only of console and with little or no use of the Net Beans GUI? Could that help the students to focus more on the logic of the program and maybe to learn how to do quick tests?
My premise is that I'll speak just as a student. I remember two C++ courses in my university: "Basics of C++" and "OOP with Qt" (C++ GUI library). Each took about 2 months.
The first one is considered one of the hardest and yet boring course, the one people just want to pass and don't want to excel in. It just teach you the basic of the language and doesn't really focus on the OOP part. I'd compare it to the first months of your year-course: they are painful but necessary.
The second one was one of the course I've ever attended with much enthusiasm. Why? Because part of the exam consisted in creating a full GUI application (I'll leave the details out for the purpose of this talk). I really felt part of the course and I felt that something challenging and useful was actually being done. Also, I've probably learned more C++ programming patterns and how the language works in the second course rather than the first one whose only purpose was that.
So I'd highly suggest you, if you consider your students ready, to involve GUI programming with one of the most used library out there. Why?
- Because it's no surprise that GUI is more exciting than the command line (except for some MS-DOS guys I guess)
- Because it requires you to fully understand the OOP concepts behind the library
- Because knowing a library is always useful (future work)
- Because it's more challenging
- Because (testing with a final project) helps you understand real-life programming problems and let you find their solution, which you'll never forget.