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How does collaboration affect algorithm learning? A case study using TRAKLA2 algorithm visualization tool

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4 Author(s)
Teemu Rajala ; Department of Information Technology, University of Turku and TUCS, Finland ; Tapio Salakoski ; Erkki Kaila ; Mikko-Jussi Laakso

Algorithm visualization tools can potentially be used to help novices to learn the abstract concepts of algorithms and data structures. Still, the methods of using such tools must be carefully considered. We conducted a study to find out if the TRAKLA2 algorithm visualization tool can be used to teach these concepts effectively. Moreover, we wanted to find out if there is a difference in learning when students use the tool in collaboration with another student. Students participated in a two-hour lab session, where half of them used the tool independently, and the other half in collaboration with a peer. We found out, that using the tool had a substantial effect on the learning outcome for both groups. However, the collaborative use did not have any additional effect on the learning.

Published in:

2010 2nd International Conference on Education Technology and Computer  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

22-24 June 2010