The Effectiveness of Software Visualization Prototypes In Programming Education

M. Olsson

Abstract— Computer programs and algorithms involve concepts and processes which are often found difficult to learn and teach. However, software visualization is one way to facilitate learning and teaching of those abstract and dynamic entities. In this study experiments and interviews were conducted to examine the effectiveness of combining animations, text and audio in software visualization. Thus, the study investigates if text in combination with animation and audio will further improve the learning and teaching of basic concepts of object-oriented programming for novice students. The underlying concepts of software visualization; program visualization and algorithm visualization were measured. Participants of the experiments and interviews were 19 voluntary Computer Science students. Effectiveness, in form of enhanced comprehension by adding auditory stimuli to the software visualizations could not be derived from the evaluation of the measurements. However, auditory stimuli of the program visualization did add further value to the visualization, in form of increased focus.

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