A comparative study of two algorithm animation tools as AIDS in algorithm understanding

Melissa Ann Wiggins

Abstract

This research design was a comparative study of two algorithm animation tools. One of these had a more textual base while the other had a more graphical base. Both tools had a substantial graphical interface. Thirty-two students at a comprehensive Christian university were chosen to participate in the study. The subjects were divided into two equal groups. Each group received separate treatments the first week and exchanged treatments the second week. Performance on short answer exams, free response exams, and preference for a tool were used as measures of assessment for the animation tools. No significant difference was found between the two, groups on a short answer test on record concepts, a short answer test on array concepts, a free response test on record concepts, or on a free response test on array concepts. There was a significant preference for an animation tool for use with list concepts and for an animation tool in general. There was no significant preference for a tool to use with recursion.