Generic Code-Memory Diagram Animation Creator: An Aid for Effective Computer-Programming Teaching

M. Dixon (UK)


Teaching computer programming, computer assistedlearning


Previous work has described difficulties of using static media (books and lecture slides) with narratives to explain dynamic computer programming concepts. The potential for code-memory diagram (CMD) animation software to overcome these limitations and enhance student learning has been demonstrated. This language independent software tool is particularly relevant to higher education with recent increases in class sizes. For these animations to realise this potential, there must be a mechanism for lecturers to quickly and easily create and adapt animations to meet their specific needs. This paper focuses on the interaction between the CMD animation software and the lecturer during preparation time. It describes a year-long evaluation of the software, and the development and evaluation of animation editing software. Participant observation was employed to determine how the software performed over an academic year. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 3 lecturers to determine current use of animations, and the perceived usefulness of the enhanced version of the software. Current use of animation was perceived to be very useful, but restricted by the level of preparation time required. The lecturers perceived the CMD animation creation software as `fast', `easy', `brilliant', and a potential solution to this, and were very keen to start using it.

Important Links:

Go Back