Evaluation of Learner Engagement in Program Visualization

E. Kaila, M.-J. Laakso, T. Rajala, and T. Salakoski (Finland)


Program visualization, Interactive learning environments,Engagement with visualization, Effectiveness ofvisualization, Programming learning, Noviceprogrammers


Engagement taxonomy is used in categorizing learner’s involvement in an education situation including visualization. We conducted a research on the effects of engagement level in program visualization. The students attended a two hour lab session where they learned basic programming concepts using a programming tutorial. The results were analyzed based on the engagement level: the no-viewing group used only the tutorial, while the viewing and responding groups were able to utilize a program visualization tool called ViLLE. The results show that each group performed significantly better at the end of the session. Moreover, when taking previous programming experience into account, the novices in the responding group improved their results more than novices in other groups. The statistically significant difference between them and more experienced students disappeared at the end of the session, while in the other groups the difference remained. This seems to support the hypothesis by Naps et al. [1]: the higher the level of engagement, the better the learning.

Important Links:

Go Back