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dc.contributor.authorFouh Mbindi, Eric Noelen_US
dc.date.accessioned2015-04-30T08:00:15Z
dc.date.available2015-04-30T08:00:15Z
dc.date.issued2015-04-29en_US
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:5078en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/51951
dc.description.abstractLearning technologies in computer science education have been most closely associated with teaching of programming, including automatic assessment of programming exercises. However, when it comes to teaching computer science content and concepts, learning technologies have not been heavily used. Perhaps the best known application today is Algorithm Visualization (AV), of which there are hundreds of examples. AVs tend to focus on presenting the procedural aspects of how a given algorithm works, rather than more conceptual content. There are also new electronic textbooks (eTextbooks) that incorporate the ability to edit and execute program examples. For many traditional courses, a longstanding problem is lack of sufficient practice exercises with feedback to the student. Automated assessment provides a way to increase the number of exercises on which students can receive feedback. Interactive eTextbooks have the potential to make it easy for instructors to introduce both visualizations and practice exercises into their courses. OpenDSA is an interactive eTextbook for data structures and algorithms (DSA) courses. It integrates tutorial content with AVs and automatically assessed interactive exercises. Since Spring 2013, OpenDSA has been regularly used to teach a fundamental data structures and algorithms course (CS2), and also a more advanced data structures, algorithms, and analysis course (CS3) at various institutions of higher education. In this thesis, I report on findings from early adoption of the OpenDSA system. I describe how OpenDSA's design addresses obstacles in the use of AV systems. I identify a wide variety of use for OpenDSA in the classroom. I found that instructors used OpenDSA exercises as graded assignments in all the courses where it was used. Some instructors assigned an OpenDSA assignment before lectures and started spending more time teaching higher-level concepts. OpenDSA also supported implementing a ``flipped classroom'' by some instructors. I found that students are enthusiastic about OpenDSA and voluntarily used the AVs embedded within OpenDSA. Students found OpenDSA beneficial and expressed a preference for a class format that included using OpenDSA as part of the assigned graded work. The relationship between OpenDSA and students' performance was inconclusive, but I found that students with higher grades tend to complete more exercises.en_US
dc.format.mediumETDen_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsThis Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. Some uses of this Item may be deemed fair and permitted by law even without permission from the rights holder(s), or the rights holder(s) may have licensed the work for use under certain conditions. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights holder(s).en_US
dc.subjectComputer Science Educationen_US
dc.subjecteTextbooken_US
dc.subjectLearning Technologyen_US
dc.subjectAutomated Assessmenten_US
dc.subjectAlgorithm Visualizationen_US
dc.subjectStudent Evaluationen_US
dc.subjectData Analyticsen_US
dc.titleBuilding and Evaluating a Learning Environment for Data Structures and Algorithms Coursesen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.contributor.departmentComputer Scienceen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineComputer Science and Applicationsen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairShaffer, Clifford A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNaps, Thomas L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHall, Tahereh Siminen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEdwards, Stephen H.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFox, Edward A.en_US


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