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Lecture and Study Aides for Data Structures Class
6 May 2011 - 10:05pm
Course:CS3114: Data Structures and Algorithms
Term / Date:Spring 2011
A series of AVs were used throughout the course of the semester course. Mostly they were intended as supports for lecture, and many were only used for maybe two minutes, as an alternative to sketching on the board and waving my arms. They could also be used by students for self-study to reinforce the lecture. A couple were used to help students understand content needed to do projects. This is all fairly standard use of AVs, and no particular assessment study was done. However, we did use the Hashing Tutorial as a replacement one week's worth of lecturing on the topic of hashing (as we have done for the past few years in this course).
The chief reason to post this Field Report is to give a listing of AVs that I have found useful, many of which I have used in the past.
Followup: I just received my course evaluations from the students this semester. One question asked the respondants to indicate what they found most helpful about the class. This was an open-ended question to which they could respond whatever they wished. 5/27 respondants mentioned the AVs that were used in class. 4 more students indicated the drawings that I put on the whiteboard (which I did when I didn't have a visualization to show). This means that, unprompted, 1/3 of the class brought up visualizations as important to them in a data structures class. This strikes me as signiﬁcant, indicating the great need that students have for dynamic processes such as algorithms to be shown to them using some sort of dynamic process such as a visualization or changing diagrams. Things that can't be done in a static textbook or coursenotes.