Using Participatory Simulation Support Learning Algorithms
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During learning computer science theory, it is essential to learn sorting algorithms, but it is not easy to understand the concept of the different sorting algorithms. This paper describes a system called PLASPS (PDA-based Learning Algorithm System Using Participatory Simulation). This is an interactive simulation system to learn the sorting algorithms. Learners use it to deeply understand the sorting algorithms. Using this system, the teacher can assign tasks to his student and ask them to sort a list of numbers according to a certain algorithm. Learners receive these tasks, collaborate together and send the result to the server. The system will check it and feedback the student with the positions of the numbers if there is a mistake. The learners will correct the number positions and send it back to the server. Learners can understand the algorithm through the dissections and their errors. This system is like ‘scaffolding’. Scaffolding is a great technique that can help the students to master understanding the sorting algorithm. At the beginning, this system assists the students by supporting some instructions, and later the fading process is starting where the students have to practice independently. There are two parts in this system, one is the system-driven, which uses scaffolding technique, and the other is the learner-driven, which allows the student to work independently. This system was developed and evaluated. In this paper, we describe how the system uses participatory simulation environment for sorting algorithm learning, how we use the scaffolding technique to develop this system. We also describe the implementation of the PLASPS, the evaluation of the system and the plan of the future work.