Building a Community and Establishing Best Practices in Algorithm Visualization Through the Algoviz Wiki

Start Date: 01/01/2009
End Date: 12/31/2010

This project expands preliminary work on the AlgoViz Wiki, http://algoviz.cs.vt.edu, to make it into a true community resource. As an outcome of this project, the AlgoViz Wiki becomes a focus point for locating algorithm visualizations (AVs), releasing new AVs, reading reviews from users, and sharing experiences about classroom use. This project helps AV developers and users connect and interact with each other, provides social support for reviewing, rating, and commenting on available AVs, and shares activities and plans for how best to use AVs. Resources for developers include information about development tools and AV toolkits, information about licensing and intellectual property policies, guidance on what works and what does not in AV design, and guidance on what topics are in greatest need of new visualizations. A SourceForge site is developed where developers can share exemplar source code for AVs, allowing new developers to see how others have solved fundamental design and development problems.

This effort improves the computing education community's understanding of how AVs can be made pedagogically effective. It leverages the collective knowledge of the community to drive better development practices and better deployment. The community can collectively identify quality instructional materials and effective modes of deployment.

Improving on the general availability and quality of AVs can affect the educational outcomes for tens of thousands of students every year in computer science and related disciplines. Providing a community resource on best practices improves the development of future AVs around the world. A clearing house of available AVs and documenting best practices for their use provides quality educational materials to instructors.

Grant Institution: National Science Foundation

Amount: $149,206

People associated with this grant:

Cliff Shaffer
Stephen Edwards