Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis

an APOS-based study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Students learn abstract concepts such as algorithm analysis in stages, progressively understanding the same concept at higher levels of abstraction. Without supporting students to progress to each stage, students will not achieve higher levels of understanding. With the aim of improving teaching of algorithm analysis, we analyzed teaching materials and assessments from two undergraduate Data Structures & Algorithms modules to investigate whether there are "missing" stages in the teaching of algorithm analysis on these modules, using APOS theory as a framework to model the learning stages of algorithm analysis concepts and the progressions between them. In our analysis, we identified five stages of learning the concepts of "growth function", "order of growth" and "time complexity", and found that the teaching delivered to students supported some but not all progressions between these stages. In line with APOS theory, we also make recommendations to improve teaching of algorithm analysis concepts by supporting progression to these missing stages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
PublisherACM
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6535-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2018
Event18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research - Koli, Finland
Duration: 22 Nov 201825 Nov 2018

Conference

Conference18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research
CountryFinland
CityKoli
Period22/11/1825/11/18

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Teaching
student
teaching materials
abstraction
learning

Cite this

Kay, A., & Wong, S. H. S. (2018). Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis: an APOS-based study. In Proceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research [18] ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3279720.3279738
Kay, Andrew ; Wong, Shun Ha Sylvia. / Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis : an APOS-based study. Proceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. ACM, 2018.
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Kay, A & Wong, SHS 2018, Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis: an APOS-based study. in Proceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research., 18, ACM, 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli, Finland, 22/11/18. https://doi.org/10.1145/3279720.3279738

Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis : an APOS-based study. / Kay, Andrew; Wong, Shun Ha Sylvia.

Proceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. ACM, 2018. 18.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Kay A, Wong SHS. Discovering Missing Stages in the Teaching of Algorithm Analysis: an APOS-based study. In Proceedings of the 18th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research. ACM. 2018. 18 https://doi.org/10.1145/3279720.3279738