Where academic tradition
meets the exciting future

Comparing the Collaborative and Independent Viewing of Program Visualization

Teemu Rajala, Erkki Kaila, Johannes Holvitie, Haavisto Riku, Mikko-Jussi Laakso, Tapio Salakoski, Comparing the Collaborative and Independent Viewing of Program Visualization. In: Frontiers in Education Conference. 2011. (FIE 2011), F3G–1 – F3G–7 , Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) , 2011.


ViLLE is a program visualization tool, which can be used to teach basic programming concepts in various programming languages. We conducted a study, in which the students were randomly divided into two groups. Both groups started by taking a pre-test which measured their earlier knowledge in programming. After the test they practiced the concepts using a web-based programming tutorial. The tutorial consisted of brief descriptions of each topic, accompanied with links to ViLLE exercises. In group A, the students completed the ViLLE exercises independently, while in group B the students worked in collaboration with another student. We monitored the learning process by recording all students’ actions using screen capture software; in group B we also recorded the conversation between students during the tutorial session. Moreover, to record the learning outcome, a post-test – an extended version of pre-test – was taken after going though the tutorial. Our previous results showed that students working as pairs got significantly better learning results. To research the process, we randomly selected five videos from each group, and examined them meticulously by annotating and tagging all actions. In this paper we analyze the learning process in relation to different levels of engagement throughout the process, with focus on differences between groups A and B. The object of the study was to find out why the collaboration enhances the learning and which effects it has on the engagement between learner and visualization.

BibTeX entry:

  title = {Comparing the Collaborative and Independent Viewing of Program Visualization},
  booktitle = {Frontiers in Education Conference. 2011. (FIE 2011)},
  author = {Rajala, Teemu and Kaila, Erkki and Holvitie, Johannes and Haavisto Riku and Laakso, Mikko-Jussi and Salakoski, Tapio},
  publisher = {Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) },
  pages = {F3G–1 – F3G–7 },
  year = {2011},

Belongs to TUCS Research Unit(s): Learning and Reasoning Lab

Edit publication