A low-tech, hands-on approach to teaching sorting algorithms to working students

J. Geller, R. Dios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This work focuses upon identifying the educational effects of "activity oriented" instructional techniques. We seek to determine which instructional methods produce enhanced learning and comprehension. Specifically we discuss the problem of learning sorting algorithms, a major topic in every Computer Science curriculum. We present a "low-tech hands-on" teaching method for sorting algorithms. We stress that there is no need to introduce the World-Wide Web or other high technology tools into this scenario. Primary targets for our teaching approach are part-time students that have little time for homework assignments, because they are supporting families and/or have full time jobs. In this paper we also report the results of a statistical evaluation of our approach. The application of our "hands-on" technique to teaching sorting algorithms produces a dramatic improvement of students' test scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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