Developing an Online Algorithms Tutorial for New Zealand High Schools
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Computer Science was introduced to New Zealand schools as an NCEA topic for the first time in 2011. The rapid development and introduction of the NCEA standards resulted in a lack of teaching resources and left many teachers feeling unprepared to teach these topics. Providing easily obtainable resources is crucial to the success of this curriculum. The research underpinning the development of a resource for students and teachers, to assist them with the algorithms section of the curriculum, is presented. “Algorithms” will form a chapter in the online textbook, the Computer Science Field Guide (CSFG). The chapter will convey the basic concepts of what an algorithm is, their associated costs and the differences in costs for algorithms which accomplish the same tasks. An introductory video, a sorting algorithms visualisation, and two interactive applications have been developed for the chapter. These interactives use Searching and Sorting Algorithms to illustrate to students the differences in costs between different algorithms. Algorithm simulations and a preliminary teacher survey indicate the chapter content is successful and its effectiveness will be fully assessed after its release at the 2013 Computer Science for High Schools event on December 4th .