An Empirical Evaluation of Visual Metaphors in the Animation of Roles of Variables

Tuija Stutzle, Jorma Sajaniemi
InSITE 2005  •  Volume 5  •  2005
Roles of variables, which describe stereotypic usages of variables, can be exploited to facilitate teaching introductory programming. This paper describes the evaluation of visual metaphors for roles used in a role-based program animator. The evaluation is based on several criteria: properties of the images, metaphor recognition and grading, and effects on learning. The study demonstrates that as a whole the role metaphors facilitate learning. The results also identify ideas for further elaboration of the individual metaphors. Furthermore, the study suggests that the evaluation of animated metaphors may require special measures.
Roles of variables, metaphor, program animation, computer science education
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