Rashkovits Rami, Ilana Lavy



Interactive Debug and Exploration of Recursive Functions

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Recursion, educational technology


One of the most difficult concepts students learn in computer science (cs) studies is the concept of recursion. Recursion refers to the situation in which a solution to a problem contains its own (reduced) copy. Recursive algorithms are very common in the cs field and therefore a good understanding of the concept is necessary. The difficulty in understanding recursive processes is that recursive thinking is not intuitive. Over the years, several visual models have been developed to address this problem, such as the 'little man' and the 'top-down frames', but they do provide only limited framework to assist the design, monitoring and understanding of new problems. As part of this research, we built a computerized tool which may facilitate understanding of recursion and serve as a tool for the learner to follow a recursive process run visually. In this paper we describe the exploratory tool, and indicating its potential contributions. We prove by an empirical comparative study that the tool contributed to students and promoted higher-quality solutions with fewer errors.

Cite this paper

Rashkovits Rami, Ilana Lavy. (2017) Interactive Debug and Exploration of Recursive Functions. International Journal of Education and Learning Systems, 2, 143-149