A demonstration of heaps, heap sort, and a competition with merge-sort.
Type of Material:
in-class demonstration, individual, team, lecture or self-paced.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The website with an animation video can help to facilitate learners with illustrate examples on the basic understanding of :
1) heaps as a specific type of data structure;
2) how to build a heap for sorting;
3) the basic working mechanism / procedure of the heap sort algorithm;
4) the performance of the heap sort algorithm versus that of the merge sort algorithm.
Target Student Population:
first-year to sophomore of college/university students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
merge sort, quick sort.
It focuses on heap sort and consists of comparison between other sorting algorithms.
It is clear and concise.
It provides a complete demonstration of the concept about heap sort.
It summarizes the concepts wells.
It requires knowledge about other sorting algorithms, such as merge sort.
It lacks the detailed text description about the sorting methods.
The content quality can be enhanced if more examples of heaps (incl. numbers or data items) and heap sorts can be included.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
It contains animation and extra notes, which can help learners to understand the topic.
It demonstrates relationships between concepts including heap sort and merge sort.
It is easy to integrate into curriculum assignment.
The material is really effective in demonstrating the working mechanism of the heap sort algorithm to learners.
In the last animation part, using two robots to work concurrently on the two arrays of balls can be a bit fast, thus difficult to understanding. Probably, the authors may consider to REPLAY the sorting procedure / steps in each sorting algorithm in a slower pace for ease of understanding.
The notes are a bit short and brief. It does not have assessment tasks to measure student learning outcomes.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
It is very easy-to-use for general learners who would like to learn about basic data structures like heaps and the relevant sorting algorithm such as the heap sort, and the comparison of performance with other algorithms like the merge sort.
Its usability can be enhanced if the animation may include some practical examples in real life applications, e.g. sorting a list of bank account balances or car plate numbers.
Other Issues and Comments:
The material mainly focuses on the topic heap sort and merge sort. It compares the two sort methods. It is concise and is good to use during classes.
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