Seeing is Understanding details a four year research study into how visualisations can support learning.

It reports on a qualitative instrumental collective case study in which five computer programming languages supporting differing degrees of visualisation were used as cases to explore the effectiveness of software visualisation to develop fundamental computer programming concepts.

Cognitive theories of visual and auditory processing, cognitive load, and mental models provided a framework in which cognitive development was tracked and used to explain failures in previous software visualisation studies, in particular the study demonstrated that for the cases examined, where complex concepts are being developed, the mixing of auditory (or text) and visual elements can result in excessive cognitive load and impede learning.

This finding provides a framework for selecting the appropriate instructional programming languages based on the cognitive complexity of the concepts under study.

Dr. Jason Zagami

Dr Jason Zagami is a lecturer in the school of Education and Professional Studies of Griffith University on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia where he conducts research in cognition, professional learning and expertise, and all aspects of educational technologies – with a current focus on 1:1 computing, mobile learning, games in education, augmented reality, virtual environments, neural interfaces, and the emergence of computing as a school discipline.

Jason has many years experience in K-12 computer education and has been the recipient of an Outstanding National Achievement by a Teacher and Queensland Computer Educator of the Year awards. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher, president of the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE), president of the Australian College of Educators (Gold Coast), past president of the Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE), and editor of the Australian Educational Computing (AEC) journal.

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