Tech Report CS-97-07

A Collaborative Environment for Algorithm Animation on the WWW

Luis David Lejter

May 1997


On this paper we extend Mocha, an algorithm animation system for the World Wide Web to incorporate a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning environment. Mocha uses a distributed model based on a client-server architecture that leverages existing network, multimedia and algorithm animation technologies. Collaborative Mocha provides an extensible framework suitable for developing collaborative pedagogical tools based on algorithm animation. By using existing technologies Mocha takes advantage of current developments in internet technologies and simplifies the development of new tools.

Our CSCL for Mocha features a synchronous collaborative environment, providing a WYSIWIS (What you see is what I see) experience. We cover different aspects of the collaboration environment like awareness, embodiment, visualization, persistence and history, etc.

We describe a shared geometric whiteboard prototype suitable for learning concepts in computational geometry. This prototype can be accessed from any java enabled web browser.

Keywords: algorithm animation, computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL), World Wide Web (WWW), computer supported collaborative work (CSCW).

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