Sorting, or putting series of elements in appropriate order, is an important computer science topic and presents an old and well defined computer science problem. Mastering sorting algorithms is especially important for future software engineers regardless of their specific domain they work in. The growing popularity of smartphone devices can be clearly observed in everyday student life. Although they are mostly used for fun and informal ways of learning (e.g. access to Wikipedia, YouTube etc.), scientific studies have shown the educational value of these devices.
Normally, students learn sorting by using a paper and pencil while simultaneously watching sorting algorithm program code. This tiring and ineffective procedure often results in different kinds of errors such as students learning their own version of a sorting algorithm which does not match the real one (the sequence of steps while sorting elements is not adequate). We believe that technology can restructure this troublesome and ineffective process of learning thereby improving students’ knowledge of sorting algorithms.
The smartphone mobile learning application Sortko provides students with an option of choosing a sort (e.g. bubble sort, shell sort, quick sort, insertion sort, etc.) and generates a random sequence of numbers to be sorted by applying a sequence of specific interaction gestures. During the sorting process, Sorko informs students about their success in performing “switches” (element exchanges) and provides them with messages facilitating further progress, making the experience of learning sorting algorithms more intuitive, discoverable and fun.
Supported interface languages (including translated instructions): English (default), French, Spanish, Croatian