Game-based Learning Approach to Binary Search Tree Operations

Games perform a certain number of educational purposes. In this respect, they aim to motivate students to learn more effectively and encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Subjects of Data Structure and Algorithms course offered to computer science students are very virtual and are very difficult to interpret visually. In this study, we develop a computer game for teaching of basic operations (construction, insertion, deletion) of binary search trees (BST) including rotation operation to convert unbalanced BST to AVL tree. BST operations and rotation are mostly complex concepts encountered by IT students. We test effectiveness of the proposed system by an examination. An examination related to BST operations and
rotation is applied to two groups of students in Kocaeli University Computer Engineering Department: one group takes classical education and the other group learns the subject by means of computer games. The findings show that the second group learns BST operations and rotation better than the first group.


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