What goes on inside a computer? How is the input processed to produce the desired output? Understanding the processes that occur “behind the screen” of the computer is essential for those who want to develop computer programs, but many students have difficulty in constructing a viable mental model of the sequence of events that occur. “Jeliot 3” helps do just that. It is a program animation system that automatically creates a full animation of the execution of a program written in Java, allowing the student to follow each step in detail.
“Jeliot 3,” developed by Prof. Mordechai Ben-Ari and Ph.D. student Ronit Ben-Bassat Levy of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Science Teaching Department, together with graduate students from the department, and scientists and students from the University of Joensuu, Finland, was recently a finalist for the 2007 Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware granted by the organization Engineering Pathway.