Application of a Visual Computer Simulator into Collaborative Learning

Yoshiro Imai, Keiichi Kaneko, Masaki Nakagawa


A visual simulator has been developed for understanding computer structure and behavior. It is written in the Java programming language, downloaded from a Web server, and executed on major browsers. It has been designed to illustrate how a computer works visually and runs not only as a Java stand-alone application, but also as a Java applet. Our visual simulator reads program files written in an assembly language, executes them in step-by-step manner as well as in automatic (i.e., continuous) manner and demonstrates how those programs are processed graphically by computer. In order to improve functionality of the simulator, some modules have been newly added, which are designed to perform, for example, on-line message service, guideline display and built-in e-mail handler. In this paper, new facilities of our simulator will be mainly explained. They improve its user interface and provide communication support between teachers and students for the purpose of distance education.

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