"Giving players options - educational games in programming education"
Giving players options - educational games in programming education
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For a long time, educational games have provided new avenues for teaching by offering students fun ways to learn. Educational games have been used to teach students about history, geography, math and more, but their potential in programming education is still mostly unexplored. This thesis reviews how educational games are designed and shows how they can be used in programming education, a field with a high dropout rate and low student motivation in beginner courses, to provide a more practical approach for discovering programming topics.
The findings are then used to implement an educational game for programming education, Alice and Bob?s Adventure in Cyberspace, which teaches players the contents of an introductory programming course with two distinct gameplay variants, one being more theoretical and the other being more practical. The educational game is evaluated through a study with 20 participants which can be grouped into beginners, intermediates, and experts.
Through the study, we found that an educational game can motivate players to learn programming. Providing two different options to learn and practice the programming topics, thereby implementing the game mechanic freedom of choice allowed players to choose gameplay that was more fun to them. Using the game mechanic challenge succeeded in providing players with a goal to complete, which served as winning the game.