Game Development for Computer Science Education (Extended Abstract)

McGill, Monica, Johnson, Chris, Atlas, James, Bouchard, Durell, Merkle, Larry, Messom, Chris, Pollock, Ian and Scott, Michael ORCID logoORCID: (2017) Game Development for Computer Science Education (Extended Abstract). In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 3-5 July 2017, Bologna, Italy. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Educators have long used digital games as platforms for teaching. Games tend to have several qualities that aren’t typically found in homework: they situate problems within a compelling alternate reality that unfolds through intriguing narrative, they draw more upon a player’s intrinsic motivations than extrinsic ones, they facilitate deliberate low intensity practice, and they emphasize a spirit of play instead of work.

At ITiCSE 2016, this working group convened to survey the landscape of existing digital games that have been used to teach and learn computer science concepts. Our group discovered that these games lacked explicitly defined learning goals and even less evaluation of whether or not the games achieved these goals. As part of this process, we identified and played over 120 games that have been released or described in literature as means for learning computer science concepts. In our report, we classified how these games support the learning objectives outlined in the ACM/IEEE Computer Science Curricula 2013.

While we found more games than we expected, few games explicitly stated their learning goals and even fewer were evaluated for their capacity to meet these goals. Most of the games we surveyed fell into two categories: short-lived proof-of-concept projects built by academics or closed-source games built by professional developers. Gathering adequate learning data is challenging in either situation. Our original intent for the second year of our working group was to prepare a comprehensive framework for collecting and analyzing learning data from computer science learning games.

Upon further discussion, however, we decided that a better next step is to validate the design and development guidelines that we put forth in our final report for ITiCSE 2016.

We extend this working group to a second year—with a mission to collaboratively develop a game with clearly defined learning objectives and define a methodology for evaluating its capacity to meet its goals.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: Computer Science, Information & General Works
Technology > Digital Works > Digital Games
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Computing for Games
Depositing User: Michael Scott
Date Deposited: 25 May 2017 12:30
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:44


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