If Memory Serves: Towards Designing and Evaluating a Game for Teaching Pointers to Undergraduate Students

McGill, Monica and Johnson, Chris and Atlas, James and Bouchard, Durell and Messom, Chris and Pollock, Ian and Scott, Michael (2017) If Memory Serves: Towards Designing and Evaluating a Game for Teaching Pointers to Undergraduate Students. In: Proceedings of the Working Group Reports from the 2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, July 03 - 05, Bologna, Italy. (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

Games can serve as a valuable tool for enriching computer science education, since they can facilitate a number of conditions that can promote learning and instigate affective change. As part of the 22nd ACM Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2017), the Working Group on Game Development for Computer Science Education convened to extend their prior work, a review of the literature and a review of over 120 educational games that support computing instruction. The Working Group builds off this earlier work to design and develop a prototype of a game grounded in specific learning objectives. They provide the source code for the game to the computing education community for further review, adaptation, and exploration. To aid this endeavor, the Working Group also chose to explore the research methods needed to establish validity, highlighting a need for more rigorous approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of games in computer science education.

This report provides two distinct contributions to the body of knowledge in games for computer science education. We present an experience report in the form of a case study describing the design and development of If Memory Serves, a game to support teaching pointers to undergraduate students. We then propose guidelines to validate its effectiveness rooted in theoretical approaches for evaluating learning in games and media. We include an invitation to the computer science education community to explore the game's potential in classrooms and report on its ability to achieve the stated learning outcomes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Computer Science, Information & General Works
Technology > Digital Works > Digital Games
Education
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Computing for Games
Depositing User: Michael Scott
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 11:17
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 11:17
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2766

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