From hiscore to high marks: Empirical study of teaching programming through gamification

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Fotaris, P. , Mastoras, T. , Leinfellner, R. and Yasmine, R. (2015) From hiscore to high marks: Empirical study of teaching programming through gamification. In: Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2015, Steinkjer, Norway, 8-9 October 2015. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/28599

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Abstract/Description

Unlike conventional taught learning, video games are very successful at keeping players constantly motivated and engaged on a set of tasks for many hours without apparent loss of focus. Additionally, when playing, gamers solve complex problems without experiencing the fatigue or frustration, which would normally accompany a comparable learning task. Any methods able to deliver deep learner engagement are naturally of interest to the academic community, thus resulting in an increasing interest in adopting gamification – the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios – as a means to drive student engagement and improve information retention. However, its application to education has been a challenging task, as attempts have generally been restricted to a one-dimensional approach, such as transposing a trivial reward system onto existing teaching material. The empirical evidence presented in this paper suggests that a gamified, multi-dimensional, problem-based learning approach may yield improved outcomes even when applied to a very complex and traditionally dry task like the teaching of computer programming. This quasi-experimental study employed a real time sequence of scored quizzes, instructor feedback, and live coding to deliver a fully interactive learning experience. By using a combination of the classroom version of the TV game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”, the “Kahoot!” Classroom Response System (CRS), and Codecademy’s online interactive platform on a Python programming course, students were allowed to experience multiple interlocking methods similar to what would be found in a top quality game experience. Empirical data on learning outcomes from the gamified group were compared with a control group that followed a traditional learning path, which had been used during previous cohorts. Whilst this was a relatively small study, the results were quite interesting in a number of key metrics, including attendance, downloading of course material, and final grades.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: gamification, games-based learning, technology enhanced learning, class response system
Faculty/Department: Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
Depositing User: Dr Y. Rosunally
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 10:20
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 20:59
URI: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/id/eprint/28599

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