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ERIC Number: EJ936361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0018-9359
Game-Themed Programming Assignment Modules: A Pathway for Gradual Integration of Gaming Context into Existing Introductory Programming Courses
Sung, K.; Hillyard, C.; Angotti, R. L.; Panitz, M. W.; Goldstein, D. S.; Nordlinger, J.
IEEE Transactions on Education, v54 n3 p416-427 Aug 2011
Despite the proven success of using computer video games as a context for teaching introductory programming (CS1/2) courses, barriers including the lack of adoptable materials, required background expertise (in graphics/games), and institutional acceptance still prevent interested faculty members from experimenting with this approach. Game-themed programming assignment (GTA) modules are designed specifically for these faculty members. The GTA modules are independent, and each is a self-contained game-like programming assignment that challenges students on concepts pertaining to a specific curriculum topic area. A faculty member can selectively pick and choose a subset of GTA modules to experiment with and gradually adopt the materials in his or her own classes. Each GTA module also includes a step-by-step tutorial guide that supports and encourages interested faculty to develop their own expertise and game-themed materials. This paper begins with a survey of previous results. Based on this survey, the paper summarizes the important considerations when designing materials for selective adoption. The paper then describes the design, implementation, and assessment of the GTA modules. The results from ongoing GTA workshops for CS1/2 faculty members and from a yearlong project in adopting the GTA modules in classes are then presented. In this case, the collected results verified that introductory programming concepts can be examined, practiced, and learned by means of GTA modules when neither the faculty nor the students involved have backgrounds in graphics or games. More importantly, these results demonstrated that it is straightforward to "blend" the GTA modules into existing classes with minimum alterations. In these ways, the GTA modules are excellent catalysts enabling faculty to begin exploring and developing their own expertise and materials to teach with games. (Contains 14 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A