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Journal Article

Designing educational games for computer programming: A holistic framework  pp281-298

Christos Malliarakis, Maya Satratzemi, Stelios Xinogalos

© Jun 2014 Volume 12 Issue 3, Special Edition for ECGBL 2013, Editor: Carlos Vaz de Carvalho and Paula Escudeiro, pp227 - 311

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Abstract

Abstract: Computer science is continuously evolving during the past decades. This has also brought forth new knowledge that should be incorporated and new learning strategies must be adopted for the successful teaching of all sub‑domains. For example, com puter programming is a vital knowledge area within computer science with constantly changing curriculum and its teaching remains a difficult endeavour. On the other hand, students start from a very early age to interact with computers through games and ot her entertaining multimedia software. Therefore, they seem to be keen on environments with impressive special effects and graphical interfaces where they interact with the environments elements. In response, teachers are trying to connect computer progra mming learning with computer operations that students are familiar with, which does not include textual editors for programming lines of code with no other interaction. Educational games used in computer programming courses are considered to benefit learn ing, because they motivate students towards actively participating and interacting with the games activities. Thus, we have developed an educational multiplayer game that aims to further enhance computer programming education by addressing occurring prob lems. This process, however, requires proper planning during the design of educational games, and thus the availability of adequate guidelines that include all characteristics that should be incorporated in such games. This paper aims to introduce and ela borate on a holistic framework that has been constructed as a guide towards the development of this game. To this end, we study existing frameworks that have been proposed for the design of educational games and document features currently supported by ed ucational games that teach computer programming. We conclusively propose the framework we have constructed for the design of our game. This framework can be used for the design of other computer programming‑specific educational games and extended for othe r educational domains.

 

Keywords: Keywords: computer programming, educational programming environments, educational games, holistic framework, learning process

 

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