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Sat, Nov 4, 10:30 - 10:55, Bordeaux     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Long, J.  Why Not Have Fun While Learning: Using Programming Games in Software Programming Education.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2006, v 23 (Dallas): §3322. ISSN: 1542-7382.
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Why Not Have Fun While Learning: Using Programming Games in Software Programming Education

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Refereed10 pages
Ju Long    [a1] [a2]
Department of CIS & QM
Texas State University San Marcos    [u1] [u2]
San Marcos, Texas, USA    [c1] [c2]

In this research, we examine how computer-based programming games and contests could be used in the information technology education to increase the learning effectiveness for learners. We conduct a field study in a unique community of software developers who participated in IBM Robocode game. In our field study, we address the following research questions: (1) how do computer-based games influence the learnerís learning outcomes? Did the learnerís programming skills and knowledge improve after participating in the programming game? (2) Is the programming game appealing to learner groups with different ages, education backgrounds and skill levels? (3) What do the learners like most about the programming game? (4) What are the factors that influence the learnerís motivation to engage in the programming game? (5) What programming stages are of more intrinsic fun value and how to design the programming game accordingly? Through our case study, we found that (1) computer-based programming games and contests could significantly increase the intrinsic motivation of the learners across all learning levels, ages and education backgrounds. (2) These programming games could improve the learning effectiveness very efficiently. (3) Different stages of programming have various intrinsic fun values. Researchers and practitioners could design programming games and contests accordingly to improve the intrinsic fun factors.

Keywords: information technology education, software programming education and training, programming games, computer games, intrinsic motivation

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