Increasing Intrinsic Motivation of Programming Students: Towards Fix and Play Educational Games

Selvarajah Mohanarajah
Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology  •  Volume 15  •  2018  •  pp. 069-077

The objective of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of educational games on learning computer programming. In particular, we are examining whether allowing students to manipulate the underlying code of the educational games will increase their intrinsic motivation.

Young students are fond of playing digital games. Moreover, they are also interested in creating game applications. We try to make use of both of these facts.

A prototype was created to teach the fundamentals of conditional structures. A number of errors were intentionally included in the game at different stages. Whenever an error is encountered, students have to stop the game and fix the bug before proceeding. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate this approach.

This research investigates a novel approach to teach programming using educational games. This study is at the initial stage.

Allowing the programming students to manipulate the underlying code of the educational game they play will increase their intrinsic motivation.

Creating educational games to teach programming, and systematically allowing the players to manipulate the gaming logic, will be beneficial to the students.

This research can be extended to investigate how various artificial intelligence techniques can be used to model the gamers, for example, skill level.

The future generations of students should be able to use digital technologies proficiently. In addition, they should also be able to understand and modify the underlying code in the digital things (like Internet of Things).This research attempts to alleviate the disenchantment associated with learning coding.

A full scale evaluation – including objective evaluation using game scores – will be conducted. One-way MANOVA will be used to analyze the efficacy of the proposed intervention on the students’ performance, and their intrinsic motivation and flow experience.

educational games, games based learning, learning programming
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