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An Educational Game for Mobile Learning – Some Essential Design Factors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholms universitet, , Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap.
Stockholms universitet, , Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap.
2015 (English)In: ICEL 2015, Academic Conferences Publishing , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Programming is an important core subject in most Computer science programmes at university level but several studies show that students are facing difficulties both with theoretical understanding and practical code construction. At the department where this study was conducted around 50% of the students fail to complete their introductory programming courses. Some researchers claim that this is a pedagogical problem involving psychological and motivational aspects. The use of mobile phones and ubiquitous gaming has increased in the 21st century. Might it be possible to get students to play educational games on their smart phones as an extra-curricular activity and what design aspects are important to get the students to play the game? The overall approach for this study is Design science in a setup with three phases where a mobile learning game prototype has been designed, developed and evaluated. A main learning objective in the game is to practice basic programming techniques in the Python programming language. To get ideas for important programming concepts a survey was sent to teachers that are subject matter experts for various introductory programming courses at university level. For game design and appropriate game mechanics a literature study was conducted. The research question that the study aims to answer is: Which are the key factors in the design and construction of a game for mobile platforms aiming to teach introductory programming? Findings show that design, implementation and testing of an educational game are time consuming processes for the development of quality artefacts useful as extra resources on university courses. Interviewed students had in general a positive attitude towards the game but today’s Digital natives or Generation Y also have high demands when it comes to usability and gameplay. Essential key factors for a mobile educational game found in this study are: simplicity, mobility, usability, playability and entertainment, gradually increasing game levels, practical and conceptual understanding, collaboration, competition, feedback and built-in documentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences Publishing , 2015.
Keyword [en]
Educational games, Game-based learning, GBL, Mobile learning, Programming education
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122786ISBN: 978-1-910810-26-2OAI: diva2:868664
Available from: 2015-11-11 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2015-11-11

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