Dave Tucker Edinboro University of Pennsylvania EXPLORING GAME-BASED LEARNING FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE What will be covered Are Serious games useful? Examples Overview Serious games used to teach Computer Science topics New research area Useful tool for teaching abstract topics Can be used for any subject matter, this talk focuses on uses in Computer Science New rapid development software for 3D sims Research demonstrating success of using games for education Three examples with Higher Ed in mind Research Yes, a valid way to educate Some studies say slight, others up to 63% gain in knowledge All agree that students prefer the use of games over traditional methods. There are examples of where students were motivated to go beyond the game and research more about a topic Applying knowledge is better than hearing the knowledge Requires the use of Critical Thinking Advantages Experimental Learning – No pressure and unlimited tries Inquiry-Based Learning – Experiment to learn new things Self-Efficacy – Tend to keep trying until victory Goal Setting – Motivation Cooperation – possible if multiplayer game Continuous Feedback – Immediate response Examples – Age of Computers Travel back in time to solve problems Mostly multiple choice questions Math & Processor control also 95% of students said its more motivating than traditional exercises Examples – Virtual Family Teach java programming Uses family characters You want to make your characters programmed to react to your other character actions (like a form of programming known as Object Oriented) Examples – Problems & Programmers Card based game Software Engineering (design) Player must follow certain steps collecting cards How well you design depends on how you play your cards Can get random problems Budget concerns Goal is to finish on as soon as possible with quality product Students found it easy to learn and was an effective teaching method Examples – Algorithm Visualization Binary Search Try to find the number Player knows that the numbers are in order Timed Examples – Algorithm Visualization Teaching sorting techniques Move the cards using a certain sorting method (insertion sort in this example) See how accurate the player is given a fixed amount of time Current Project Simple walk through Inside a PC Approach a computer component, it prompts a multiple choice question. Conclusions No disadvantage to using serious games to supplement or replace traditional teaching methods Majority of cases found that students learn more while enjoying the experience. Further research needed Other topics such as simulations for networks 1st year programming students high failure rate Questions References R.V. Eck, “Digital Game-Based Learning: It's Not Just the Digital Natives Who Are Restless ” EDUCAUSE, vol. 41, no. 2, 2006, pp. 1618. J. Gee, “What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy,” computers in entertainment CIE, vol. 1, no. 1, 2003, pp. 20. A. Clark, Natural-Born Cyborgs: Why Minds and Technologies Are Made to Merge, Oxford University Press, 2003. M.J. Mayo, “GAMES FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION,” Communications of the ACM, vol. 50, no. 7, 2007, pp. 30-35. K. Squire, et al., “Electromagnetism supercharged!: Learning physics with digital simulation games,” Proc. 6th International Conference on Learning Sciences, ACM Press, 2004. P. Mcclean, et al., “Virtual worlds in large enrollment science classes significantly improve authentic learning ” Proc. 12th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, Center for the Advancement of Teching and Learning, 2001, pp. 111-118. L. Natvig and S. Line, “Age of computers: game-based teaching of computer fundamentals,” Book Age of computers: game-based teaching of computer fundamentals, Series Age of computers: game-based teaching of computer fundamentals, ed., Editor ed.^eds., ACM, 2004, pp. W. Duplantis, et al., “'Virtual Family': An Approach to Introducing Java Programming,” ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, vol. 34, no. 2, 2002, pp. 40-43. A. Baker, et al., “An experimental card game for teaching software engineering processes,” Journal of System and Software, vol. 75, no. 1-2, 2005, pp. 3-16. S. Shabanah and J.X. Chen, “Simplifying algorithm learning using serious games,” Book Simplifying algorithm learning using serious games, Series Simplifying algorithm learning using serious games, ed., Editor ed.^eds., ACM, 2009, pp.