About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9492-9497
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2263

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

LEARNING COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: THE ROLE OF GAMIFICATION

M. Pinto

ESMAD Polytechnic Institute of Porto (PORTUGAL)
Learning computer programming is a difficult task for most students who start learning in this filed. In fact, a large number of students refer to learning computer programming as an arduous and difficult task, presenting some fear in addressing these issues.
According to several publications, introductory courses to learning computer programming have failure rates that are very often above 50%. Even in higher education Institutions, in degrees in the areas of computer science and web development. Some reasons may be pointed out for this difficulty, such as:
i) absorption of complex or new technical knowledge;
ii) need to develop new strategies and skills, that allow to solve logical and concrete problems;
iii) need to capture students' attention and interest in learning the fundamentals of programming languages.

Gamification is defined as the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) to encourage participation. Gamification is often associated with the use of dynamics and mechanisms of gaming, such as points, levels, badges, peer evaluation of students, or other rewards to motivate participation and learning. However, the broader topic of game design can also be considered gamification if used to encourage learning. According to some authors, developing a learning project based on gamification mechanisms, implies the implementation of three conceptual levels: i) components (such as achievements, badges, levels, points, etc.); ii) mechanisms (such as challenges, competition, cooperation, rewards, etc.); iii) dynamics (such as emoticons, relationships, progression status, etc.).

In this context, this paper describes the introduction of gamification mechanisms in the degree in technologies and information systems for the web, of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto, to respond to the difficulties felt by the students in the introductory learning of the computer programming. The objective was to promote new learning strategies and new pedagogical approaches based on the paradigm of gamification learning, as well as strategies such as Problem-Based Learning, seeking to make teaching more attractive and appealing to students. The paper describes the role of gamification during the course of Algorithms and Data Structures, a discipline of the 1st year of the degree.

The second section of this paper addresses the contribution of gamification to the educational and learning process, while the third section describes components, mechanisms and dynamics generally associated with gamification processes. The fourth section presents the project developed in the scope of the discipline of algorithms and data structures, namely the mechanisms and strategies adopted and the frameworks used in this process. The results obtained are presented as well as their analysis and discussion. The paper also includes a small questionnaire survey carried out among the students, seeking to understand their degree of satisfaction with this project, the main difficulties felt, as well as other aspects related to the adoption of this gamification strategy. The article ends with some conclusions and points out some directions of future work.
@InProceedings{PINTO2018LEA,
author = {Pinto, M.},
title = {LEARNING COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: THE ROLE OF GAMIFICATION},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.2263},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.2263},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9492-9497}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Pinto
TI - LEARNING COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: THE ROLE OF GAMIFICATION
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2263
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 9492
EP - 9497
ER -
M. Pinto (2018) LEARNING COMPUTER PROGRAMMING: THE ROLE OF GAMIFICATION, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 9492-9497.
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