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Appears in:
Pages: 3716-3724
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0948

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

A LARGE-SCALE PILOT STUDY ON GAME-BASED LEARNING AND BLENDED LEARNING METHODOLOGIES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMING COURSES

D. Zhao1, A. Chis2, G.M. Muntean1, C.H. Muntean2

1Dublin City University (IRELAND)
2National College of Ireland (IRELAND)
Nowadays, science and technology only not penetrate into every aspect of human being’s daily life, but also deeply influence the global economy and hence define every country’s competitiveness in the global market. Nonetheless, most European countries are now facing a recognized crisis. With the decline in the number of young generation students engaged in scientific disciplines, there is a foreseeable shortage of scientists in the near future. As one of the key factors that contribute to the crisis, current education modality in science, technology and math (STEM) subjects urgently calls for innovations and improvements. With traditional education approaches, scientific subjects are perceived to be difficult by many students, and they are often discouraged during the learning process. As response to the aforementioned concerns, the EU Horizon 2020-funded NEWTON project focuses on providing solutions that integrate innovative pedagogical learning approaches and technology enhanced learning materials in order to stimulate learners’ motivation, encourage their engagement and improve learning outcomes.

In this paper, we present a large-scale pilot of the NEWTON project, in which both technology-enhanced learning materials and innovative pedagogical approaches are introduced into programming courses in 3 universities across Europe. This large-scale covered a 12 weeks’ period, with more than 150 participants. Aiming at making the otherwise boring and abstract programming concepts more appealing to students, we designed and developed four serious games that target at the following topics:
1) variable declaration;
2) loops;
3) functions; and
4) data structures.

In each serious game, the programming knowledge and key concepts are presented in an interactive and concrete way to stimulate students’ engagement and interests in the learning process and improve their learning outcomes.

This pilot also employs student-centered pedagogy and blended learning methodology in one of the topics, i.e. the array. Instead of directly attending lecture sessions, students participate in flipped classroom, i.e., watch video lessons prepared by the lecturer through the online NEWTON project platform and prepare their questions which are then discussed in the lecture session. In the lab session afterwards, students further acquire knowledge and practice their problem solving and programming skills through working in group of three on an open-ended problem related to array. During this process, as opposed to traditional education approach where the teacher is the center of the lesson, students are taking initiatives and have more control over their learning progress.

Questionnaires covering demographic questions and affective state questions are given to participants prior to the pilot, which help us to learn their background and general attitude and motivation towards the subject. To evaluate the effectiveness of the piloted contents and methodology, pre-tests and post-tests that include several single choice questions related to the topics before and after each serious game and video content are conducted. Additionally, a usability questionnaire is employed following each game and video to measure participants’ satisfaction. In this paper, the results of the aforementioned questionnaires and tests are analyzed.
@InProceedings{ZHAO2018ALA,
author = {Zhao, D. and Chis, A. and Muntean, G.M. and Muntean, C.H.},
title = {A LARGE-SCALE PILOT STUDY ON GAME-BASED LEARNING AND BLENDED LEARNING METHODOLOGIES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMING COURSES},
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.2018.0948},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0948},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3716-3724}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Zhao AU - A. Chis AU - G.M. Muntean AU - C.H. Muntean
TI - A LARGE-SCALE PILOT STUDY ON GAME-BASED LEARNING AND BLENDED LEARNING METHODOLOGIES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMING COURSES
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0948
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3716
EP - 3724
ER -
D. Zhao, A. Chis, G.M. Muntean, C.H. Muntean (2018) A LARGE-SCALE PILOT STUDY ON GAME-BASED LEARNING AND BLENDED LEARNING METHODOLOGIES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMING COURSES, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 3716-3724.
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