About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3709-3714
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0945

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

THE NEWTON PROJECT WAREHOUSE GAME: A VARIABLE AND DATA TYPE SERIOUS GAME FOR C PROGRAMMING COURSES

D. Zhao, G.M. Muntean

Dublin City University (IRELAND)
In recent years, most European countries witness declines in engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects among their younger generations. The potential shortage of scientists in the future is endangering European countries’ competitiveness in related areas. The perception among students that STEM subjects are difficult to learn is one of the major underlying issues behind this crisis.

The EU Horizon 2020-funded NEWTON Project (http://newtonproject.eu) has built a networked educational platform that supports seamless integration and dissemination of various technology-enhanced learning content and methods, including augmented reality, serious games, multisensorial content, remote fabrication labs, and innovative learning approaches. Multiple pilots are deployed in different educational institutions in several European countries to validate the outcomes and effectiveness of the NEWTON project.

This paper describes a serious game designed and developed part of the NEWTON project and deployed at Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland, in the EM108 Software Development for Engineers course, taught to all first DCU Engineering students. During the past years, it was observed that for DCU undergraduate engineering students, the first programming course is particularly difficult due to its abstract nature, and results in high failing rates and students’ disengagement each year. To stimulate students’ interests in programming and improve their understanding of programming concepts, the DCU NEWTON project team has designed and developed a serious game which has three levels, targeting C data types and variable declaration concepts. In level one, students are introduced to a warehouse scenario where the basic data types in C are taught in interactive manner. In level two, the computer memory is visualized as shelf spaces in the warehouse and data values are interpreted as goods with different sizes, and students are asked to conduct a set of tasks to complete the process of declaring variables and assigning values. In level three, students are guided to carry out tasks that declare variables and assign values of unmatched data types to them, learning the concept of data value assignment, including truncation. To evaluate the impacts of the game, a comprehensive case study was conducted involving 130 undergraduate students. Pre-test and post-test that contain several single choice questions targeting the related programming concepts were given to students before and after the game to assess the game’s influence on the learning outcomes. A usability and user experience questionnaire was also given to the students following the game to measure their satisfaction levels.

Results show that 71.4% of students thought the game is a good complement to textbook, more than half of them claim to be more interested in the course after playing the game, 75.6% agreed the game help them to understand the concepts and 64.2% believed the game could help them achieve better results in the course. Moreover, 75.6% of students agreed that the game tasks and levels are well designed, 82.5% thought the User Interface (UI) design is pleasant and 63.75% of them believed the game addressed their knowledge gap. Only 17% claimed they would prefer to learn without serious games. In conclusion, the results indicate that the game is appreciated by most students and has fulfilled its purposes.
@InProceedings{ZHAO2018NEW,
author = {Zhao, D. and Muntean, G.M.},
title = {THE NEWTON PROJECT WAREHOUSE GAME: A VARIABLE AND DATA TYPE SERIOUS GAME FOR C 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.2018.0945},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0945},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3709-3714}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Zhao AU - G.M. Muntean
TI - THE NEWTON PROJECT WAREHOUSE GAME: A VARIABLE AND DATA TYPE SERIOUS GAME FOR C PROGRAMMING COURSES
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0945
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 3709
EP - 3714
ER -
D. Zhao, G.M. Muntean (2018) THE NEWTON PROJECT WAREHOUSE GAME: A VARIABLE AND DATA TYPE SERIOUS GAME FOR C PROGRAMMING COURSES, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 3709-3714.
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