If memory serves: towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students

Monica M. McGill, Chris Johnson, James Atlas, Durell Bouchard, Chris Messom, Ian Pollock, Michael James Scott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

Abstract

Games can serve as a valuable tool for enriching computer science education, since they can facilitate a number of conditions that can promote learning and instigate affective change. As part of the 22nd ACM Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2017), the Working Group on Game Development for Computer Science Education convened to extend their prior work, a review of the literature and a review of over 120 educational games that support computing instruction. The Working Group builds off this earlier work to design and develop a prototype of a game grounded in specific learning objectives. They provide the source code for the game to the computing education community for further review, adaptation, and exploration. To aid this endeavor, the Working Group also chose to explore the research methods needed to establish validity, highlighting a need for more rigorous approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of games in computer science education. This report provides two distinct contributions to the body of knowledge in games for computer science education.We present an experience report in the form of a case study describing the design and development of If Memory Serves, a game to support teaching pointers to undergraduate students. We then propose guidelines to validate its effectiveness rooted in theoretical approaches for evaluating learning in games and media.We include an invitation to the computer science education community to explore the game's potential in classrooms and report on its ability to achieve the stated learning outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports
Subtitle of host publicationJuly 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy
EditorsJudithe Sheard, Ari Korhonen
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages25-46
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356275
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Working Groups 2017 - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 3 Jul 20175 Jul 2017
Conference number: 22nd
https://iticse.acm.org/ITiCSE2017/

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Working Groups 2017
Abbreviated titleITiCSE2017
CountryItaly
CityBologna
Period3/07/175/07/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • Computer memory
  • Design
  • Development
  • Educational
  • Games
  • Learning
  • Pointers
  • Research methods
  • Serious
  • Validation framework

Cite this

McGill, M. M., Johnson, C., Atlas, J., Bouchard, D., Messom, C., Pollock, I., & Scott, M. J. (2017). If memory serves: towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students. In J. Sheard, & A. Korhonen (Eds.), ITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports: July 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy (pp. 25-46). New York NY USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3174781.3174783
McGill, Monica M. ; Johnson, Chris ; Atlas, James ; Bouchard, Durell ; Messom, Chris ; Pollock, Ian ; Scott, Michael James. / If memory serves : towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students. ITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports: July 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy. editor / Judithe Sheard ; Ari Korhonen. New York NY USA : Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017. pp. 25-46
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abstract = "Games can serve as a valuable tool for enriching computer science education, since they can facilitate a number of conditions that can promote learning and instigate affective change. As part of the 22nd ACM Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE 2017), the Working Group on Game Development for Computer Science Education convened to extend their prior work, a review of the literature and a review of over 120 educational games that support computing instruction. The Working Group builds off this earlier work to design and develop a prototype of a game grounded in specific learning objectives. They provide the source code for the game to the computing education community for further review, adaptation, and exploration. To aid this endeavor, the Working Group also chose to explore the research methods needed to establish validity, highlighting a need for more rigorous approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of games in computer science education. This report provides two distinct contributions to the body of knowledge in games for computer science education.We present an experience report in the form of a case study describing the design and development of If Memory Serves, a game to support teaching pointers to undergraduate students. We then propose guidelines to validate its effectiveness rooted in theoretical approaches for evaluating learning in games and media.We include an invitation to the computer science education community to explore the game's potential in classrooms and report on its ability to achieve the stated learning outcomes.",
keywords = "Computer memory, Design, Development, Educational, Games, Learning, Pointers, Research methods, Serious, Validation framework",
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McGill, MM, Johnson, C, Atlas, J, Bouchard, D, Messom, C, Pollock, I & Scott, MJ 2017, If memory serves: towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students. in J Sheard & A Korhonen (eds), ITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports: July 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), New York NY USA, pp. 25-46, Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education - Working Groups 2017, Bologna, Italy, 3/07/17. https://doi.org/10.1145/3174781.3174783

If memory serves : towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students. / McGill, Monica M.; Johnson, Chris; Atlas, James; Bouchard, Durell; Messom, Chris; Pollock, Ian; Scott, Michael James.

ITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports: July 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy. ed. / Judithe Sheard; Ari Korhonen. New York NY USA : Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2017. p. 25-46.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

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T2 - towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students

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McGill MM, Johnson C, Atlas J, Bouchard D, Messom C, Pollock I et al. If memory serves: towards designing and evaluating a game for teaching pointers to undergraduate students. In Sheard J, Korhonen A, editors, ITiCSE-WGR’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ITiCSE Conference Working Group Reports: July 3–5, 2017 Bologna, Italy. New York NY USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). 2017. p. 25-46 https://doi.org/10.1145/3174781.3174783