Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Subcategory: Computer Science & Information Systems
Divine Davis - Claflin University
Co-Author(s): Selvarajah Mohanarajah, Claflin University
Learning computer programming is considered challenging to many incoming college students. Computer programming games can be used as a tool to motivate these students to learn challenging programming algorithms. The objective of this research is to deliver games that effectively increase the intrinsic motivation of the students who are initially interested in programming. In particular, we are focusing on the initial effect in presenting the computer programming games to the students. In this study, we used a simple game for our investigation. Simple games are very easy to learn and play. We created a prototype for a simple game that can be used to learn fundamentals of conditional structures. A number of errors were included intentionally at different stages. Whenever an error is encountered, students will be prompted to fix the bug before proceeding to the next game level. In order to fix a bug, a student should understand the underlying program of the game (which was written in C++). With this strategy, we believe that the students will portray more confidence when dealing with a programming problem. This in turn will allow the students to be easily motivated when engaging in a programming exercise. A pilot study was conducted using the prototype to evaluate our claim. The outcome of the subjective evaluation is encouraging. There is much research on this topic and future research may be on why more high schools do not offer computer programming courses that will prepare them for the college programming classes. Many of the students who are initially interested in programming give up because of the learning curve they have to get around along with a lack of motivation while learning programming. Some students will find the information hard to grasp. The students do not know how to apply this information they are learning. With the game in place, the students will see the end result of a program.
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Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funding is being provided by HBCU-UP.
Faculty Advisor: Selverajah Mohanarajah,