Paper accepted to the International Computing Education Research Workshop

Our research paper was accepted to the International Computing Education Research Workshop (ICER)! ICER this year had a 33% acceptance rate. This is one of the works on Gidget and the first one about the “newer” version of Gidget I’ve been contributing to research-wise and implementation-wise.

In-Game Assessments Increase Novice Programmers’ Engagement and Learning Efficiency

M. Lee, A. Ko, and I. Kwan. In-Game Assessments Increase Novice Programmers’ Engagement and Learning Efficiency, The Ninth International Computing Education Research Workshop (ICER), San Diego, USA, 2013.

Abstract—Assessments have been shown to have positive effects on learning in compulsory educational settings. However, much less is known about their effects in discretionary learning settings, especially in computing education and educational games. We hypothesized that adding assessments to an educational computing game would provide extra opportunities for players to practice and correct misconceptions, thereby affecting their performance on subsequent levels and their motivation to continue playing. To test this, we designed a game called Gidget, in which players help a robot find and fix defects in programs that follow a mastery learning paradigm. Across two studies, we manipulated the inclusion of multiple choice and self-explanation assessment levels in the game, measuring their impact on engagement and learning efficiency. In our first study, we found that including assessments caused learners to voluntarily play longer and complete more levels, suggesting increased engagement; in our second study, we found that including assessments caused learners to complete levels faster, suggesting increased learning efficiency. These findings suggest that including assessments in a discretionary computing education game may be a key design strategy for improving informal learning of computing concepts.

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