Evaluation of game templates to support programming activities in schools

Spieler, B., Schindler, C., Slany, W., Mashkina, O., Beltrán, M., Boulton, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-4671-0182 and Brown, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-1677-7485, 2017. Evaluation of game templates to support programming activities in schools. In: M. Pivec and J. Gründler, eds., Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2017, FH Joanneum University of Applied Science, Graz, Austria, 5-6 October 2017. Reading: Academic Conferences and Publishing International, pp. 600-609. ISBN 9781911218579

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Game creation challenges in schools potentially provide engaging, goal-oriented, and interactive experiences in classes; thereby supporting the transfer of knowledge for learning in a fun and pedagogic manner. A key element of the ongoing European project No One Left Behind (NOLB) is to integrate a game-making teaching framework (GMTF) into the educational app Pocket Code. Pocket Code allows learners to create programs in a visual Lego®-style way to facilitate learning how to code at secondary high schools. The concept of the NOLB GMTF is based on principles of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model. Its focus lies on three pillars of learning: the what, how, and why. Thereby, the NOLB GMTF is a common set of concepts, practices, pedagogy, and methods. This framework provides a coherent approach to learning and teaching by integrating leisure oriented gaming methods into multi-discipline curricula. One output of this framework is the integration of game-based methods via game templates that refer to didactical scenarios that include a refined set of genres, assets, rules, challenges, and strategies. These templates allows: 1) teachers to start with a well-structured program, and 2) pupils to add content and adjust the code to integrate their own ideas. During the project game genres such as adventure, action, and quiz, as well as rewards or victory point mechanisms, have been embedded into different subjects, e.g., science, mathematics, and arts. The insights gained during the class hours were used to generate 13 game templates, which are integrated in Create@School (a new version of the Pocket Code app which targets schools). To test the efficiency of these templates, user experience (UX) tests were conducted during classes to compare games created by pupils who used templates and those who started to create a game from scratch. Preliminary results showed that these templates allow learners to focus on subject-relevant problem solving activities rather than on understanding the functionality of the app. This directly leads to more time to express their creativity in different levels and more time for extra tasks.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Spieler, B., Schindler, C., Slany, W., Mashkina, O., Beltrán, M., Boulton, H. and Brown, D.
Publisher: Academic Conferences and Publishing International
Place of Publication: Reading
Date: 2017
ISBN: 9781911218579
ISSN: 2049-100X
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 03 Oct 2017 13:57
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2017 11:08
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31786

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