Building Casual Games and APIs for Teaching Introductory Programming Concepts

  title={Building Casual Games and APIs for Teaching Introductory Programming Concepts},
  author={Brian Chau and Rob Nash and Kelvin Sung and Jason Pace},
We are building a series of custom casual games to support teaching and learning of introductory programming (CS1/2) concepts with a focus on ease of adoption. Our games are innovative twists on popular casual genres, and each game is designed explicitly for teaching specific programming concepts (e.g., conditionals, arrays). Based on these games, faculty can explain and students can explore CS1/2 concepts through engaging gameplay mechanics by working with a simple Application Programming… 
2 Citations

Figures from this paper

A Collaborative Course for Learning How to Teach Summer Java Coding Camps
This project offered a new course for students with backgrounds in computer science or education to learn to teach Java programming and develop a curriculum appropriate for middle school aged campers and engaged a non-profit summer camp provider to handle camp logistics.


Game-themed instructional modules: a video case study
The results of the study demonstrate that it is possible for a faculty member with no games or graphics background to blend GTI modules into an existing CS1 class with minimum alterations to established course materials.
Game-themed programming assignments for faculty: a case study
This paper demonstrated that introductory programming concepts can be examined, practiced, and learned based on GTA modules when neither the faculty nor the students involved have backgrounds in graphics or games and showed that it is straightforward to blend the GTA modules into existing classes with minimum alterations.
Game-Themed Programming Assignment Modules: A Pathway for Gradual Integration of Gaming Context Into Existing Introductory Programming Courses
The collected results verified that introductory programming concepts can be examined, practiced, and learned by means of GTA modules when neither the faculty nor the students involved have backgrounds in graphics or games.
A games first approach to teaching introductory programming
This paper argues for using a "Game First" approach to teaching introductory programming, and describes the experiences after redesigning and offering a new introductory computer science sequence using 2D game development as a unifying theme.
Crossing the game threshold: a system for teaching basic programming constructs
It is argued for and presented a more limited programming game system for teaching basic programming constructs to beginner programmers at junior high school level and an evaluation of this game shows that students participating in this study enjoyed playing the game and succeeded in advancing through progressively more challenging stages of the game, which rely on understanding the underlying programming constructs.
Assessing game-themed programming assignments for CS1/2 courses
The paper focuses on the efforts in assessing the assignments: including details of the procedures and instruments for evaluating student achievement of learning outcomes and attitudes towards the assignments, as well as the extra effort required of faculty to adopt the assignments in existing clases.
Game programming in introductory courses with direct state manipulation
New functionality in the greenfoot environment is described, especially the addition of user interaction programming via direct state manipulation, which provides very low overhead graphical I/O handling at a level that makes it feasible to guide students to simple graphical game programming within a few weeks, while concentrating on fundamental object-oriented concepts in the structure of the program.
Digital gaming as a vehicle for learning
This panel addresses the still controversial question of whether gaming is a legitimate component of computing, and if so, where does it fit within the curriculum.
A simple framework for interactive games in CS1
A framework used as scaffolding to help students understand how to design and implement a variety of interactive games is reported on.
Game-themed programming assignments: the faculty perspective
The result is a road map that guides faculty members in experimenting with game-themed programming assignments by incrementally adopting/customizing suitable materials for their classes.