An application of games-based learning within software engineering

Thomas M. Connolly, Mark Stansfield, Thomas Hainey
2007 British Journal of Educational Technology  
For some time now, computer games have played an important role in both children and adults' leisure activities. While there has been much written on the negative aspects of computer games, it has also been recognised that they have potential advantages and benefits. There is no doubt that computer games are highly engaging and incorporate features that are extremely compelling. It is these highly engaging features of computer games that have attracted the interests of educationalists. The use
more » ... f games-based learning has been growing for many years now; however, within software engineering, there is still a dearth of empirical evidence to support this approach. In this paper, we examine the literature on the use of computer games to teach software engineering concepts and describe a computer game we have been developing to teach these concepts. . within software engineering and, in particular, attempt to identify what empirical evidence exists within this literature to support this approach. We also examine some of the issues underlying the teaching of the abstract and complex domain of requirements collection and analysis and, more generally, software engineering. We then discuss the high-level requirements for our game and provide an overview of the gameplay and an outline subsystem design. Previous research Literature search There is a significant amount of research in the application of computer games to teaching and learning. As our primary focus was the application of games-based learning to software engineering in tertiary education, and as we were particularly interested to identify the existence of empirical evidence to support its usage in this discipline, we undertook an extensive literature search during the first half of 2006. As technology, and specifically computer games, have changed significantly in the last decade, we decided to look for evidence from 1996 onwards.
doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00706.x fatcat:yfted4qqpfc6vaitwi6ypca45y