Building Worlds

Zoë Wood, Aaron Keen
2015 Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education - SIGCSE '15  
When teaching introductory computing courses, we are often guilty of writing rudimentary programming assignments -those meant to illustrate one simple language feature, comprised mostly of code that will never be used beyond the assignment. Admittedly, first-year computing students must navigate a myriad of challenges, sometimes learning both imperative and object-oriented programming, in addition to mastering syntax, logic, debugging, and testing. To tackle the difficulties of developing CS 1
more » ... nd CS 2 courses that engage students in learning while addressing the numerous course objectives, we chose to challenge students to create virtual worlds in one large comprehensive two-quarter long programming project. Students were granted creative freedom within a framework that gradually introduces many programming skills and that requires the mastery of objectoriented programming and some engaging algorithms. We present the curriculum, performance comparisons, and observations. Overall, we consider the experimental courses a success that will have an impact on our department's future curricular offerings.
doi:10.1145/2676723.2677249 dblp:conf/sigcse/WoodK15 fatcat:c5red2ejknhmlbsxoqcerzgrwy