Developing an educational game to support cognitive learning

Cagin Kazimoglu, Mary Kiernan, Liz Bacon, Lachlan M. MacKinnon

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This paper outlines how an educational game can be used to support the learning of programming within the Computer Science (CS) discipline and reports on the qualitative results of a series of rigorous studies of the use of this game by first-year introductory programming students. Although this paper applies to the CS discipline, computational thinking (CT) as an intrinsic part of the games process is applicable to any discipline. This is because CT combines logical thinking with CS concepts to produce a recipe for solving problems, regardless of where a problem lies.Many studies indicate that learning through educational games appeals widely to students,regardless of their backgrounds (Liu et al, 2011; Papastergiou,2009). However, though many of these studies demonstrate enthusiasm for educational games and indicate that games can enhance motivation for learning, they offer very few conclusions about what students learn from playing them or whether or not they acquire cognitive abilities thereby (Denner etal, 2012; Connolly et al, 2011).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCompass: Journal of Learning and Teaching
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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