This project explores a unique and innovative approach to computer science education through the use of a 3D environmental puzzle game where players a unique programming language to manipulate game objects and navigate the game environment. The game is designed to teach foundational concepts of computer programming including abstraction, modularity, reusability, and debugging and is meant to do so through exercises that are closer to actual programming than block based approaches while still being accessible to novices. Through log data, surveys, expert reviews, and interviews, this project examines how players build implicit computer science knowledge through gameplay and how that gameplay relates to their performance on external transfer tasks. This work emphasizes the use of games as informal learning environments that are accessible and fun, and will provide game design metaphors that have been tested for their learning and engagement value that can be abstracted and embedded in different games. This project will also contribute patterns and an understanding of how people learn and engage in problem solving using concepts of abstraction, modularity, debugging and semantics. These outcomes will lead to advancement in knowledge in the learning sciences as well as the design of educational games that enrich STEM learning.
This Project is funded by the National Science Foundation. Arawrd ID: 1810972. For further information, see the NSF page.
For a full list of publications related to this research, see papers.
Magy Seif El-Nasr (PI)
Mia Victoria Almeda
Jennifer deWinter (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
Marina Umaschi Bers (Tufts University)
Jill Denner (ETR)
Christopher Hoadley (New York University)
Eric Klopfer (MIT)
Karen Peterson (National Girls' Collaborative)
Kurt Squire (University of California, Irvine)