Using a serious game approach to teach 'operator precedence' to introductory programming students

  • Adamo-Villani N
  • Haley-Hermiz T
  • Cutler R
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In this paper we describe the design, development, formative evaluation and initial findings of one level of a serious game whose objective is to teach Information Assurance concepts to undergraduate students in introductory programming courses. The game level focuses on the concept of 'operator precedence'. The player travels through a multilevel 3- dimensional maze and at each junction in the maze he/she is required to solve a mathematical problem that involves the application of operator precedence rules. A correct answer allows the player to move closer to the maze exit, an incorrect solution moves the player farther from the end of the maze. Initial findings from a formative study with a group of 14 undergraduate students show that the game level is usable, engaging and useful for learning/reviewing the intended programming concept. © 2013 IEEE.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Computer Science Education
  • Information Assurance
  • Serious Games
  • Usability Evaluation

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  • Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

  • Thomas Haley-Hermiz

  • Robb Cutler

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