Evaluation of Introducing Programming to Younger School Children Using a Computer Game Making Tool

Wilson, Amanda; Connolly, Thomas; Hainey, Thomas; Moffat, David
January 2011
Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning;2011, p639
Conference Proceeding
Computer games are an exceptionally popular medium across all age groups and have significantly impacted on the way that younger people and children spend their leisure time. Educationalists are hopeful that they will be able to utilise the positive attributes of computer games for educational purposes. There have been a number of studies associated with the application of computer games technology (or games-based learning) in tertiary education; however there is still insufficient evidence at this level to properly substantiate the use of computer games technology as a recognised educational approach. There have been even fewer studies gathering empirical evidence about the applicability of games-based learning in Primary Education. This paper will present the findings of an extensive literature review of the use of computer games and education with a specific focus on Primary Education where students have constructed their own computer games. This paper will also report the results of empirical work performed over an eight week period to introduce programming to younger school children using a computer game construction application. The results show that a sense of achievement was evident in most of the children as they participated in making a game.


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