There is a growing belief that techniques from digital games can improve student engagement in learning, resulting in improved success rates and a more rewarding experience for everyone involved. In practice, of course, success is never guaranteed because of the difficulty of addressing the many factors affecting the outcome. The main purpose of this paper is to clarify those factors as a basis for developing guidelines to help improve the chances of success. The ideas presented are based on the positive experience of using an engagement game in the teaching of first year programming and a more problematic experience of extending the approach to encourage students to seek one-year work placements. The paper starts with a summary of the first year engagement game, outlining its approach, results, and the lessons learned from the exercise. This is followed by the description of a substantially different game for second-year students, who undertake a full-year work placement in their third year of a four-year Computing degree. Again lessons learned from the experience are reported, with suggestions for further experimental work outlined.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of ECGBL 2009: 3rd European Conference on Games Based Learning|
|Publisher||Academic Conferences and Publishing International|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Oct 2009|