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Compiler Integration into Computer Science Learning Games

Compiler Integration into Computer Science Learning Games

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Compiler Integration into Computer Science Learning Games

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  1. Compiler Integration into Computer Science Learning Games Amanda Chaffin katla@wulfkub.com Advisor: Dr. Tiffany Barnes tbarnes2@uncc.edu

  2. What is Game2Learn? Games • Senior Projects & Master’s Thesis • Challenging, creative, innovative • RPGs and puzzle games Students • Undergraduates • Veteran Mentors (Ph. D. & Masters) Learning • Computing & programming concepts • Learning tools Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  3. Hypothesis • Students who play a learning game where • They can write and compile code inside the game • Will effectively learn computing concepts • Students who make a learning game where other students write code will • Learn the coding concepts better • Be able to teach the concepts Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  4. Game Concept re·cur·sion (rĭ-kûr'zhən) –noun Mathematics,Computers See recursion Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  5. EleMental: The Recurrence Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  6. Video Video (Thanks to YouTube for hosting) Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  7. Code Interface – Close Up Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  8. Pilot Study Design • Pilot Study • Current CS 2214 and 2215 students recruited via the professor • Study consists of – • Demographic survey & pre-test • Play game • Post test & survey • Data logged by game and automatically (non secure) FTPed Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  9. 16 participants 1 non computing major 1 freshman, 1 sophomore, 10 juniors, 3 seniors, and 1 post Baccalaureate 13 men, 3 women 5 casual gamers, 4 hardcore, 7 neither Study Demographics Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  10. Pre & Post Test public int getProduct(int num) { int result; if (num == 1) { result = 1; } else { result = num * getProduct(num - 1); } return result; } • What is the value passed to getProduct() in step 2? Answer = 2 • What is the value of 'result' at step 6?Answer = 6 • What is the value passed to getProduct() in step 2? • What is the value of 'result' at step 6? MAIN 6) result = getProduct() 1) getProduct(3) 5) result = 2 4) result = getProduct() 2) getProduct() getProduct() 3) getProduct() Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014 10

  11. Pre to Posttest Learning Gains Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  12. Favorite Aspects of EleMental? Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  13. Traditional Vs. Game Assignments Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  14. Study Quotes “The fact that I write my own code to make the game work.” “Gaming assignments are better because a lot of people enter computer science wanting to do things like gaming, and are disappointed because all they get to do in the first few assignments is write code to calculate tax on different stuff.” “I liked the whole experience of walking through the paths and then typing the code and then doing it again for repetition.” “Finding C# is very similar to Java.” Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  15. What the Developers Learned • Code concepts – abstraction, recursion, Forms, polymorphism, CodeDom, Compilers • Agile development – rapid iterations through software cycle • Good code no substitute for proper design! • Parsing is HARD! Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  16. Future Study • Hypothesis – students who play EleMental: The Recurrence with access to the in game compiler will show significantly higher learning gains than a comparison group that plays without the compiler. • Crossover study – • Half play the game with compiler • Half play without • Swap Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  17. Future Engine Work • Level Creation currently at 5 hours for 2 people • Database • Address Engine Concerns • Direction Indicators • Reconnect XP to HUD • Bug Fixes • Expansions into other data structures • Heaps • Lists • Stacks Chaffin - G2L platform October 23, 2014

  18. Thank You! Amanda Chaffin & Dr. Tiffany Barnes katla@wulfkub.com unc Charlotte This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation GrantsNo. CNS-0552631 and CNS-0540523, IIS-0757521, and the UNC Charlotte Diversity in Information Technology Institute.

  19. Engine Components

  20. CompilerControls Architecture Chaffin - G2L platform October 29, 2008

  21. Challenge Objects Flow

  22. Event System Architecture Chaffin - G2L platform October 29, 2008

  23. Each Event has TypeID Parameters Triggers Events : XML Settings

  24. HUD Flow Chaffin - G2L platform October 29, 2008