Objectives and Behaviors for a Gamification Strategy for First Year Programming Courses

Published in International Conference of the Chilean Computer Science Society (SCCC), 2018

Abstract

Students entering technology-related careers such as computing engineering face several difficulties when learning the basics concepts of programming, which causes reproval rates of up to 40% in our school. We consider gamification, described as the usage of game elements in a non-gaming context, as a way to improve motivation and to incentivize the development of several behaviors that, we hope, will make students achieve the learning objectives of the programming courses. This paper first provides a brief overview of gamification in the context of teaching programming. Then it describes several objectives and behaviors that were identified that are expected from successful students in a programming course. We expect the contributions of this paper to be valuable on its own, but they are also part of a larger goal: the development of a gamification strategy tailored to first-year programming courses.