Game Development-Based Learning: A New Paradigm for Teaching Computer and Object-Oriented Programming

Game Development-Based Learning: A New Paradigm for Teaching Computer and Object-Oriented Programming

Alaa Khalaf Al-Makhzoomy, Ke Zhang, Timothy Spannaus
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0249-5.ch012
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


This chapter presents the findings from a quasi-experimental study analyzing the effect of Game Development-Based Learning on students' academic performance in programming courses in Jordan. The study tested an argument proposing a positive significant association between GDBL instruction and students' performance. The analysis of variance results investigating the effect of enrollment and completion of a concurrent GDBL course to normal courses found that the treatment group outperformed two other groups: the control and the comparison group. The positive gains in the post-assessment scores, were consistent across the two programming courses: C++ and Object-Oriented Programming. This finding confirms the earlier results across countries and contexts documenting the salubrious effect of GDBL on students' academic performance in Computer Science and Information Technology courses. Findings also support the overarching constructionist approach where the use of scaffolding and technology in instruction and assessment yield better academic outcomes for learners.
Chapter Preview


Previous research has noted the wide array of benefits gained through the use of GameMaker® for teaching programming at all educational levels. First, students’ motivation and interest in CS and IT improves with game authoring and design as part of programming courses (Johnson, 2017). GameMaker® can be introduced as early as middle school as an effective tool introducing students to programming and CS where their attitudes towards the field could potentially change the negative perceptions surrounding IT fields (Jenson & Droumeva, 2015). GDBL has been employed in Object-Oriented Programming and introductory to C++ with the overarching finding that it serves as a complementary pedagogical tool to the formal programming instruction increasing the potential for programming learning for students (Dalal, Kak & Sohoni, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): A computer programming approach where the programmer perceives the problem to be solved as objects. It is the matter of defining data not the process.

Learning Design: The educational process in which a pedagogical model is applied to design instruction and the employment of emergent technologies in variety of settings.

Programming Courses: Courses provided by educational institutions for learners to learn the fundamentals of computer programming using selected computer programming languages.

Scaffolding: An instructional approach that helps learners acquire knowledge and skill to elevate to a better understanding and independence in the learning process.

Academic Performance: Learner’s, educator’s, or educational institution’s achievement of short or long-term educational goals.

Moodle: An open-source learning management system used by many educational institutions around the world to provide online learning experience to their learners. MOODLE stands for “Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.”

Game Development: The process of creating computer games that starts with conception and storyline to computer programming.

Learning Management System (LMS): A cloud-based software platform that enables learners and educators experience the learning process in an asynchronous or synchronous online setting.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: