Using Game Design as a Means to Make Computer Science Accessible to Adolescents

Using Game Design as a Means to Make Computer Science Accessible to Adolescents

Roxana Hadad (Northeastern Illinois University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2848-9.ch015
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Abstract

In this case, the author discusses using game design and community-building as methods for increasing interest and knowledge of computer science for students from underrepresented populations. Students in a six-week Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) summer program learned game design alongside programming basics, while they spoke to programming industry experts. For four weeks, students focused on the design concepts in different games they had played and with which they were familiar. They recreated these games by programming them using MIT’s Scratch software. In the remaining two weeks, students created their own game using the concepts and skills they had learned. Some students chose to program their games to use the Xbox 360® KinectTM controller as a way for the player to interact with their game using their whole body. Programmers spoke to the students weekly, both online and in person, answering questions about the field and the work that they do. Students shared their work with one another and the instructors in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

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