Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Designing a New Video Game App as an aid for Introduction to Programming classes that use C Programming Language
Maria Pantoja

Last modified: 29-05-2017

Abstract


This paper describes the use and development of a mobile application as an aid for an introduction to programming class in C, for first year engineering students. One of the biggest problems in teaching programming, and in particular in C is the concept of memory allocation and pointers. To help visualizing these concepts we developed an application in the form of a video game that works on both Android and iOS devices. The paper is inspired  Digital Game Based Learning (DGBL) pedagogical theory, studying the kind of learning that happens when playing computer and video games, how to use this medium as a tool for learning, and how to design games for learning. Research has shown benefits in using mobile applications to better engage students and help them learn at their own pace and levelWe did some preliminary performance testing on students from two different groups. One group of computer engineering students and another one of non-engineering majors, both groups learning to program, with no previous knowledge of programming, to evaluate the benefits of the application. The results of this test show that there is an improvement in the students understanding in C, and we also noted a very positive attitude of students toward using something as familiar to them as mobile phones to help them understand the material.


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