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Multiplayer On-Line Role Playing Game Style Grading in a Project-Based Software Engineering Technology Capstone Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Software Engineering Projects

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1091.1 - 22.1091.20



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Paper Authors


James N. Long Oregon Institute of Technology

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James Long is an Associate Professor in software engineering technology. Courses and interest are Software Engineering Project Course, Computer Networks, Operating Systems, Embedded Systems and applications. James is the program director for the Embedded Systems Engineering Technology program.

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Linda Sue Young Oregon Institute of Technology

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Professor Linda S. Young has taught at the Oregon Institute of Technology since 1983. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Washington in 1997, and has a master's degree from the University of Virginia. She has served as department chair of the Communication Department and has taught a wide range of writing and communication courses. She was instrumental in the design of the bachelor's degree in Communication Studies at OIT. Areas of interest include the overlap of game design and learning systems, media and the communication styles of Japan, creativity and communication, and conversation analysis.

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Multiplayer On-Line Role Playing Game Style Grading in a Project Based Software Engineering Technology Capstone CourseAbstractSoftware systems analysis, design, and construction is a tacit activity. As any large softwaresystem is developed, the engineers involved in the development activity learn about what it isthey are building. Previous experience helps in getting the job done; however, technology, tools,and end user desires change so rapidly that a project may transform several times during thecourse of system development. Students who gravitate toward the field of software engineeringseem to be drawn because they enjoy completing ambiguous tasks requiring knowledge gainedthrough experience. These students also are drawn to multiplayer on-line r1ole playing games(MMORPG). The nature of the knowledge workforce is changing based on “millenials” enteringcollege and their habits related to playing of Internet based games[1]. According to a PewResearch study, game playing is ubiquitous among American teenagers. Fully 99% of boys and94% of girls report playing video games in the age range 12-17[2].This population is enteringuniversities, bringing Internet based learning styles and experience into a lecture based learningenvironment. Standard lecture style teaching methods do not grasp the tacit work environmentrequired of software engineering professionals. This paper explores the application of MMORPGscoring techniques to course topic introduction, curriculum flow, and grading for a year long,project based, software engineering technology capstone course. Students are formed into teamsof three or four, then they are set free to discover what they will about the tasks, where ifcompleted correctly, will gain them the ultimate position of “Lead Software EngineeringArchitect”. Students are involved in a yearlong odyssey targeted at large scale software projectmanagement and self discovery of techniques required to build a successful system. The paperdiscusses incoming student demographics, course structure, use of gold and experience points asincentive, project approach, and outcome of this curriculum management model. A method forassessing student learning will be discussed along with results. Student attitudes and thoughtswill be explored.1 Total Engagement, Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the way People Work and Businesses Compete,Harvard Business Press, 2009.2 Pew Internet and American Life Project, “Teens, Video Games, and Civics”, Pew Research Center, September 16,2008

Long, J. N., & Young, L. S. (2011, June), Multiplayer On-Line Role Playing Game Style Grading in a Project-Based Software Engineering Technology Capstone Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18922

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