June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Computing & Information Technology
24.1334.1 - 24.1334.19
Using Interdisciplinary Game-based Learning to Develop Problem Solving and Writing SkillsStudents majoring in computing and engineering fields generally perceive that courses in theirmajor are not related to the general education (liberal arts and sciences) courses required for theirdegree. This separation prevents the transfer of skills between courses in the major and generaleducation courses that could result in mutually beneficial synergies. To challenge theirpreconceptions and to help students develop connections between major and general educationcourses, we developed a learning community that links two courses in Computer Systems (onecourse is an introductory course to problem solving and computer programming, CS1, and thesecond course is an introduction to the field of computer systems, CS0) and EnglishComposition.In this presentation we will describe an innovative approach to the teaching of computing andwriting to first-year students majoring in a Computer Systems degree at a college of technology.The theme of the learning community is the development of narratives (a plot or schematicstructuring of temporal actions) and their implementation as a video game prototype. Commonstudent learning objectives and general education student learning outcomes for our coursesinclude: use creativity to solve problems; understand and navigate systems; work productivelywithin and across disciplines; use the tools needed for communication, inquiry, creativity, andanalysis; gather, interpret, evaluate, and apply information discerningly from a variety ofsources; and communication in diverse settings and groups, using writing (both reading andwriting), oral (both speaking and listening), and visual means.In the English composition class, students write original video game narratives in groups; in theirCS1 computer programming class students implement these stories using Alice, a computerprogramming environment that supports the creation of three-dimensional animations; and, in theCS0 survey course, students explore architectural and hardware issues to describe a possiblegame delivery platform. The concepts and skills introduced in the computer courses arecontextualized by a problem (game design) that is relevant to students and connected to conceptsand skills developed in the writing course. Moreover, traditional English composition is taught toconnect to the computing courses that first-year students take. The common student assignmentacross the three courses in this learning community is a design document which includes analysis(background and problem description, target audience, review of existing projects and mediaselection), design (user characteristics, goals and objectives, and description of the deliveryplatform), and project description (narrative of project design, review of relevant literature,flowchart of the entire project, and storyboards). When given the chance to work on ameaningful project of their own choosing, students collaboratively created video gameprototypes by leveraging their problem-solving, programming, and writing abilities gained inthese three courses.
Lansiquot, R. D., & Satyanarayana, A., & Cabo, C. (2014, June), Using Interdisciplinary Game-based Learning to Develop Problem Solving and Writing Skills Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23267
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