Game Elements, Motivation and Programming Learning: A Case Study

Authors Davide R. Carneiro , Rui J. R. Silva

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Author Details

Davide R. Carneiro
  • CIICESI, ESTG, Politécnico do Porto, Portugal
  • Algoritmi Center, Department of Informatics, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Rui J. R. Silva
  • CETRAD, Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

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Davide R. Carneiro and Rui J. R. Silva. Game Elements, Motivation and Programming Learning: A Case Study. In First International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 81, pp. 5:1-5:10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


The learning of programming is traditionally challenging for students. However, this is also one of the most fundamental skills for any computer scientist, and is becoming an important skill in other areas of knowledge. In this paper we analyze the use of game-elements in a challenging long-term programming task, with students of the 3rd year of a Informatics Engineering degree. We conducted a quantitative study using the AMS scale to assess students' motivation. Results show that with the use of game-elements, students are both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated, and that they consider learning/working fun, which contributes positively to their academic performance.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Human-centered computing → Collaborative and social computing theory, concepts and paradigms
  • Motivation
  • Programming
  • Genetic Algorithms


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