The University of Auckland

Project #39: Game-based learning of general troubleshooting/debugging strategies

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Description:

Debugging is a critically important component of programming, and an area that students are known to struggle with.  Despite the importance of debugging, strategies for debugging are rarely taught formally, leaving students to acquire their debugging skills independently.  Computational thinking, including debugging, is now expected of students throughout the school system, yet teachers lack the expertise and resources to effectively teach debugging strategies.  This project aims to develop a web-based tool that uses a game to teach top-level debugging strategies to students in an accessible way.  The game will emphasise the flow of information/material through a system using the analogy of a series of alchemical transformations of matter similar to other "crafting" games focused on using materials to make things (e.g. minecraft).  In this game, the "crafting" process will be deliberately flawed, with players expected to "debug"/troubleshoot the process.  Students selecting this project are expected to have web development skills and creative flair!

Outcome:

The research output will be a literature review of debugging strategies that can be taught at a high level without an understanding of code, and a web-based game that can teach troubleshooting/debugging skills to a diverse audience, which will be minimally evaluated with usability studies.

Prerequisites

Web development experience is required.  Creativity and UX design preferred.

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Allocated (Not available for preferences)

Lab

Lab allocations have not been finalised