Warehouse escape: an interactive game to teach search and sort algorithms

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Bashir, Maimoona
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science
In computer science, algorithms can be one of the most challenging concepts for beginners to learn. One approach to teaching challenging concepts is the use of game-based learning (GBL). In this work, we investigate the use of game-based learning for teaching fundamental search and sort algorithms. Specifically, we created the Warehouse Escape game. To assess the knowledge improvements from playing Warehouse escape, we compare playing the game to watching animations of the algorithms. We found that those who played the game showed a significant improvement in learning outcomes than those who watched the animations. Also, those who played the game did better on conceptual questions. Based on this work, the more “hands-on” approach to game-based learning is more effective and engaging for learning algorithms than the more passive watching of animations.
game-based learning , search and sort algorithms , interactive gaming , edutainment , Algorithms--Study and teaching--Simulation methods , Computer programming--Study and teaching , Active learning , Gamification , Simulation games in education , Dissertations, Academic