Applying gamification to motivate students to write high-quality code in programming assignments

Remin Kasahara, Kazunori Sakamoto, Hironori Washizaki, Yoshiaki Fukazawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background: Traditional programming education focuses on training students’ ability to write correct code that meets the specifications in programming assignments. In addition to correctness, software engineering studies argue that code quality is important. Problem: Nurturing students’ ability to write high-quality code in programming assignments is difficult due to two main reasons. (1) Considering code quality while grading is undesirable because there are no objective and fair measurement metrics. (2) Grading assignments from multiple viewpoints (correctness and quality) is difficult and time-consuming. Approach: We propose applying gamification with code metrics to measure code quality in programming assignments. Our approach can motivate students to write code with good metric scores independent of grading. We implemented our approach and conducted a control experiment in a programming course at a university. Result: Our approach did not interfere with students’ submissions but improved metric scores significantly. Hence, our approach can engage students to write high-quality code.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationITiCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages92-98
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450363013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 2
Event2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2019 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 2019 Jul 152019 Jul 17

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
ISSN (Print)1942-647X

Conference

Conference2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityAberdeen
Period19/7/1519/7/17

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Keywords

  • Code metrics
  • Code quality
  • Gamification
  • Leaderboard
  • Online judge
  • Programming education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Education

Cite this

Kasahara, R., Sakamoto, K., Washizaki, H., & Fukazawa, Y. (2019). Applying gamification to motivate students to write high-quality code in programming assignments. In ITiCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (pp. 92-98). (Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3304221.3319792