Computer Science PhD student Sarah Esper is one of the creators of CodeSpells, a videogame that teaches kids Java. CodeSpells has gotten a lot of attention recently (press release, CodeSpells blog) . Here's a sample of some of the media coverage it's received so far:
Wired: Experimental Videogame Teaches Kids How to Program in Java
Gizmag: Video game teaches Java programming language to players
Examiner.com: A new game lets you save the world and learn Java at the same time
Esper is one of the 200+ grad students presenting their research projects at Research Expo on April 18, here at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
Register for Research Expo here.
UC San Diego alumni receive half-price admission.
Employees of CAP member companies receive 2-for-1 admission.
The poster title and abstract are below:
31. CODESPELLS: LEARNING TO PROGRAM THROUGH IMMERSIVE GAMEPLAY
Faculty Advisor(s): William G. Griswold | Elizabeth A. Simon
Name: Sarah Esper
Student CollaboratorsStephen Foster
CodeSpells is a 3D immersive video game designed to teach CS1 level programming concepts to novice students. It is meant to be a stand alone system that guides students through CS1 concepts in a explorative way, encouraging students to engage in pre-defined ?quests? that address particular concepts, but also informally through exploring the 3D world. There have been results to indicate that CodeSpells is a system that is engaging for students ages 9-24 who are complete novice programmers, interested in programming. Early results indicate that little external help is necessary for the students to complete the pre-defined challenges. This study aims to determine what kind of help is necessary as well as how much learning occurs in normal game play.