PROFES’19 paper: Improving Engagement in Software Engineering Courses through Gamication

Nov 27 – 29, 2019, Barcelona, Spain

Software Engineering courses play an important role for preparing students with the right knowledge and attitude for software development in practice. The implication is far reaching, as the quality of the software that we use ultimately depends on the quality of the people that make them. Educating Software Engineering, however, is quite challenging, as the subject is not considered as most exciting by students, while teachers often have to deal with exploding number of students. The EU project IMPRESS seeks to explore the use of gamication in educating software engineering at the university level to improve students’ engagement and hence their appreciation for the taught subjects. This paper presents the project, its objectives, and its current progress.

Download the paper here.

Tanja E. J. Vos, I. S. W. B. Prasetya, Gordon Fraser, Iván Martínez-Ortiz, Iván J. Pérez-Colado, Rui Prada, José Rocha, António Rito Silva: IMPRESS: Improving Engagement in Software Engineering Courses Through Gamification. PROFES 2019: 613-619

ICSE’19 paper: Having Fun in Learning Formal Specifications

May 27 – 27, 2019, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

There are many benefits in providing formal specifications for our software. However, teaching students to do this is not always easy as courses on formal methods are often experienced as dry by students. This paper presents a game called FormalZ that teachers can use to introduce some variation in their class. Students can have some fun in playing the game and, while doing so, also learn the basics of writing formal specifications in the form of pre- and post-conditions. Unlike existing software engineering themed education games such as Pex and Code Defenders, FormalZ takes the deep gamification approach where playing gets a more central role in order to generate more engagement. This short paper presents our work in progress: the first implementation of FormalZ along with the result of a preliminary users’ evaluation. This implementation is functionally complete and tested, but the polishing of its user interface is still future work.

Get the paper here.

I. S. W. B. Prasetya, Craig Q. H. D. Leek, Orestis Melkonian, Joris ten Tusscher, Jan van Bergen, J. M. Everink, Thomas van der Klis, Rick Meijerink, Roan Oosenbrug, Jelle J. Oostveen, Tijmen van den Pol, and Wink M. van Zon. 2019. Having fun in learning formal specifications. In Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering Education and Training (ICSE-SEET ’19). IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 192-196. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSE-SEET.2019.00028

EDUCON’19 paper: From Heterogeneous Activities to Unified Analytics Dashboards.

9 and 11 April 2019 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Teachers often wish to integrate activities from disparate sources into their courses. For example, gamified activities, mediated through technology, can promote the type of active learning required to develop higher-level engagement by students. However, unless the activities have been designed to facilitate it, integrating their analytics into a single dashboard can require significant development effort. A general solution to such heterogeneous analytics integration can be of great value, by presenting a single view of student actions throughout the different parts of a course. We describe the problems presented when integrating the analytics of three heterogeneous stand-alone activities, in the context of a EU project to improve software engineering teaching. The idea is to increase student engagement via gamification, and explore the design space of possible solutions for providing integrated analytics over the heterogeneous activities. We then describe the design of a proof-of-concept implementation, based on the use of both xAPI trackers and simple CSV files for information exchange, single sign-on, a minimal class management web application, and updates to the analytics platform to allow dynamic changes in the multi-level analysis. The resulting approach can be readily applied to similar heterogeneous scenarios.

Get the paper here.

I. Martínez-Ortiz, I. Pérez-Colado, D. C. Rotaru, M. Freire and B. Fernández-Manjón, “From Heterogeneous Activities to Unified Analytics Dashboards,” 2019 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2019, pp. 1108-1113.
doi: 10.1109/EDUCON.2019.8725222

SIGCSE’19 Paper: Gamifying a Software Testing Course with Code Defenders.

February 27th – March 2nd, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Software testing is an essential skill for software developers, but it is challenging to get students engaged in this activity. The Code Defenders game addresses this problem by letting students compete over code under test by either introducing faults (“attacking”) or by writing tests to reveal these faults (“defending”). In this paper, we describe how we integrated Code Defenders as a semester-long activity of an undergraduate and graduate level university course on software testing. We complemented the regular course sessions with weekly Code Defenders sessions, addressing challenges such as selecting suitable code to test, managing games, and assessing performance. Our experience and our data show that the integration of Code Defenders was well-received by students and led them to practice testing thoroughly. Positive learning effects are evident as student performance improved steadily throughout the semester.

Download the paper here.

Gordon Fraser, Alessio Gambi, Marvin Kreis, and José Miguel Rojas. 2019. Gamifying a Software Testing Course with Code Defenders. In Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE ’19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 571-577. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3287324.3287471

ECSEE’18 paper: A Preliminary Report on Gamifying a Software Testing Course with the Code Defenders Testing Game.

June 14 – 15, 2018, Bavaria, Germany

It is challenging to teach software testing in a way that is engaging for students, and to ensure that they practice effective testing sufficiently. Code Defenders is an educational game that is intended to address this problem: Students compete over code under test by either introducing faults (“attacking”) or by writing tests (“defending”). We have integrated Code Defenders as a mandatory component of a software testing course at the University of Passau, which featured ten game sessions of two hours each and involved 120 students. In this paper, we describe how this integration took place and provide some initial insights into our experiences. Code Defenders and the course material are freely available, allowing others to replicate this setup and to gamify their own testing courses.

Presentation of the following paper publication:

Gordon Fraser, Alessio Gambi, and José Miguel Rojas. 2018. A Preliminary Report on Gamifying a Software Testing Course with the Code Defenders Testing Game. In Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference of Software Engineering Education (ECSEE’18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 50-54. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3209087.3209103

First Multiplier event – 7 September 2018 – Utrecht

Introduction slides are here. Code-defenders slides can be found here. FormalZ slides can be found here. Below some photos from the event.

Student Project Symposium, Utrecht, June 2018

About 200 students attended this event where preliminary results of the IMPRESS project were presented. Slides can be found here.

UCM, Madrid, lecture 25th of June 2018

The 25th of June 2018, Tanja Vos, gave a lecture at the UPM about IMPRESS and its objectives. The slides can be found here.

EDUCON2018 – IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference

During the EDUCON2018, Tenerife (Spain) on the 20-21st of april 2018, two presentations were given about the evolution of the H2020 RAGE Analytics platform, including the new IMPRESS requirements. (slides, slides)

ICT OPEN 2018, Amersfoort

IMPRESS project was be presented at the ICT OPEN event that takes place the 19 and 20th of March 2018 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Here are the slides.

NIOC 2018 – Congres Beleef ICT Onderwijs

During the NIOC 2018 event in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands we presented the IMPRESS project together with some games to give an idea of what the project will achieve. The slides of the IMPRESS workshop are here  The Jumble quiz can be replayed from here.


TouW dagen 2017

During the  TouW dagen in Amsterdam, The Netherlands 25 november 2017, we used IMPRESS games to disseminate the project and part of the activities that we plan to do in the project. The Kahoot! quiz was about the contents of the talks given during the seminar in Testing.

2017 Joint Conference on Serious Games

During JCSG 2017 in Valencia, Spain on the 24th of November 2017, a keynote speech was given about serious games and analytics where IMPRESS main objectives were introduced and in put into context with other initiatives and EU projects.