Learning by Game-building: A Novel Approach to Theoretical Computer Science Education

Laura Korte, Stuart Anderson, Helen Pain, Judith Good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper describes an innovative method for teaching modelling skills in theoretical computer science (e.g. finite state automata, Turing machines). Students acquire a new modelling skill by completing a game-building assignment in which there is a direct and transparent mapping between the game that the student is building and the model in the framework they are trying to master. Through this constructionist approach, the student not only learns by doing, which potentially contributes to understanding, but there is also a significant element of personalization and choice present, which has the potential to increase both motivation and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalSIGCSE Bull.
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • automata theory
  • constructionism
  • game-based learning
  • game-building
  • regular languages
  • theoretical computer science
  • turing machines


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