Enhancing Software Engineering Education with Game Design and Development
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational journal of engineering education. 2018, 34 (2), 471-481.
The benefits of integrating game development in software engineering education are multifold. It keeps the students interested, engaged and motivated during the courses and can potentially open a range of employment opportunities for students who would like to pursue a career in game industry. The present study reports the design and delivery of four game related courses in Bachelor in programming. A “red thread” of game courses are used to motivate the software engineering material, while an software engineering approach was used for regular addition of new courses, and updating existing courses. As the authors were involved in teaching across all levels they were able to retain an overview of the curriculum as a whole while implementing these improvements. Integration of new courses and new content requires testing and constant evaluation. The motivation for the assignments and the assessment of the courses are discussed in relation to development and Self Determination Theory. These courses are reviewed for their contribution against both the SWEBOK knowledge areas and the IGDA curriculum framework. Further, lessons learnt about using games to teach software engineering to improve education are included. Treating games as “first class citizens” in the world of software engineering allows students to use the experience they have gained before university to engage in discussions related to quality, economic value, strategic decision making, graphics, AI, performance, documentation, and almost all areas of software engineering. The challenge is not to get students to understand the value of games as a learning environment, but to convince staff that games are no longer trivial problems for small children.