Gamifying research in software engineering
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionComputer applications in engineering education. 2018, 26 (5), 1641-1652. 10.1002/cae.21994
It is a non‐trivial task for research‐centric courses in the software engineering curriculum to compete and engage students on the same level as the practical, software development courses. Practical software development courses and projects are inherently motivating to students, as they provide necessary elements such as agency, relatedness, and the strong sense of competence upon completing software engineering tasks. In contrast, reading research articles and technical white papers feels dry and non‐engaging. Nevertheless, a well‐balanced MSc programme curriculum covers both, learning through construction and practical courses as well as research courses. The main motivation for the development of game‐centric approaches to the research aspects of curriculum is to improve students’ interest and engagement with those courses. In this paper, we present the methodology and initial evaluations from three gamification strategies used in the Master's degree programme. These are: the game of reading and discussing research articles (GoRaD), the game of arguing and counter‐arguing, and combining research and practice. The paper presents our experimentation and initial evaluations of the use of those strategies, as well as plans for future development and enhancements.