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Computer-game construction: A gender-neutral attractor to Computing Science Open Access


Author or creator
Carbonaro, Mike
Szafron, Duane
Cutumisu, Maria
Schaeffer, Jonathan
Additional contributors
Females in Science
Computer game construction
Computing Science
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Journal Article (Published)
Enrollment in Computing Science university programs is at a dangerously low level. A major reason for this is the general lack of interest in Computing Science by females. In this paper, we discuss our experience with using a computer game construction environment as a vehicle to encourage female participation in Computing Science. Experiments with game construction in grade 10 English classes showed that females enjoyed this activity as much as males and were just as successful. In this paper, we argue that: a) computer game construction is a viable activity for teaching higher-order thinking skills that are essential for Science; b) computer game construction that involves scripting teaches valuable Computing Science abstraction skills; c) this activity is an enjoyable introduction to Computing Science; and d) outcome measures for this activity are not male-dominated in any of the three aspects (higher-order thinking, Computing Science abstraction skills, activity enjoyment). Therefore, we claim that this approach is a viable gender-neutral approach to teaching Computing Science in particular and Science in general that may increase female participation in the discipline.
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Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 4.0 International
Citation for previous publication
Carbonaro, Mike, Szafron, Duane, Cutumisu, Maria, & Schaeffer, Jonathan. (2010). Computer-game construction: A gender-neutral attractor to Computing Science. Computers and Education, 55(3), 1098-1111.


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