This collaborative research project was made possible by the CREU (Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates) CRA-W (Computing Research Association Women) and the CDC (Coalition to Diversify Computing).

This project aims to investigate the role that motivational feedback plays in games with respect to gender. We will focus on educational games for advanced programming. We hope that our findings will help create a pedagogically useful game that can be used at our institutions, as well as others, to help students in programming courses practice their skills and enjoy the fun of programming.

To conduct this research we will design a game, using Unity, that teaches advanced programming skills. The game will have three versions with each one differing only by the feedback it provides.

One version will provide motivational feedback when the user answers correctly, i.e “Great Job!!” while ignoring poor performance.

Another version will provide negative feedback when the user answers incorrectly, i.e “that was dumb” while ignoring good performance.

Lastly, we will have a version that provides no feedback regardless of the user answering correctly or incorrectly.

Once we finish gathering the data, we will analyze the users’ results to determine if the feedback had an impact on user performance. We will look to see if there are differences by gender.

 

The results of our research will be presented at Brooklyn College Science Day on May 2017 and at the GHC (Grace Hopper Celebration) in October of 2017.