Developing and Evaluating a Multiplayer Game Mode in a Programming Learning Environment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Serious games have an already well-known positive impact on students' motivation and their learning experience. In computer science education a majority of games and approaches exist, that provide engaging environments for students. On the one hand, these can be games related to learning algorithmic thinking but on the other hand, games to learn coding. Besides single-player games, there are also multiplayer games where players compete against each other or collaboratively work on programming tasks. However, many existing multiplayer games offer pre-defined levels where teachers have limited flexibility and individuality for their students. Additionally, many existing game environments use competitive over collaborative approaches. In our project, we extended an existing game by a multiplayer mode where players work together on coding tasks. The game elements support many coding-related concepts but also computational skills such as sequencing, conditionals, loops, and also advanced topics such as concurrency or dependencies using meaningful levels and tasks. However, we conducted an evaluation including 41 participants in three workshops: two in-class activities with secondary school students and an online activity with computer science students. Within these workshops, the students collaboratively worked on coding tasks within the game environment. Thereby, we observed the communication between the students while working on the tasks. Additionally, we evaluated the students' attitudes towards collaborative learning. We found out that the in-game chat is barely used while in-class activities, especially when the tasks require only low coordination between players. We also found out, that students learn from each other and are more motivated when working together. With our approach, we want to provide educators with a flexible game environment where students can collaboratively improve their coding skills while solving engaging tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2022 8th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network, iLRN 2022
EditorsAndreas Dengel, Marie-Luce Bourguet, Daniela Pedrosa, James Hutson, Kai Erenli, Daphne Economou, Anasol Pena-Rios, Jonathon Richter
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781734899528
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event8th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network: iLRN 2022 - Vienna, Virtual, Austria
Duration: 30 May 20224 Jun 2022


Conference8th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network
Abbreviated titleiLRN 2022
CityVienna, Virtual


  • coding
  • collaborative learning
  • game-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Media Technology
  • Education


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