Evaluation of Computer Games Developed by Primary School Children to Gauge Understanding of Programming Concepts

A. Wilson, T. Hainey, T. Connolly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

44 Citations (Scopus)


Under the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland, newer approaches such as games-based learning and games-based construction are being adopted to motivate and engage students. Construction of computer games is seen by some to be a highly motivational and practical approach at engaging children at Primary Education (PE) level in computer programming concepts. Games-based learning (GBL) and games-based construction both suffer from a dearth of empirical evidence supporting their validity as teaching and learning approaches. To address this issue, this paper will present the findings of observational research at PE level using Scratch as a tool to develop computer games using rudimentary programming concepts. A list of criteria will be compiled for reviewing the implementation of each participant to gauge the level of programming proficiency demonstrated. The study will review 29 games from Primary 4 to Primary 7 level and will present the overall results and results for each individual year. This study will contribute to the empirical evidence in games-based construction by providing the results of observational research across different levels of PE and will provide pedagogical guidelines for assessing programming ability using a games-based construction approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning
EditorsPatrick Felicia
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing Limited (ACPIL)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781908272706
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • primary education
  • curriculum for excellence
  • programming
  • games-based
  • construction
  • evaluation
  • scratch
  • review
  • pedagogy
  • language
  • design
  • Education & Educational Research


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