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Volume 24 / Issue 10

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Games for Teaching Software Project Management: An Analysis of the Benefits of Digital and Non-Digital Games

Giani Petri (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Alejandro Calderón (University of Cádiz, Spain)

Christiane Gresse von Wangenheim (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Adriano F. Borgatto (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Mercedes Ruiz (University of Cádiz, Spain)

Abstract: Driven by the need to provide more hands-on opportunities to computing students, educational digital and non-digital games have been used as an instructional strategy for teaching Software Project Management (SPM). However, a question that arises is to which regard the expected benefits of these games are real. Thus, the objective of this study is to analyse the benefits of digital and non-digital games used for SPM education in order to evaluate their quality in terms of player experience and perceived learning adopting the MEEGA+ evaluation model. The analysis is based on data collected from 27 case studies, evaluating 11 different SPM games, involving a population of 562 students. Results provide evidence that both digital and non-digital games contribute positively to the students' perceived learning, as well as to social interaction, being considered relevant to students' learning, and promoting fun. A slightly higher usability degree was observed with respect to digital games due the easiness to learn how to play the games. On the other hand, a slightly more positive evaluation of the achievement of the learning objectives of non-digital games has been observed. The results of this study may guide instructors in the selection of games as an instructional strategy for SPM education and/or game creators with respect to aspects to be considered in the development of new educational games in order to maximize their benefits and continuous improvement.

Keywords: Digital games, MEEGA+, educational game, evaluation, non-digital games, software project management

Categories: D.2.9, L.0.0, L.5.1