University of California, San Diego has developed a video game to teach students how to write programs in Java. The researchers selected 40 girls in the age group of 10 to 12 who did not have any knowledge on programming. The girls played the video games in order to learn Java language. Surprisingly they learned Java basic components and used the language to create new ways of playing with the game. The researchers have published a paper detailing the findings at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver.
The video game is named as CodeSpells and is going to be available freely. The UC San Diego computer scientists plan to offer this game at free of cost to any educational institution that demands it.
William Griswold, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and his graduate students started finding a simple way to teach the school-going children the nuances of programming. They designed a video game in such a way that the children can learn through playing. This makes the learning joyful and keeping the kids from frustration. In fact, during the experiment, learners found it difficult to stop once they start and they spent countless hours on the activity. Learning in this way is creative and exploratory.