PROud—A Gamification Framework Based on Programming Exercises Usage Data
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Solving programming exercises is the best way to promote practice in computer programming courses and, hence, to learn a programming language. Meanwhile, programming courses continue to have an high rate of failures and dropouts. The main reasons are related with the inherent domain
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Solving programming exercises is the best way to promote practice in computer programming courses and, hence, to learn a programming language. Meanwhile, programming courses continue to have an high rate of failures and dropouts. The main reasons are related with the inherent domain complexity, the teaching methodologies, and the absence of automatic systems with features such as intelligent authoring, profile-based exercise sequencing, content adaptation, and automatic evaluation on the student’s resolution. At the same time, gamification is being used as an approach to engage learners’ motivations. Despite its success, its implementation is still complex and based on ad-hoc and proprietary solutions. This paper presents PROud as a framework to inject gamification features in computer programming learning environments based on the usage data from programming exercises. This data can be divided into two categories: generic data produced by the learning environment—such as, the number of attempts and the duration that the students took to solve a specific exercise—or code-specific data produced by the assessment tool—such as, code size, use memory, or keyword detection. The data is gathered in cloud storage and can be consumed by the learning environment through the use of a client library that communicates with the server through an established Application Programming Interface (API). With the fetched data, the learning environment can generate new gamification assets (e.g., leaderboards, quests, levels) or enrich content adaptations and recommendations in the inner components such as the sequencing tools. The framework is evaluated on its usefulness in the creation of a gamification asset to present dynamic statistics on specific exercises.