Formative evaluation of an adaptive programming game

A paper reporting an evaluation of the Minerva programming game with adaptation to the player’s learning and play styles has been accepted to publication in the International Journal of Serious Games:

  • Authors: Renny Lindberg and Teemu H. Laine
  • Title: Formative evaluation of an adaptive game for engaging learners of programming concepts in K-12
  • Journal: International Journal of Serious Games
  • Summary: As the global demand for programmers is soaring, several countries have integrated programming into their K-12 curricula. One effective method for engaging children in programming education is presenting learning materials via games. In this study, we presented Minerva, a multi-genre (adventure, action, puzzle) game to engage elementary school students in learning programming concepts. The game content is adapted to play and learning styles of the player to personalize the gameplay. We conducted a formative mixed-method evaluation of Minerva with 32 Korean 6th grade students who played the game and compared their learning outcomes with 32 6th grade students who studied the same concepts using handouts. The results indicated that, in terms of retention, learning was equally effective in both groups. Furthermore, the game was shown to facilitate engagement among the students.


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