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RoboTIC: A serious game based on augmented reality for learning programming

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Coding skills are becoming more and more important in today’s world, especially within the context of the fourth industrial revolution. They also help practice other 21 century skills such as computational thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Unfortunately, learning how to program is tough and can be also frustrating for beginner students. In this work we introduce RoboTIC, a serious game based on gamification and Augmented Reality that facilitates the learning of programming to students in lower levels of the education system by using a novel set of visual metaphors derived from a notation of roads and traffic signs. The architecture that supports RoboTIC has been designed to allow the integration of multimedia components when new programming concepts and techniques must be addressed and to add game levels that enable students to learn incrementally. Experiments have been conducted in a youth center with children who do not have coding skills at all to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposal. The results show promising conclusions in terms of children’s motivation and interest in programming.

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This work has been funded by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, and the European Regional Development Fund through the project TIN2015-66731-C2-2-R. The authors would like to thank Pablo Gutiérrez Caravantes for coordinating the experiments carried out in the youth center of Torralba in Calatrava (Ciudad Real, Spain) and the undergraduate students that participated in the project Telefónica Talentum for the development of the first software prototype.

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Correspondence to Santiago Schez-Sobrino.

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Schez-Sobrino, S., Vallejo, D., Glez-Morcillo, C. et al. RoboTIC: A serious game based on augmented reality for learning programming. Multimed Tools Appl 79, 34079–34099 (2020).

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