Ontology-Based Analysis and Design of Educational Games for Software Refactoring

  • Thorsten HaendlerEmail author
  • Gustaf Neumann
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1220)


Despite being regarded as necessary to ensure a system’s maintainability and extensibility, software refactoring is often neglected in practice due to difficulties and risks perceived by software developers. Still, refactoring received little attention by software engineering education and training so far. Educational games are a popular means for enhancing practical competences as well as increasing motivation of learners. For instructors, however, it is challenging to develop and apply games in order to address certain learning objectives, which is important to integrate the games into existing or planned training paths. In this article, we propose an ontology that aims to support the analysis and design of games for teaching and training software refactoring. In particular, we create a unifying domain ontology bridging core concepts from three related fields, i.e. game design (a), software refactoring (b), and competence management (c). The resulting ontology is represented as a UML class diagram that reflects concepts and concept relations important for educational refactoring games. We describe ontology-based design options and demonstrate the use of the ontology by analyzing existing games for software refactoring. In addition, we also present an exemplary process for developing novel games based on the ontology and illustrate its applicability by designing a non-digital card game .


Software refactoring Game design Game analysis Gamification Serious games Domain ontology Software engineering education and training 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Information Systems and New MediaVienna University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna)ViennaAustria

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