Learning to Think and Practice Computationally via a 3D Simulation Game

  • Nikolaos PellasEmail author
  • Spyridon Vosinakis
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 725)


Various studies have presented controversial results about the way that young students tried to cultivate and practice their computational thinking (CT) skills with Computer science concepts through the game making programming. However, there is still limited evidence addressing how the gameplay of a simulation game (SG) can be associated with the development of computational problem-solving practices. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is threefold: (a) to elaborate a rationale on how a 3D SG can support the development of computational problem-solving practices using OpenSimulator with Scratch4SL, (b) to analyze how the in-game elements should be mapped to assist basic CT skills cultivation and programming concepts to support students in learning how to think and practice computationally, and (c) to summarize the findings from a preliminary mixed methods study following a game playing approach in regard to the learning experience with a total of fifteen (n = 15) junior high school students. The results indicate that students had a greater range of expressing sufficiently alternative and self-explanatory solutions in blended instruction. The instructor’s feedback and guidance facilitate them to rationalize decisions taken on the cognitive aspects of computational practices in coding.


Computational thinking Game-based learning Virtual worlds 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, a part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the AegeanMytileneGreece

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