Boštjan Ravnjak, OŠ Janka Glazerja Ruše; Franc Jakoš, OŠ Janka Glazerja Ruše in OŠ Selnica ob Dravi
This paper describes an introduction to learning computer programming in a multi-user virtual world through educational game “Aladin and his flying carpet”. The novelty regarding learning environment is formative assessment, implemented in the educational game. For this purpose we used functionality of “Webintercom”, which is part of the plugin SloodleSet 1.2 for learning environment Moodle and virtual environment Opensimulator. Connection between the virtual and the educational environment was enabled by plugin. All text written in the virtual world by pupils is stored in the MySQL database of the Moodle environment. We had to write a program to print the written text on objects in the virtual world in form of textures. We chose to work with gifted children from 6th grade, which have not met with computer programming in the learning process yet. We integrated elements of formative assessment in the process, in order to assist us in monitoring pupils’ progress and in understanding of programming concepts. We monitored three key phases: previous knowledge, strategies and self-evaluation of pupils. Phases were placed in areas of the game where we wanted pupils to spend more time thinking about the rules of the game and solving programming problems. In these phases pupils were able to see what other pupils are thinking about and see other solutions of the same problem. By doing so, pupils gained deeper insight into the educational game. Pupils’ self-evaluations show that by using this method doing tasks and solving problems was easier for them.