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Adding some Fun in Teaching
Formal Specifications with
Gamification
E R A S M U S + Project 2017-1-NL01-KA203-
035259
Wishnu Prasetya
IMPRESS Project
https://impress-project.eu/
Software engineers should write
formal specifications.
But teaching formal specification to
students is not easy
boolean hasCommonMember(int[ ] a, int[ ] b)
Learning formal specification is not easy,
because it is a dry subject
● Learning to write pre and post-conditions, with fun
● Constructionism approach to learning
The FormalZ Game
The Game
Constructionist Formalization
Feedback
Bad data, not marked
+Bad data, marked Good data, not marked
+Good data, marked
AnalyticsAnalytics
Experience
● Students generally appreciate the concept
> they also learn!
● Integrating it into a class requires careful planning, e.g. :
> we have a tight scheduled course (7.5 EC in 10 weeks!)
> a dedicated session where students are not distracted work much
better
● As a proof of concept this is fine. Scaling up should be delegated to
professional game developers:
> the engineering is not trivial
> balancing is delicate (fun vs education value)
> maintenance is not trivial
Future work
● Continuing our study
● Exploring other forms of fun-constructionism

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22_11_2019 «Learning formal specification should also be fun», by Wishnu Prasetya

  • 1. Adding some Fun in Teaching Formal Specifications with Gamification E R A S M U S + Project 2017-1-NL01-KA203- 035259 Wishnu Prasetya IMPRESS Project https://impress-project.eu/
  • 2. Software engineers should write formal specifications.
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5. But teaching formal specification to students is not easy boolean hasCommonMember(int[ ] a, int[ ] b)
  • 6. Learning formal specification is not easy, because it is a dry subject ● Learning to write pre and post-conditions, with fun ● Constructionism approach to learning
  • 10. Feedback Bad data, not marked +Bad data, marked Good data, not marked +Good data, marked
  • 12. Experience ● Students generally appreciate the concept > they also learn! ● Integrating it into a class requires careful planning, e.g. : > we have a tight scheduled course (7.5 EC in 10 weeks!) > a dedicated session where students are not distracted work much better ● As a proof of concept this is fine. Scaling up should be delegated to professional game developers: > the engineering is not trivial > balancing is delicate (fun vs education value) > maintenance is not trivial
  • 13. Future work ● Continuing our study ● Exploring other forms of fun-constructionism