Gamification and simulation-based serious games for software engineering trainingan application in software project management

  1. Calderón Sánchez, Alejandro
Supervised by:
  1. Mercedes Ruiz Carreira Director

Defence university: Universidad de Cádiz

Fecha de defensa: 05 June 2018

  1. José Javier Dolado Cosín Chair
  2. Elisa Guerrero Vázquez Secretary
  3. Paul M. Clarke Committee member
  1. Ingeniería Informática

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 554341 DIALNET


In the scope of Software Engineering (SE) education, there is a demand of new methods and techniques that support active learning and contribute to raise learners’ motivation, enjoyment and engagement. One of the areas where future software engineers lack of highly practical training involving real-life scenarios is Software Project Management (SPM). In recent years, gamification, or the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts has emerged as a trend worthy of attention. It has attracted the interest from both practitioners and researchers as a way to use game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate actions, promote learning, and solve problems with the goal to increase end-user engagement and change behaviors in many contexts such as sales, employee productivity, social awareness or education through making processes, sites, and systems more enjoyable. On the other hand, one of the common practices on the road to apply gamification in education is the use of games for teaching or educating users as a component of gamification strategies. Such games, designed with a different purpose than only entertainment, are called Serious Games (SGs). Moreover, the use of simulation-based SGs, that are games that make use role-play or computational simulations, can be adequate to add realism to the game scenarios. In the educational context, gamification, and simulation-based SGs are approaches that can play a crucial role towards the improvement of the learning/teaching process. Their use may offer an alternative to the traditional pedagogical approaches that could ease the integration of technological resources into new, practical, social, fun and effective learning activities. However, the applications of simulation-based SGs for SE and, specifically, SPM training are scarce and quite specific and gamification is a relative emerging topic that still needs to mature in order to achieve its full potential. This dissertation addresses the application of gamification and simulation-based SGs that use computational simulation techniques such as agent-based modeling, system dynamics or discrete-event simulation, for SE education, with a special emphasis in SPM training. Concretely, the work carried out through the development of this dissertation contributes to the scope of SGs for SPM training, SGs for Software Process Standards (SPS) education, and the conceptualization, design, implementation and monitoring phases of meaningful gamification strategies.