Game-Based versus Gamified Learning Platform in Helping University Students Learn Programming


  • Oka Kurniawan
  • Norman Tiong Seng Lee
  • Nachamma Sockalingam
  • Kin Leong Pey



game-based learning, gamification, programming, online platform


Novice learners of programming may benefit from some prior knowledge in programming before taking their first introductory programming course. In this study, we describe a workshop aiming to do so, that is offered to undergraduate students before their first programming course. Two online platforms are used in this study, a game-based platform (CodeCombat) and a gamified online tutorial (CodeAvengers). We compare the effects on learning of the two platforms on their academic performance, and investigate students’ preferences and subsequent usage of these platforms. Results show that the workshop participants prefer the gamified platform over the game-based platform for learning, and use during their programming course for revision and more practice. We found no significant difference in learning outcomes amongst those who participated in the workshop and those who did not. We discuss the findings and implications of this study in the paper.