Fostering computational thinking through collaborative game-based learning

Tommaso Turchi, Daniela Fogli, Alessio Malizia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Algorithms are more and more pervading our everyday life: from automatic checkouts in supermarkets and e-banking to booking a flight online. Understanding an algorithmic solution to a problem is a very relevant activity to improve end-users’ involvement. To this end, adopting a meta-design approach may help to support end-users to appropriate the design skills necessary for contributing to system design, in new and engaging modalities. By acquiring Computational Thinking (CT) skills (e.g., algorithmic thinking, abstraction), end-users will be able to understand and trust algorithms, while at the same time participate in the design and development of systems evolving in accordance with their needs. In this work, we focus on two different ways of improving CT skills: playfulness and collaboration. We introduce a game-based system, TAPASPlay, to foster CT skills and we report the results of an exploratory study with 18 users; our hypothesis is that learning CT through gameplay is effective and we tested it by involving participants in game sessions providing playful experience and collaborative learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13649-13673
Number of pages25
JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
Issue number10
Early online date4 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2019


  • Computational thinking
  • Constructionist video games
  • Gameplay
  • Tangible user interface


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