Learn to proGrAME - learning to code through video game development

Coordinator: ao. Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Renate Motschnig

Coordinator Vienna Media Education: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Swertz, MA

Partner: Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Helmut Hlavacs, Mag. Dr. Oswald Comber

Cooperation partner: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Ilse Schrittesser

Funding: Sparkling Science - program of Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy

Duration: 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2019


The idea behind the project is, that students explore scientifically their learning of a programming language in a setting of video game development. In this endeavour students open a gate for themselves and for the researchers to the genuine process of learning a programming language. In the course of this learning process students move beyond their roles of traditional learners and are actively reflecting and exchanging experiences about their learning. By this reflection and exchange with researchers the students contribute to the understanding of the learning process and the generation of new knowledge.  

Learning to program is for most students a challenging task, often connected with numerous barriers to overcome. The project proGrAME aims at investigating the learning process of fourteen to fifteen-year-old students (5th grade - Secondary School), who are learning to code via video game development. The research will be conducted by scientists from University in cooperation with students of higher grades (in average aged seventeen) in the course of their psychology lessons. The development of the learning scenarios and tutorials will be accomplished together with the sixteen to eighteen-year-old students in the higher-level computer science classes. Last but not least the fourteen to fifteen-year-old students, who a subject to our research, will also be researchers at the same time. Scientists and students will work together on developing, employing and evolving didactical and practical scenarios, as well identifying problems, challenges and significant learning events to work out and improve sustainably learning solutions.

The lead research question is “Under which circumstances can the development of video games improve the learning of programming?”.

Besides the research and reflection of the learning process itself, also research and workshops in field of “games and gender” and “girls & boys in technology” will be carried out.  




ao. Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Renate Motschnig

Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Helmut Hlavacs

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Ilse Schrittesser

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Swertz, MA

Mag. Dr. Oswald Comber