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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

April 22, 2015

Speaker: Michael Miljanovic, UOIT

Title: RoboBUG: A Game-Based Approach to Learning Debugging Techniques

Abstract: Debugging is the systematic process of finding and fixing errors (i.e. bugs) in a computer program, and it is considered a critical skill that should be acquired early in a programmer’s career. In order to learn debugging techniques, it is necessary to understand what bugs are, how they work, how to find them, and how to fix them. Unfortunately, the process of learning debugging is often both difficult and tedious to novices, and is not always adequately covered in the undergraduate computer science curriculum. As an alternative to traditional approaches for learning debugging (e.g. labs, written assignments) we propose the use of a game-based approach for introducing debugging techniques. Our approach is intended to create a more enjoyable learning experience that remains equally as effective as traditional methods at learning debugging concepts. Specifically, we designed a game called RoboBUG in which players assume the role of a futuristic programmer trying to find 'bugs' in his/her mechanical suit. We then conducted an experiment to compare novice programmers playing the RoboBUG game to novices who instead completed a traditional written assignment. Participants were compared based on their achievement of debugging learning outcomes and on their perception of the learning activity. Our results found that there was no statistically significant difference with respect to achieving debugging learning outcomes using RoboBUG versus a traditional written assignment. However, study participants reported a positive attitude towards using games for learning, and those who played the RoboBUG game believed it to be more fun and engaging than previous experience with written assignments.