«Improving the learning of programming in schools with the video game Articoding»

Baltasar Fernández-Manjón

Universidad Complutense de Madrid 

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We will present Articoding which is a video game designed to improve the learning of basic programming concepts using a visual language similar to Scratch. It allows the student to acquire in a playful and progressive way programming concepts such as variables, decision making, or repetitions and have to apply them to solve the puzzles that the game poses. The game is designed to be used in class so that students practice and solve the different challenges of the game and the teacher can focus on helping those students who have more difficulty in acquiring or applying these programming concepts. This game has already been used successfully in two schools in Madrid and in a design school in Catalonia. The game is free and free and has been developed in the e-UCM group with the support of the Telefónica-Complutense Chair of Digital Education and Serious Games.


Baltasar Fernández-Manjón is a University Professor at the Computer Science Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and a professor of Serious Games. He has a doctorate in Physical Sciences (specialty in Automatic Calculation) from the UCM. He is currently the director of the e-UCM e-learning research group and the director of the Telefónica-Complutense Chair in Digital Education and Serious Games. His main lines of research are technologies for e-learning, educational standards and the applications of educational games and simulations (or serious games), topics on which he has published more than 200 articles in international journals and conferences and has directed or co-directed 14 doctoral theses. Previously, he has been Vice Dean of Research at the Fac de Informática (UCM) and academic director of computer science studies at CES Felipe II in Aranjuez. During 2010-2011 he was Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University and Visiting Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (USA). Dr. Fernández Manjón is an IEEE Senior Member. He has participated in numerous European research projects in various programs (FP7, LLP) among which the two most funded H2020 projects on serious games and learning analytics (RAGE and BEACONING) stand out. He is currently working on games to improve the teaching of programming in schools and to raise awareness for greater gender equality.

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