Abstract—A visual programming environment, Scratch, is widely used by young students, and is reported to improve the participation of females in the field of computer science. The purpose of this study is to investigate gender differences among elementary school students’ game design preferences. The participants in this study are eight 2nd graders, four boys and four girls, with few programming experiences. The experimental sessions are conducted for 8 weeks with one instructor facilitating students’ game design. Each session lasts for two hours. As they are limited in their knowledge of programming, the participants are given model examples to work with. Gender differences in game design preferences are measured by examining student works. The results indicate that (1) girls are more interested in drawing, while boys are more interested in designing game interactions, (2) when it comes to character selection, girls are fond of drawing realistic characters while boys like to use Scratch built-in characters, (3) both boys and girls are interested in taking the challenges of the model examples, and (4) girls are more motivated to incorporate multimedia into their projects.
Index Terms—Gender differences, kid's programming, game design, scratch, educational games.
Hui-Mei Justina Hsu is with the Applified Informatics Department, Fo Guang University, Yilan, 26247 Taiwan (e-mail: email@example.com).
Cite: Hui-Mei Justina Hsu, "Gender Differences in Elementary School Students’ Game Design Preferences," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 172-176, 2013.