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    Minecraft as a tool to enhance engagement in Higher Education

    AlJanah, Salem, Teh, Pin Shen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0607-2617, Tay, Jin Yee, Aiyenitaju, Opeoluwa and Nawaz, Raheel (2023) Minecraft as a tool to enhance engagement in Higher Education. In: Research and Innovation Forum 2022, 27 April 2022 - 29 April 2022, Athens, Greece.

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    The popularity of online teaching has increased in the last decade, especially in the last two years, where many institutions were forced to close their campuses due to Covid-19 restrictions. Although online teaching may provide an easy alternative to on-campus teaching, it often introduces a number of challenges. One of the major challenges is the lack of student engagement. Teachers typically use student engagement as an indicator to identify student strengths and weaknesses to tailor their teaching and delivery methods to meet student needs. Hence, the success of the learning process often relies on student engagement. Educational games are typically used in schools, especially during early years, to enhance student engagement. However, they are rarely used in universities as the games are typically designed for children. Recently, a number of advanced educational video games, such as Microsoft Minecraft Education Edition (MC:EE), have been released. Unlike traditional educational games, designed for children, these games can be used in universities. To provide insight into how educational video games can be used in a university setting, we ran an experiment on a group of university students to teach them fundamental programming concepts using Python programming language. In this experiment, MC:EE was used as the main delivery tool. The feedback received after the experiment were mainly positive. Based on the feedback and experimental results, educational video games can enhance student engagement during online lessons.

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