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Having Fun in Learning Formal Specifications

EasyChair Preprint no. 814

5 pagesDate: March 5, 2019


There are many benefits in providing formal specifications for our software. However, teaching students to do this is not always easy as courses on formal methods are often experienced as dry by students. This paper presents a game called FormalZ that teachers can use to introduce some variation in their class. Students can have some fun in playing the game and, while doing so, also learn the basics of writing formal specifications. Unlike existing software engineering themed education games such as Pex and Code Defenders, FormalZ takes the deep gamification approach where playing gets a more central role in order to generate more engagement. This short paper presents our work in progress: the first implementation of FormalZ along with the result of a preliminary users' evaluation. This implementation is functionally complete and tested, but the polishing of its user interface is still future work.

Keyphrases: gamification in teaching formal method, gamification in teaching software engineering, teaching formal method

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Wishnu Prasetya and Craig Leek and Orestis Melkonian and Joris ten Tusscher and Jan van Bergen and Jasper Everink and Thomas van der Klis and Rick Meijerink and Roan Oosenbrug and Jelle Oostveen and Tijmen van den Pol and Wink van Zon},
  title = {Having Fun in Learning Formal Specifications},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 814},
  doi = {10.29007/xb5c},
  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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