5th International Instructional Technologies & Teacher Education Symposium Logo

Perceptions Of Pre-Service Teachers Of Designing And Developing Their Own Games: The Case Of App Inventor 2

Merve Güleroğlu

[email protected], TaleWorlds Entertainment

Göknur Kaplan

[email protected], Middle East Technical University

Berkan Çelik

[email protected], Middle East Technical University/Van Yüzüncü Yıl University

This basic qualitative study was conducted in order to understand how pre-service teachers perceive App Inventor (AI2) in terms of designing and developing their own games. The data of this study came from a one-day activity as a short introduction to AI2, and the activity covered four basic examples. This activity took about 3 lesson hours. Eight junior students from the department of Foreign Language Education (FLE) who enrolled in CEIT 319 course in the fall semester of 2014-2015 volunteered to participate in this study. The participants consisted of 5 females (62.5%) and 3 males (37.5%) who did not have any background experience in mobile application development or in game design and development. After the activity, a short semi-structured interview was conducted with each participant. The data were analysed using content analysis. The results of the interviews indicated that the participants were not aware of AI2 before the activity. The participants mentioned that AI is simple, user-friendly, easy to use, free of charge for everyone, easy to get used to using the program, enjoyable, good option for people who are not technology savvy, and suitable for beginners. Moreover, it has practical use of drag and drop methods and ready to use puzzle like blocks in addition to saving time for development and enabling creativity. The participants thought that being capable of creating their own applications based on their own needs is a privilege, and it makes a difference between them and the other teachers who are not able to create their own apps especially when there is no existing application on the market to fulfil their needs. All participants mentioned that they enjoyed the activity, would like to continue developing applications using AI2, and to participate in a future activity. Overall, the results of the study indicated that AI2 is a suitable tool which allows pre-service teachers to start building applications immediately.

Keywords

educational mobile games, mobile games, pre-service teacher education