XNA Game-Themed CS1 Lab Workbook

It seems like the XNA Game development curriculum keeps coming and coming. About two weeks ago I posted links to XNA curriculum that was highlighted on the Academic Resource Center. Today I learned about a new XNA Game-Themed CS1 Lab Workbook that has been developed at the University of Washington.

This "Laboratory (lab) Workbook" is designed for instructors of introductory programming (CS1) classes. The materials presented uses video game-like ("Game-Themed") examples to reinforce fundamental programming concepts. These game-themed examples are implemented based on a simple library, XNACS1Lib, such that neither the instructors nor the students are required to have any background in computer graphics or games.

The workbook is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1: Installation guide and tutorials on XNACS1Lib. This section guides the reader through basic software installation and then presents simple tutorials on how to work with the XNACS1Lib library.
  • Section 2: Lab workbook examples. This section is organized into seven independent topic areas. Instructors can teach their existing CS1 classes without any alterations and assign readings from Section 2 of this workbook as lab activities, extra readings, and/or assignments.
  • Section 3: Sample Game-Themed Assignments. This section contains seven sample programming assignment modules. Each module is designed around a "well-known"  topic area (e.g., 2D array) and has two accompanied assignments: a console (traditional text-based) version, and a game-themed version. These two versions of the assignment are technically equivalent. The console version can be used as a reference for instructors unfamiliar with graphics or games programming. Solutions and sample grading rubric for each version are provided. 

The lab workbook is a result from the Game-Themed Introductory Programming Project funded by Microsoft External Research: http://depts.washington.edu/cmmr/Research/XNA_Games/index.php

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