Code camps and hackathons in education - literature review and lessons learned

AbstractMotivation: Code camps and hackathons been used in education for almost two decades. These approaches are usually intensive and for most times quite practical events for solving some real-world problems with various educational objectives. The objectives and structures of these events differ depending on the role of the event in curricula. Problem statement: Both code camps and hackathons been implemented in various ways, with varying success levels. As expected the implementation of the event varies considerably depending on the objectives set for the event, but that then leads to the difficulty and problem setting to understand what organizing of these events actually mean. For educational context, curricula have also its role in defining the targeted skills and competencies the events has to consider too. Approach: We applied a systematic literature review (SLR) to look at the various definitions and modes of these events. Whether it is called “code camp”, or “hackathon”, or anything else with the same basic meaning, we want to find out what skills and competencies these events emphasize, how they are used in Computer Science (CS) and Software Engineering (SE) education and what are the general structures of the actual arranged events. Contribution: It is aim of this SLR to i) identify various possible ways of implementing these intensive events, and ii) reflect the results to the lessons we have learned of almost two decades of various intensive code camps and hackathons we have been organizing building and participating into. Based on the results, we claim that there is tremendous potential of using these events in education and in the curriculum than how it has been applied so far.

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