Children learning computer science concepts via Alice game-programming

Linda Werner, Shannon Campe, Jill Denner
2012 Proceedings of the 43rd ACM technical symposium on Computer Science Education - SIGCSE '12  
Programming environments that incorporate drag-and-drop methods and many pre-defined objects and operations are being widely used in K-12 settings. But can middle school students learn complex computer science concepts by using these programming environments when computer science is not the focus of the course? In this paper, we describe a semester-long game-programming course where 325 middle school students used Alice. We report on our analysis of 231 final games where we measured the
more » ... y of successful execution of programming constructs. Our results show that many games exhibit successful uses of high level computer science concepts such as student-created abstractions, concurrent execution, and event handlers.We discuss the implications of these results for designing effective game programming courses for young students.
doi:10.1145/2157136.2157263 dblp:conf/sigcse/WernerCD12 fatcat:x2q7viwarvb4pgpgxaucarrrbe