Information for Teachers

About CodeXX

While this site is open for anyone to use, it has primarily been designed to support an online course in Alice programming, for girls aged 10-16, that I run for the Tasmanian Department of Education Gifted Online (GO!) programme. I also use it to support face-to-face after school courses in Alice programming for girls. These courses have been deliberately aimed at girls only, in an effort to get greater engagement of primary age girls in Digital Technology.

Gamified Approach

The CodeXX course is divided into levels to support my online course, which runs within a 'gamified' Learning Management System.

Badges

Students earn points towards a range of badges for each piece of work that they submit. They must earn all the badges at each level before they get to 'level up'. The badges are designed to ensure that the students develop their skills and understandings across a broad range of topics, rather than have them focus on producing animations using the skills they already have.

For example, at CodeXX Level, the badges are:

At CodeXXStar Level, the badges are:

Scoreboard, Health

Progress towards badges is tracked via a class 'scoreboard'. Students also have a health bar. They lose health if they are not active in the online course. Health can be regained by submitting work for assessment.

scoreboard

Level 'Boss'

It is also possible to have a Level Boss that students need to beat after they have earned all their badges. The 'boss' sets a challenge based on the skills required at that level. This is effectively equivalent to a unit test, but students respond more positively to the idea of 'beating the boss'. With a test, students tend to expect to either pass or fail, and if they fail, usually they are reluctant to go back and try again. They are, however, accustomed to meeting a boss at the end of a game level, and they know that the boss will be difficult, and that they will have to make multiple attempts to get good enough to 'beat the boss'. This way a very high standard can be set by the teacher, and students are expecting to have to go back to rework an animation multiple times to get it to a high enough standard.