Computer Science | News
U Colorado Boulder Tutorial Uses Video Games To Teach Coding
A team at the University
of Colorado Boulder has launched a tutorial to help students, teachers and others
create a 3D video game in an effort to generate interest in computer
The "game-building program allows people with zero experience coding to
design their own 3-D worlds by 'inflating' hand-drawn 2-D icons and
then programming those objects to interact in defined ways," according
to a CU Boulder news release.
"Programming should be easy and exciting," said Alexander Repenning, CU
Boulder computer science professor and lead on the project, in a
prepared statement. "But that's not where we are. The perception of the
public is that it's hard and boring. Our goal is to expose a much
larger as well as broader audience to programming by reinventing
computer science education in public schools."
The tutorial was built for "Hour of Code," an initiative taking place during
Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15. Launched by code.org, the Hour of Code
seeks to get 10 million students to spend one hour coding this week.
The tutorial is not Repenning's first foray into the world of student
programmers. He has previously developed AgentSheets and
drag-and-drop tools designed to spark student interest in programming,
as well as Scalable Game Design, a curriculum designed to
help teachers implement those tools.
Repenning has also received two National Science Foundation grants for his work on
student coding. "The first, for $1.5 million, is being used to follow
up on how pedagogy affects girls studying computer science," according
to a news release. The second is a $2 million grant, awarded in August,
to help spread Scalable Game Design nationally.
More information about the 3D game tutorial is available at sgda.cs.colorado.edu. Go to code.org to learn more about Hour of Code.
Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.