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Week 10 – Object Selection Phase & Meeting with CS Teachers


This week we’ve made a few big changes to our experience and UI. We’ve also started to think about a very important question: What’s the best use case for our experience? Is it still the same as what we originally had in mind, which is a fully remote classroom? With this question in mind we asked our client Melanie to introduce us to several Computer Science teachers and we conducted interview with them to introduce our project and ask questions.

New Phase – Object Selection

The biggest change we made to our experience was adding a brand-new phase of the game. Before going into the scene-building phase, players now must pick 10 objects from the asset library. They will have unlimited usage of the 10 objects they’ve chosen.

We intended to further stop them from spamming objects and making the scene chaotic since we want them to make fewer but more thoughtful choices. This is a change we’ve planned for, and we are excited to see if it can help students create better scenes.

Message Block

To support the creation of more complex animations, we discovered that one thing players urgently needed was a “timing” block. Because two players control their separate timelines, they always spend too much time trying to manually time their blocks. Therefore we designed a “Message” Block. Now one player can broadcast a message from their thread and the other player can use a listener block to add a reaction upon receiving the message. For example:

We hope that this feature will not only help them easily time their events, but also teaching them a basic concept of event-based programming.

Interviewing CS Teachers

Over the week, we’ve met with two CS teachers, Jennifer Mclean and Donald Slater, to share our experience and have their insights on:

  • If, and how our experience fosters collaborative learning
  • If they can see our experience being used in a classroom / other scenarios
  • If so, what would that use case be, and how we can better support the use case(s) they proposed.

Our takeaways are:

  • Both of them confirmed that collaboration is challenging to foster in CS classrooms, and our experience provides a new direction for collaborative programming activity.
  • However, in terms of actual content, our experience lies more on the simpler side, meaning that it might be a great activity for intro level CS class / first class of Alice, instead of an intermediate CS class.
  • Don was interested in adopting our experience in his classroom later this semester and we decided on the Monday after Thanksgiving break


Below is a demo video showing our new User Interface, as well as the object selection phase.