Using Virtual World Programming Languages To Teach Computer Science Concepts
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
With many secondary-level curricula being updated to incorporate a larger amount of computer science concepts, there is a need to identify sufficient ways to teach these concepts within languages commonly used at the appropriate age levels. Currently, languages like Alice, Scratch and Greenfoot, among many others, are both freely available and widely used to teach aspects such as programming, but little research has been done on whether they can actually be used to easily and sufficiently teach other concepts, such as algorithms and data representation. This paper discusses these such languages, and takes a look at how usable they actually are for performing some simple tasks. A number of computer science concepts are looked at in these languages, with implementation possibilities and difficulties overviewed, and discussion on how these languages could be enhanced to make it easier to teach the chosen concepts within them.