8083 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. Susan Rodger
  2. https://users.cs.duke.edu/~rodger/
  3. Professor of the Practice
  5. Duke University
  1. Stephen Cooper
  2. http://cse.unl.edu/~scooper
  3. Associate Professor
  5. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  1. Wanda Dann
  2. Director Emerita, Alice Project
  4. Carnegie Mellon University
  1. Madeleine Schep
  2. Professor of Computer and Information Science
  4. Columbia College
  1. RoxAnn Stalvey
  2. Associate Chair
  4. College of Charleston

Adventures in Alice Programming - Scaling up an Innovative Approach for Attra...

NSF Awards: 1031351

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

The Adventures in Alice Programming project integrates computing into schools by providing professional development to middle and high school teachers of all disciplines on innovative ways of introducing computing and computer programming and in incorporating computational thinking into their disciplines. Teachers learn introductory programming with Alice, a 3D virtual world environment with an easy interface for novices. With Alice one can program an animation to tell a story or create a game, while learning fundamental computing concepts. Teachers from all disciplines attend an intensive summer workshop to learn programming and to develop lesson plans that combine computing with their disciplines. We have created hundreds of curriculum materials that include tutorials, sample projects, and assessments. Both our curriculum materials and the teachers lesson plans are available on our project website. We have provided professional development workshops since 2008 in North Carolina, South
Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Mississippi, California and starting in 2016 in Nebraska.

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Discussion from the NSF 2016 STEM For All Video Showcase (14 posts)
  • Icon for: Susan Rodger

    Susan Rodger

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of the Practice
    May 16, 2016 | 12:34 p.m.

    I’d like to thank Melissa Murphy for the video footage of our workshop and Cole Rodger Photographics for the photographs of our workshop.

  • Icon for: Elc Estrera

    Elc Estrera

    Senior Research Analyst
    May 16, 2016 | 06:06 p.m.

    Alice looks like a good opportunity to learn (to teach) programming. Have you followed up with teachers who have participated in your workshops to learn about their success stories? What have you heard?

  • Icon for: Susan Rodger

    Susan Rodger

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of the Practice
    May 17, 2016 | 09:22 a.m.

    We run a followup workshop each summer for teachers to have a chance to come back and share what they have done with Alice. Teachers will show us some of the Alice worlds their students have created. It is clear from those worlds that students really like the storytelling aspects of Alice.

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 19, 2016 | 12:53 p.m.

    It is great that you follow up with them in the summer. I am curious how many of the teachers were able to effectively implement the curriculum they create? What are the characteristics of the teachers (or the schools they are in) that are most successful in using their training?

  • Carolyn Thomas

    May 20, 2016 | 08:51 p.m.

    I attended the teacher workshop at Duke in the summer of 2014. I offered an after school cs introduction using Alice in the spring of 2015 to “get my feet wet.” In the school year 2015-16 I offered Alice as an enrichment course at my middle school – a semester course (coed/7th and 8th grade); as well as two nine week courses (girls only grades 6-8; boys only grades 6-8). I’ve tried out various instructional strategies and what seems to work best is self directed with student coaches. I am happy to discuss this further.

  • Icon for: Arthur Lopez

    Arthur Lopez

    Computer Science Teacher
    May 17, 2016 | 06:52 p.m.

    Hi Susan!

    This is Art Lopez from San Diego, and I am one of the pilot instructors for the AP CSP course and wrote one of the four curriculum planning and pacing guides for the College Board. I also have been trained by Beth Simon of UC San Diego to teach the AP CSP course with Alice, and met you at a SIGCSE conference. I have been using your tutorials to supplemental and teach the big ideas of the AP CSP course and have found it to be an awesome resource! My students are always exploring the different tutorials and programs that you can create with Alice, and it has really understand some difficult programming concepts taught in the course. Recently, the students were tasked to complete a Performance Task called Create, where they are required to create their own programs that incorporate both algorithms and abstraction. Many of the them used the code created in these tutorials and added them to the programs they were creating. Having your tutorials available have really helped both my students and me to really understand computing and computational thinking. What is really cool is that it addresses an inequity access issue, by broadening participation for underrepresented groups in Computer Science such as young women and ethnically diverse students. The website and tutorials have really helped out these students from my high school and the teachers teaching this course as well! Both Beth Simon and you are just doing some great work to reach out to so many students and providing them exposure and access to this field. Again, thanks for the wonderful work you are doing!

    Art Lopez.

  • Icon for: Susan Rodger

    Susan Rodger

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of the Practice
    May 17, 2016 | 07:36 p.m.

    Great to hear from you. Yes all our materials (our tutorials and all the lesson plans that teachers attending our workshops have created) are free so people can enjoy using them. It is also great that CMU has made Alice available for free at Alice.org.
    It’s great to hear about your successes.

  • Icon for: Nicole Reitz-Larsen

    Nicole Reitz-Larsen

    May 18, 2016 | 02:15 a.m.

    I really appreciate hearing that you are working with a variety of teachers from multiple disciplines. It is great to see that the teachers are finding ways to incorporate the program into their curriculum.

    Can you elaborate more on the professional development. What is the length of the pd? How are you recruiting teachers to sign up? What kind of scaffolding and support are you able to offer them? What is the expected level of programming teacher have when they start the course.

    What are some of the barriers or challenges you have experienced with this project? What have been some of your greatest successes?

  • Icon for: Susan Rodger

    Susan Rodger

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of the Practice
    May 18, 2016 | 08:48 a.m.

    Our professional development is two-weeks in the summer. We teach the teachers how to program the first week and then work with them on building lesson plans specific to their discipline. We have created a large number of tutorials and sample projects, many we use in our workshops and teachers or anyone are free to use them in teaching. This summer we are running workshops in NC, SC, and Nebraska. Our workshops are for beginners. We recruit mostly NC teachers but about 10% of our teachers are from other states. We recruit through mailing lists through the NC Dept of Public Instruction. We do provide a followup workshop the following summer for teachers to come back and discuss what they have done. We encourage them to join the Alice.org teachers mailing list. The Alice Team at CMU provides support and answers technical questions through their teacher listserv.

  • Charlene Stortz

    May 24, 2016 | 11:57 a.m.

    I was just wondering where it was going to run in Nebraska and what aspect was being taught. The information I received for this summer’s follow-up workshop does not make it logical for 3 days of travel one way for a 2 day workshop. If I could help out I would be happy to see if it fits in my schedule.

  • Icon for: Jeff Forbes

    Jeff Forbes

    Associate Professor of the Practice
    May 18, 2016 | 01:40 p.m.

    The story telling aspect of this project is really compelling. Have you found that certain teachers (e.g., English teachers) are more effective at helping students learn to tell stories using Alice?

  • Icon for: RoxAnn Stalvey

    RoxAnn Stalvey

    Associate Chair
    May 18, 2016 | 07:16 p.m.

    Hi, Jeff. History and English teachers particularly enjoy using Alice in this capacity. History teachers have used it to have a historical event “come to life” and English teachers have used it to allow students to both tell their own stories and to represent a scene from a book/play.

  • Icon for: RoxAnn Stalvey

    RoxAnn Stalvey

    Associate Chair
    May 18, 2016 | 08:12 p.m.

    In SC, our professional development is 8 days. The first five are totally devoted to Alice instruction while the next three are split between Alice instruction and curriculum development. Most of our teachers (95%) come from South Carolina schools. In the first years of the project, most were high school computing teachers. In the last two years, a large number of middle school teachers and teachers from other disciplines have applied for the workshop. The State Department of Education and former attendees advertise our workshops. After the first year, we have a one-day follow-up where teachers present worlds from their students, ask Alice questions, and discuss the year’s experiences.

  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 19, 2016 | 12:08 p.m.

    I have also used Alice in teacher professional development and ran Alice competitions as well for middle and high school students. Some students created terrific 3D movies and games in Alice 2. See https://www.dropbox.com/s/9xhjemv3608dpdl/Alice... for one example of telling Romeo and Juliet using Alice 2.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.