Ages of learners
In contrast to the large number of people who use computers and computer programs in their daily lives, relatively few learn to create their own computer programs. Storytelling Alice is a programming environment designed to motivate a broad spectrum of middle school students (particularly girls) to learn to program computers through creating short 3D animated movies.
To enable and encourage users to create animated stories, Storytelling Alice includes:
- High-level animations that enable users to program social interactions between characters.
- A story-based tutorial that introduces users to programming through building a story.
- A gallery of 3D characters and scenery with custom animations designed to spark story ideas.
Storytelling Alice provides a motivating context in which to learn programming. A study comparing middle school girls’ experiences with learning to program in Storytelling Alice and in a version of Alice without storytelling features (Generic Alice) showed that:
- Users of Storytelling Alice spent 42% more time programming than users of Generic Alice.
- Users of Storytelling Alice were more than three times as likely to sneak extra time to work on their programs as users of Generic Alice (51% of Storytelling Alice users vs. 16% of Generic Alice users snuck extra time to program).
- Despite the focus on making programming more fun, users of Storytelling Alice were just as successful at learning basic programming concepts as users of Generic Alice.
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