View Full Version : Alice for Non-programming folks

07-29-2005, 05:02 PM
Ok, I have many potential uses for Alice (I teach both IT for nonIT majors and programming classes for majors) -- So I am interested in sharing curriculum elements, projects, etc. for these. Since my most immediate use is for an Introduct to IT class, I'd like to share perspectives on Alice for Non-Programming types --- ergo this thread.

(Also see the Documentation thread under "how do I..." __ my hope is to locate some more detailed documentation than the "Intro.." book (lists of methods, properties, functions and events) ... and maybe some stuff the non-programming types can use.)

07-30-2005, 11:38 AM
We've had great success using Alice as a creative, movie/story-making vehicle ("Pixar in your garage"!), where we present it as a great way to tell stories and be creative, and - of course - the students learn how to program along the way.

One critical thing we've found is that it is the *open ended* assignments that really get students going: giving them a chance to express themselves on a story (or game) that they really want to design and build seems to work better than finding "the right assignment" as one might normally do in a typical programming course.

One interesting approach: Caitlin Kelleher at Carnegie Mellon is currently doing a Ph.D. dissertation on using Alice as way to get middle-school girls to tell stories, which leads them down the path of learning to program in order to do that.

Hope this helps!

07-30-2005, 02:18 PM
As Randy mentioned, I am studying how to present programming as a means to the end of storytelling to middle school girls. Along the way, I've looked at what kinds of stories girls want to tell, what expectations they have for the system, where they get ideas, etc and used that information to change Alice itself to better support their goals and work style. I hope to put a version of Alice for storytelling out there in the next year or so, but in the meantime there's a little bit about some of the avenues I've looked at on my webpage if it's of interest.


Caitlin Kelleher

David B
03-26-2011, 06:19 PM
The title of the previous post is interesting because Alice was originally intended for girls, but CMU quickly found out that boys liked it too.