User guide

Scaffolding is the process of providing decreasing levels of support as students grasp new concepts and master new skills. Learning programs are presented with a video that explains how the program was written and why commands are used and structured. Students can rewind and watch again when writing their own programs.

The practice programs in this scheme offer students different scaffolding:

  • One-star programs give students boilerplate comments, function definitions, main code function calls and output statements. This enables students to largely ignore the functions first approach and instead focus on the code required within the subprograms.
  • Two-star programs give students boilerplate comments, function definitions and main code output ststaments. Students still need to write function calls, their parameters and the code inside subprograms.
  • Three-star programs give students boilerplate comments to identify the subprograms and main program sections, but no additional support with the code.

Additional support

To assist students in solving the problem, programs are split into a number of success criteria, demonstrating problem decomposition.

To assist students in writing the code there is a knowledge organiser section for each program where there are three stages of additional help:

  • Syntax guides that explain and illustrate new commands.
  • A flowchart for each subprogram that informs students what approach to take and what type of command might be required at each stage.
  • Parsons problems for each program allow students that are really stuck to find a solution using code fragments.

Students should be encouraged to use the level of help that is right for them. One-star programs with a Parsons problem will give a student the most support. Three-star programs with a programming guide only will give students the least support. If students need to use the Parsons problems they are probably undertaking programs that are too difficult for them.

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Craig 'n' Dave

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