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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

I Support Learning Inc. has some new curriculum that is worth looking at if you are interested in updating your web design class curriculum.  I have always been a fan of simulated learning and this product fits into that category.

Students are interns for a company called Ingenious Student Labs. As interns, they are given the task of creating a video game for CarbonAde, a company that produces and promotes healthier drink choices.

There are 7 Phases of learning that the student will follow. Phase One is called Identify Problem.  When each phase is loaded, a nifty online PDA appears on the left with all of the tasks that the student must do for that phase. They simply click the check mark when they complete that task.

Phase 1 gives the students a quick orientation about what they will be doing as an intern. They have an opportunity to visit with the boss with an online video and they have to check email for instructions as well. There are several bulletin items that must be read like what is a game programmer and why do we play games.

Students are required to learn Flash with the online lessons. The lessons are in video format and they are relatively short so that students can practice what they have learned in the lesson. The lessons for Phase 1 are as follows: Introduction; Frames;Layers; Shapes and Symbols; Library and Instances.

Students are required to take an online quiz and to answer worksheet questions after each Phase.

Phase 2 is on Criteria, Constraints and Goals and the Flash lessons are on Programs; Basic Programming; Timeline Actions; Frame Labels; Targets and Levels; Instance Properties and Dynamic Instances.

Phase 3 is on Investigate and Research and the Flash lessons are Programming; Variables; Math; Concatenation; Random Numbers; Conditionals; Loops.

Please note that this is a web design class and not programming. The ActionScript in Flash is very easy and students will get an opportunity to learn about simple programming commands. Hopefully, they will get hooked to programming and continue their learning.

Phase 4 is on Brainstorming solutions and the Flash lesson are on Functions; Debugging; Input; Collision, Text, Audio and Publishing.

This will be the last lessons in Flash. The remaining Phases are Prototyping, Testing and Evaluation, and the Big Picture.

After the Flash lessons, students are required to work on a video game for CarbonAde Company. The game will go on the website for the company. Students can be creative and a platform or shooter game for this.

I'll post my students games when they are completed. All in all, I'm very happy with the curriculum.

Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2007 3:12 PM | Back to top

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