PPIG 1995 - 7th Annual Workshop
Learning graphical progra11111ing: An evaluation of KidSim™
David J Gilmore, Karen Pheasey, Jean Underwood, Geoffrey Underwood
Abstract: This paper presents part of an evaluation of a new children's programming environment, developed by Apple Computer Inc, for 10-13 year old children. We studied 56 children, generally working in groups of 2-3, using KidSim™ for between 2-12 hours, over a period of between 2 days and 3 weeks. The results show that children of this age can readily learn to master the programming environment, and that they greatly enjoy using the system - indeed in most cases it clearly fired their imaginations. However, questions remain about the level of programming abstractions that they were able to understand.
The evaluations have led, however, to a small set of changes in the KidSim™ environment, all of which are intended to support improved comprehension of these abstractions. Further evaluations will be needed to discover these changes can maintain the motivational advantages of the present system, and yet improve the system's educational impact.