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Frame-Based Editing: Easing the Transition from Blocks to Text-Based Programming

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 10th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE 2015)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2015

King's Authors


Block-based programming systems, such as Scratch or Alice, are the most popular environments for introducing young children to programming. However, mastery of text-based programming continues to be the educational goal for stu- dents who continue to program into their teenage years and beyond. Transitioning across the significant gap between the two editing styles presents a difficult challenge in school- level teaching of programming. We propose a new style of program manipulation to bridge the gap: frame-based edit- ing. Frame-based editing has the resistance to errors and approachability of block-based programming while retaining the flexibility and more conventional programming seman- tics of text-based programming languages. In this paper, we analyse the issues involved in the transition from blocks to text and argue that they can be overcome by using frame- based editing as an intermediate step. A design and imple- mentation of a frame-based editor is provided.

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