The last couple of days I have mostly been marking scratch games created by students for their Computer Games Technology course.

This ghost looks friendly. I wonder how old he is!

Scratch is a piece of software from MIT aimed at introducing young children to programming. I’ve certainly enjoyed playing with it, and it was ideal for Computer Games Technology which is a free elective, so not all the students will be from the computer science department. Although I think Scratch is great at what it does, it still has a few limitations and I got the impression that some students found it a little patronising. I’m looking at changing to something different next year.

I’d given the students a deliberately open ended specification that was relatively easy to hit, which was intended to induce some creative flair, engage the students and encourage them to overshoot what was required. I must say that I was very pleased with the results. There were interesting mechanics, great art work and wonderfully imaginative plots and stories. The students produced some really original pieces of work, and that the marking seemed to go more quickly that it usually does.

Overall I deem the coursework a success – but rather than rest on my laurels I’m looking for ways to make the course even more excellenterrer for future years. Very exciting!

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