Barobo
Learning Math and CS with Robotics

Instructor's Guide for Getting Started with 

Prime Curriculum on Robotics, CS, and Math 

1. Overview of Prime Curriculum

The RoboBlockly Full Curriculum consists of Free Curriculum and Prime Curriculum. The Prime Curriculum for authorized instructors and their students for classroom and/or distance learning consists of three courses in robotics, two courses in coding, and eleven courses covering Kindergarten math through Algebra I.

This Instructor's Guide provides an overview of the curriculum and how to get started with creating and managing classes.

PLEASE NOTE: Make sure that you are at www.roboblockly.com, not www.roboblockly.org. The ".org" version of RoboBlockly is an older version that is no longer being updated.

 

2. Tutorials and FAQ

It is recommended that instructors who are new to RoboBlockly take advantage of the interactive tutorials and instructional videos available via the Tutorials button at the upper left in the RoboBlockly interface (or at https://www.roboblockly.com/tutorials):

You will then see the Tutorials page:

 

You can also check the RoboBlockly FAQ page.

 

3. Course Structure

Each course consists of a number of sections, with each section containing a number of activities. Each section focuses on one or two major concepts. Here’s an example from the Robotics 1B course:

The first activity in a section introduces the main concept(s) in a “Lesson Description” section that is displayed at the top of the page when loaded. The Lesson Description may contain a video outlining and demonstrating the concept, as well as explanation and screenshots of key code blocks being introduced. An instructor may use the Lesson Description to present the material to students. Example:

The Lesson Description section may be closed up by clicking the “-” (minus sign) icon at the top right of the section. (The icon then becomes a “+” sign—clicking it opens the description back up.)

After the first activity in a section, subsequent activities are designed to provide practice and/or homework problems for students. These activities typically do not have a Lesson Description section (though some may have an animated screenshot of what the final result of the activity should look like). Each activity will have a problem statement displayed immediately above the Workspace, giving instructions to the student on what to do. For example:

Younger students or English Language Learners can click the triangular “Play” button  to hear an audio playing of the problem statement. The light bulb icon  provides hints and tips to the student for the activity. The  icon provides information about the activity, such as Common Core standards it maps to.

Some activities have additional information or tips for the instructor via an “Instructor Info” button, located above the Solution button.

Most activities have code blocks that are pre-placed in the Workspace to help students get started on an activity.

 

Solutions and Example Code:

Solutions to the activities are available to instructors via the “Solution” and “Load” buttons, displayed to the right of the problem statement. The Solution button displays a popup window with the underlying Ch code for the solution. The Load button will load the code blocks for the solution into the Workspace, which may then be executed using the Run button underneath the grid area.

In some cases two solutions are given for an activity, in which case there will be two versions of the Solution and Load buttons. In other cases there may be multiple possible solutions, or an activity may have randomly generated components that give different numeric values each time the "New Problem" button is clicked. In those cases an "Example Code" button is displayed rather than the Solution button:

Instructors can release solutions (either in blocks or Ch code) to students in their classes using the Class Management System (next section).

 

4. Creating and Managing Classes using Course Templates and the Class Management System

Authorized instructors have access to a full Class Management System via the “My Classes” link in the top left menu section in RoboBlockly:

The Class Management System allows you to enroll your students using Google Class account, manage class, create assignments, track their progress, release solutions to students through assignment, grade their work, provide feedback, view class statistics, etc.

The Class Management System includes course templates for Robotics 1A, Robotics 1B, Robotics 2, Coding 1, and Coding 2 that can readily be copied, customized, and used. The templates are available here, or via the “Shared Courses” link on the My Classes page. Classes may also be created from scratch.

Another nice feature of the Class Management System is that it gives instructors the capability to stop and/or mute all RoboBlockly activities that students in the class are running at that time. To do so, click the red "Stop All" or "Mute" buttons that are located at the middle of the row of menu tabs that run across the top of the RoboBlockly interface (the buttons will only appear if you are signed in with your teacher account):

Clicking the "Stop All" button will pull up a window that allows you to specify the class and section for stopping activities. The "Mute" button works similarly.