Barobo
Learning CS and Math with Robotics

Instructor's Guide for Getting Started with 

Prime Curriculum on CS and STEAM with Robotics and Mathematics with Robotics 

 

1. Getting Started Teaching Your First Class in RoboBlockly

1.1. Before Teaching Your First Class

        Prepare yourself

       Prepare your students

  • Make sure each of your students  have a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access the RoboBlockly web site using a web browser.

  • Give the created URL link to your students for them to enroll in your class. 

  • Point students and parents to the Student's and Parent's Guide for Getting Started.

1.2. During  the Class

  • Ask the students to sign in to RoboBlockly using their Google/Microsoft/Facebook/Clever account. If they have not enrolled in the class yet, give them the URL link again for enrolling the class. Keep in mind that the URL link is valid for only 72 hours. You may need to create a new URL if the original URL has expired.

  • Present a lesson and run the examples in the lesson under one of CS and STEAM with Robotics or Mathematics with Robotics curricula. Show them the format of the lesson.  Remember to "Run" an example first, then explain the code, finally "Run" the example again.

  • Work with students together on one of the activities related to the lesson. Show them the features available, such as audio, hint, etc.

  • Ask students to work on the same activity.

  • Show students how to submit the activity as homework by submitting an assignment yourself first. You can launch a problem in  My Classes -> My Classes as a Student -> Assignments.Then ask students to submit theirs. Check to make sure every student has submitted an assignment in CMS using a different tab in a web browser.

  • Ask students to finish other problems in Assignments during the class or as a homework.

1.3. After the Class

  • Grade the student submitted assignments using the CMS.

  • Release the homework solutions via the CMS, in either Ch and/or block form, as desired and appropriate.

 

2. 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 grade-level courses in CS and STEAM with Robotics and Mathematics with Robotics.

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

 

3. 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.

 

4. Course Structure

Each course consists of a number of chapters, and sections within chapters. Each section focuses on a major concept, with a lesson at the beginning introducing the concept, followed by one or more activities to give students practice and/or to be assigned as homework. Lessons are indicated by a tan-colored background, while activities have a white background. Here’s an example from the Computer Science with Robotics (Grades 6-8) course:

Each lesson has 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. Most lessons have one to three examples with sample code to illustrate the concept and how to implement it in code. Instructors may use the Lesson Description to present the material to students. Students in higher grades may also use the lesson to learn in a self-guided fashion. Example of a Lesson Description section:

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 lesson 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:

Solutions are not available to students, but instructors can release solutions (either in blocks or Ch code) to students in their classes using the Class Management System (next section).

 

5. 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. A User Guide is available, linked from the My Classes page.

Instructors can create their own courses, selecting from among the built-in lessons and activities, or creating their own. The Class Management System also includes course templates that can readily be copied, customized, and used. The templates are available via the “Shared Courses” link on the My Classes page. 

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.

The "Set View" button allows the instructor to set a "min view" or "simple view" for the RoboBlockly interface for their students.