1 Storytelling Alice: Presenting Programming as a Means to the End of Storytelling Caitlin Kelleher Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA www.alice.org

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  • Storytelling Alice: Presenting Programming as a Means to the End of StorytellingCaitlin KelleherCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PAwww.alice.org

  • Shrinking Pool of Computer Scientists

  • There is a strong need for computer scientistsThree occupational groups are expected to provide 75% of the new jobs between 2004-2014Health care practitioner and technical occupationsEducation, training, and library occupationsComputer and mathematical science occupations

  • Chart1

    1389

    507

    103

    94

    14

    Projected Science and Engineering Job Openings (new jobs and replacements) 2004-2014

    all

    NATIONAL TOTALS:ALL STUDENTS

    SCHOOL AP GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS BY TOTAL AND ETHNIC GROUPADMINISTRATION DATE: MAY, 2005

    AP GradeNUMBER OF STUDENTS FOR EACH EXAMINATIONNUMBER OFSTUDENTS ATEACH LEVEL

    TOTALEXAMSART: HISTORYBIOLOGYCALCULUS ABCALCULUS BCCHEMISTRYCOMPUTER SCIENCE ACOMPUTER SCIENCE ABECONOMICS MACROECONOMICS MICROENGLISH LANG-&COMPOSITIONENGLISH LIT-&COMPOSITIONENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCEEUROPEAN HISTORYFRENCH: LANGUAGEFRENCH: LITERATUREGERMAN: LANGUAGEGOVERNMENTPOLITICS COMP.GOVERNMENTPOLITICS U.S.HUMANGEOGRAPHYLATIN:LITERATURELATIN:VERGILMUSIC THEORYPHYSICS BPHYSICS C:ELEC. & MAGNET.PHYSICS C:MECHANICSPSYCHOLOGYSPANISHLANGUAGESPANISHLITERATURESTATISTICSSTUDIO ART: 2-D DESIGNSTUDIO ART: 3-D DESIGNSTUDIO ART: DRAWINGUS HISTORYWORLD HISTORY

    NOT STATED5784869654896570276583516996491661123338941827712286528336017610214642163337233264377771969/105568

    411884143658883215310833134620598815602675221421626706438120304922969159666841834285786816223661112675

    31556316982483728545045261961861987240221810401891724149987891744763182212950011241574561262414917945071213412

    21444213583776597410421924816621532237232536135141910412536616238317755913226267241779201002407486

  • Other Countries Predict IT Shortages TooCanada: the current 35,000 openings per year will grow to 89,000 by 2010. Currently, schools are producing < 7000 per year.

    UK: 50% drop in students since 2000 will lead to hiring difficulties.

  • Computer Science supports progress across many disciplines

  • Simply, we need more computer scientistsand more diverse computer scientists

  • Broad reach creates a pragmatic need for diversity

  • Lack of diversity can lead to unintentional exclusion

  • Research goal: Design programming environments that motivate a larger and more diverse group of people to learn to program.

  • Related Work

  • Related WorkSimplify the language: BASIC

  • Related WorkSimplify the language: BASICPrevent syntax errors: Cornell Program Synthesizer

  • Related WorkSimplify the language: BASICPrevent syntax errors: Cornell Program SynthesizerMake programming concrete:Karel, Logo

  • Related WorkSimplify the language: BASICPrevent syntax errors: Cornell Program SynthesizerMake programming concrete:Karel, Logo Construct programs with graphical objects:Lego Mindstorms

  • Related WorkSimplify the language: BASICPrevent syntax errors: Cornell Program SynthesizerMake programming concrete:Karel, Logo Construct programs with graphical objects:Lego Mindstorms Introduce new programming paradigms:Smalltalk, Pascal

  • No matter how easy something is, people still need a reason to want to do it.

  • Approach:Develop programming environments that present programming as a means to an end that the target audience is motivated to pursue.

  • Solve the harder problem: make programming motivating for an under-represented group

    There are many important and under-represented groups in Computer Science.Women are currently the largest.

  • Female CS pool is shrinking quickly.19732004

  • Critical Time: Middle SchoolIn 4th grade, the numbers of girls and boys who like math and science are about equal. By the end of 8th grade, twice as many boys as girls are interested in math and science.

  • ApproachPresent programming as a means to the end of storytelling.

  • Why Storytelling?Given a little bit of time, most girls can come up with a story they want to tell.Stories are naturally sequential.Stories provide girls an opportunity to experiment with different roles, a central activity during adolescence.Non-programming friends can readily understand and appreciate an animated story.

  • Developing Storytelling Alice

  • Started with Alice 2Alice 2 is a programming environment targeted at college-level intro CS studentsSeparate learning of programming concepts and syntax Enable novice users to create interactive 3D graphics programsFormal results show that use of Alice increases grades and retention of CS students in subsequent Java-based CS courses.Alice 2 provides:drag and drop program construction that prevents syntax errors3D graphics and animation engine

  • Formative Evaluation: Observe middle school girls (and some boys) creating stories in AliceDesign and Implement:Improve Storytelling AliceClassic HCI Research ParadigmOver 18 months, ~15 iterations

  • Subjects: Formative Evaluation~ 60 Campers at STEM camps~ 30 Local home-schooled kids

    ~ 120 Girl Scouts from within 1.5 hours of Pittsburgh

  • Storytelling Alice Demo

  • Changes to Enable StorytellingAdd high-level animations and scene support.Create a story-based tutorial. Provide a gallery of 3D characters that inspire stories.

  • Changes to Enable StorytellingAdd high-level animations and scene support.Create a story-based tutorial. Provide a gallery of 3D characters that inspire stories.

  • Lesson Learned: two-person talk aloud protocol is a poor match for a creative process like storytelling

  • Storyboarding ProcessWrite the DVD box descriptionFlesh out each scene: setting, purpose, and actionCreate 6-9 frames/textual descriptions for each scene.

  • Rhetorical Information Helps3 sources for actions:Users descriptions of the action in a given frameDifferences between drawings of sequential framesUsers descriptions of the action in a scene (occasionally)

  • People are more important than objectsKids very rarely animate things.In Storytelling Alice, humanoids and other non-bipedal characters are a different type and have different methods than non-living things.

  • What people can doStorytelling Alice:Say, thinkWalk to, Walk offscreenWalk Sit OnLie onKneelFall DownStand UpStraightenLook atLookTurn to face, Turn away fromTurnTouchKeep Touching

    Generic Alice:MoveTurnRoll ResizePlay SoundMove toMove toward, Move away fromOrient toTurn to Face, point atSet point of view toSet PoseStand upMove at speed, turn at speed, roll at speedConstrain to face, Constrain to point at

  • Most character and object interactions can be created using touch and keep touching

  • Character actions often motivate use of programming constructs like loops, methods and parameters

  • Changes to Enable StorytellingAdd high-level animations and scene support.Create a story-based tutorial.Provide a gallery of 3D characters that inspire stories.

  • Before:After:

  • Click on the trevor tile to see what methods trevor knows how to do.

  • Stencils enables users to complete tutorials more quickly and with fewer errors.Users of a Stencils tutorial:Learned as well as users of a paper version of the same tutorialMade 270% fewer errors (p < .05)Completed tutorial 26% faster (p = .057)Made 88% fewer requests for human assistance (p = .08)

  • Changes to Enable StorytellingAdd high-level animations and scene support.Create a story-based tutorial.Provide a gallery of 3D characters that inspire stories.

  • Provide custom animations that require explanation in the storyAnimations can be incredibly powerful in helping kids to come up with a story idea. Harold T. Wireton.crazy go nuts

  • Provide characters with clear rolesHero or VillainAuthority Figure

  • Related Work

  • Programming Systems that enable animationToonTalk (Kahn, 1996)Squeak Etoys (Kay et al., 1997)HANDS (Pane, 2002)Scratch (Resnick et al., 2006)Kids Programming Language (Morrison Schwartz, Inc., 2006)

  • Present programming in a motivating contextAlgoarena programming sumo-wrestlers to fight with each otherRobocode programming tanks to fight with each otherRockys Boots connecting logic gates to solve puzzles

  • Virtual Family

  • Rapunsel

  • There are no formal results showing that any of these systems are (more) motivating.

  • Evaluating Storytelling Alice

  • Two QuestionsHow much do users learn?How motivated are they?

  • Two QuestionsHow much do users learn?How motivated are they?

  • Summative Evaluation88 Girl Scouts from within 1.5 hours of Pittsburgh

    Compare Storytelling Alice with Generic Alice

  • Evaluating Generic Alice vs. Storytelling AliceTutorial Build something to showin Generic AliceTake programming quiz and attitude surveyTry Storytelling AliceChoose Generic or Storytelling Alice to take homeShow a world to everyoneTutorial Build something to showin Storytelling AliceTry Generic Alice2 hrs, 15 min30 minControl Group:Experimental Group:

  • Results

  • Similar Learning in Storytelling Alice and Generic Alice

    Chart6

    0.910.86

    0.640.75

    0.840.77

    0.360.5

    0.520.5

    0.540.73

    0.110.2

    Generic Alice

    Storytelling Alice

    Mean Score

    Mean Programming Quiz Scores

    Sheet1

    VersionUsing the computer was funUsing the computer was interestingUsing the c