Author Archive

Computational thinking pre-test

Here’s a link to the computational thinking pre-test we’re using in school this summer. The test is in the form of a SurveyMonkey quiz put together by Judy Robertson at the Adventure Author project (currently busy looking after the youngest Adventure Author team member.)

You can find the accompanying video and instructions here.

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We’ve been a bit quiet since last summer, so here’s a quick update for you. The Flip team are hard at work on the initial version of the Flip visual programming language, and preparing for our return to a local high school with the software in June 2010.¬† We’ll also be looking to publish some of the findings from our studies in various forums - more on that at a later date.

In the meantime, we’ve added a new paper to the Publications section. It’s called ‘Language-based Support for Computational Thinking’, written by Howland, Good and Nicholson and presented by Katy Howland at last year’s VL/HCC conference in Oregon. The paper “explores the potential for simplified programming languages to support the development of computational thinking skills in non-programmers.” Enjoy!

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New project email address

You can now contact the Flip team at

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Making games in school

For the last few months the Flip team have been hard at work, helping to run game-making sessions in a high school in Sussex. Three classes of Year 7 IT students worked with the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset from May through July to make their own video games. The students were enthusiastic about the project, and after-school IT sessions were over-subscribed with students wanting to continue work on their games.

Now that the schools have finished for summer, the team are getting ready to run a week-long game-making workshop for children at the University of Sussex. All of these sessions are helpful for observing how children respond to the task of game creation, so that Flip can be designed to meet the needs of this age group.

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New papers

The Publications page has been updated with a link to our latest paper, Concrete Thoughts on Abstraction, which explores issues relating to the computational thinking drive and was presented at PPIG 2009 in Limerick. We’ve also had a short paper, Language-based Support for Computational Thinking, accepted for presentation at VL/HCC 2009 in September.

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Publications page live

We’ve updated the Publications page with a list of the papers we’ve published around the theme of supporting children’s development through game creation activities.

Update: All of our papers are now available to download in PDF format, so you can keep up to date with our research! Our latest  is A Game Creation Tool which Supports the Development of
Writing Skills: Interface Design Considerations
by Katherine Howland, Judith Good and Benedict du Boulay, discussing techniques for designing a user interface for game creation that puts more focus on developing storytelling and writing skills.


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Welcome to our new home:

Flip has moved home: we’re now at, so update your bookmarks accordingly.

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