An experience report using Scrimba: An interactive and cooperative web development tool in a blended learning setting

  • Rolando Gonzalez Westerdals Oslo ACT
  • Per Lauvaas Westerdals Oslo ACT

Abstract

In a blended learning environment, face-to-face classroom practices are combined with computer-mediated activities. New technical possibilities may deeply influence the way we organize our educational setting, but may also lead to smaller adjustments within a more static learning environment featuring lectures and traditional lab sessions.

In this study we look at an online, freely accessible code editor under development: Scrimba. Scrimba offers new possibilities for collaborative and interactive learning among a teacher and her students both inside and outside the classroom. Students and teachers may easily live stream coding performed in a browser, and may at any time branch the code into separate projects. These coding session may also be recorded with sound and reproduced as a video. As the tool was not initially exclusively developed with education in mind, we define different use cases for use of the tool in a learning environment.

These use cases were tested in a course delivery. The subject topic was introductory web programming with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. An effort was made to see if available functionality for collaboration and sharing of code in Scrimba within a classroom setting could have a positive effect on a course delivery, both for the students and the teacher. Data was collected using observation in the classroom, a questionnaire for the students and an interview with the teacher.

Early results from this paper suggest that the use of a tool that facilitates interaction and cooperation in an introductory web programming course is well accepted both by the teacher and the students. Easily jumping into live student code in class is especially promising for creating discussion and code modification as a class activity. Coding errors can easily be addressed and corrected live, and students can comment on different solutions to a problem.

Published
2017-11-26
Section
Undervising og Didaktikk i IT-faga