Diana Franklin and her colleagues described Scratch Charades to introduce Scratch programming in an unplugged format without the Scratch environment. In collaborative groups, the Actor acts out a Scratch script and can consult the Director for help. The two Builders work together to build what they saw using Scratch command-labeled LEGO bricks or magnets; they can request that the Actor repeats the actions. Afterwards, the Director leads a discussion. The interactive play visualizes misconceptions and allows rich opportunities for debugging.
Corresponding Scratch script
Assembled manipulatives (blocks/magnets)
K-12 Pair Programming Toolkit from ETR
- How you should pair students: If your goal is to encourage students to be more interested in computing, then pairing students with a similar attitude toward working with a partner appears to be more important than pairing them based on a similar skill level. If your goal is to help students learn how to program, pairing them with friends may be the best strategy.
- How routinely partners should switch Navigator and Driver roles: Some teachers set timers to encourage role switches. However, regulating partners’ role switches can sometimes undermine deep thinking and collaboration. In studies where role switching was not strictly regulated, effective pairs exchange their time as Driver and Navigator to build on each other’s expertise. With a “semi-free” switching structure, partners switched roles less as time went on, but they also negotiated more about the switches they did do (i.e., interacted more).
Comparison of Pair Programming Paradigms
- In the traditional 1-computer pair programming (1C), a driver and navigator switch roles and share one computer.
- In two-computer pair programming (2C), two students used the synchronous editing feature in the NetsBlox programming environment to work on two different computers while still sitting side-by-side.
- Students expressed greater satisfaction with 2C because they had greater agency and use of the computer. It also allowed them to decompose tasks and complete subtasks in parallel.
- Students believed they “learned more” in both 1C and 2C but offered different reasons: 1C allowed for more partner-to-partner learning, and 2C allowed for more hands-on experience.
- There are unique coordination challenges in both paradigms (e.g., struggling to wait for one’s turn and ignoring the navigators’ suggestions in 1C and being more disconnected from the partners’ work in 2C), prompting the need for teacher scaffolding of effective communication practices.
- Conversations turned into unresolved disagreements more in 1C than in 2C, and students disagreed more as the task difficulty increased.
- Pair-Separate (partners edit different parts of the same project),
- Pair-Together (partners edit all parts of the same project, with synchronous collaborative editing like Google Docs), and
- Partner Puzzles (a mode that splits the necessary blocks to build the assignment between team members).