As the end of the year is approaching, students are filled with coding skills from the past 9 months. How can teachers have students show off their coding talent that they have practiced all year long? MIT App Inventor is a great start. A small group of staff and students came together to produce an innovative, exciting app to introduce the importance (and fun!) of programming. Anyone can use this and it is free! Start with the beginning tutorials or get creative with your own idea. This app is changing the way students view coding!
Why is this a good end of the year coding assessment?
Throughout the course of the year, students have been focusing on vocabulary words, programming languages, and the importance of coding in the real-world. MIT App Inventor allows students to create their own apps in real time. By using the “connect” button on the dashboard, Android phone users can see their app on their phone as it is being programmed.
Choosing a Topic & Beginning the Process
Similar to other projects in my classroom, I have students choose a topic they are working on in a core subject (ILA, Math, Social Studies, Science). I would allow my students about a month to complete this project. because I see my students once week for 45 minutes.
As students begin their app, there is a button called “blocks” to begin the coding of the app. Similar to Code.org, the block-based coding snaps together to create a function (a vocabulary word!) indicating a specific action that must be done. Controls, logic, functions, colors, etc. can all be edited to the way the students want their app to look! When they complete their coding, they can even practice using their app on their connected device. Pretty cool!
How to Grade an End of the Year Cumulative Coding Project
For grading, I would use a rubric to cover the important key parts of coding. Did students use different functions, loops, variables, procedures? Was their app creative or just a short tutorial example?
Overall, the MIT App Inventor gives students the opportunity to show off their coding skills. This app can even be exported using the “Project Key” and clicking “Export” so other students can explore the app. Students using this tool will provide more imagination to create something that may change the world!