Teaching Construct 2 vs Scratch

For educators around the world who use Construct 2 in classrooms

Post » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:58 am

I'd like to ask for opinions and experiences from teachers who taught Scratch and Construct 2 as well for students (in all ages). What did you experience? Which method did you find more effective for teaching algorithmic thinking? How did the students respond for that kind of programming classes?

I'm continuing my research on the topic of how to make programming teaching easier and more effective using visual programming methods. So if you happen to have experience in teaching both Scratch and Construct 2, your feedback would be very valuable. Thank you.
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:52 am

What kids want is "Fun", "Cool", & "Good looking". IMO, over 50% class performance depends on teacher's teaching skill.

I remember the time when I mentioned Scratch in my class. I was asking: "How many of you guys had learned Scratch? Raise your hand please." And soon there is one student replies: "Sir, do you mean the UGLY YELLOW CAT?" :) Yeah~ the Scratch cat is neither cute nor cool. Not to say using Scratch to emulate planet orbital or Newton's law.

The key is how to trigger students' eager for those contents you've brought into class. If teacher do some special things, students will think the whole class is treasure.
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Post » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:53 am

I have been learning a lot of Scratch in school, and you cannot compare it to C2 - Construct is MUCH better. Construct may be a little more complex, but you can make things much more easily with it. You have my opinion: Teaching C2 would be better.
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Post » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:04 am

Caloxeno wrote:I have been learning a lot of Scratch in school, and you cannot compare it to C2 - Construct is MUCH better. Construct may be a little more complex, but you can make things much more easily with it. You have my opinion: Teaching C2 would be better.

Thanks for the feedback :) How do you feel about learning programming logic with both software? If you just focus on that aspect (without the ease of use) which one do you prefer?
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Post » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:09 am

I say it depends on how advanced the class is. Students need to know the structure of things before knowing how to navigate properly. Someone can know how to do something, but not know what to do with it. Once you know how something works, ideas and concepts kind of fall in place. If taught from scratch some minds may wander in incorrect directions and cause a road block for themselves and for others who are following. Knowing the roads before exploring will always help navigate.
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Post » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:14 am

glerikud wrote:
Caloxeno wrote:I have been learning a lot of Scratch in school, and you cannot compare it to C2 - Construct is MUCH better. Construct may be a little more complex, but you can make things much more easily with it. You have my opinion: Teaching C2 would be better.

Thanks for the feedback :) How do you feel about learning programming logic with both software? If you just focus on that aspect (without the ease of use) which one do you prefer?

Scratch is not so complex, so you dont have to be thinking about more than the costumes and the scripts. But in construct, you have more complex stuff, so I feel a little more confident with Scratch. But still think C2 is better
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Post » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:23 am

I may be responding to this post too late, but I find myself very relevant to answer and appreciate this question.

I've taught Scratch for around 5 years, to Ages: 6 to 18 (currently, I am teaching Scratch as a starter for "Introduction to Programming" at University level... if you might know Harvard University does the same!)

I've also taught Construct 2 for around 2 years to similar age group, mostly younger ones.

Based on my years of usage and teaching experience for both softwares: Scratch, the way the programming flow works, it resembles any other syntax based programming (top to bottom), similar loop/if/else structure. I think if "Teaching Programming" is the aim, then I would go for Scratch despite its poor FPS and lack of game-making simplicity.

If, on the other hand, "Making Games" and/or "Logic Building" is the aim, then I would definitely go for Construct 2. The difference is, C2 is the most sophisticated yet simplest 2D game making software I have ever used (among 15+ more that I've tried). All the behaviors, the relevant list of conditions and actions, the necessary yet optional set of settings for each behavior, layout, layer, objects, (etc) - All of these does not let you get stuck anywhere, and it just helps implement 'your' logic the way you want very easily <--- Doesn't it? but here's the catch: It won't help the person 'learn' the structured programming or even the classical troubleshooting skills, which could be learnt with Scratch. Meaning, things are made so simple* in C2, that for a beginner, jumping to an actual programming language will be very frustrating, despite he/she will be too good at algorithmic thinking.

* Example: A top view Car game... in C2, the user will just select the Car behavior with Keyboard object and a good percentage of the game is already completed without a single line of coding! - No Learning really - In scratch, the user will use several if/else commands with variables to achieve that Car like control - Decent amount programming done!

Summary:
Construct 2: 70% Fun, while 30% learn Programming skills,
Scratch: 30% as Fun, but 70% helps learn Programming.

So, it depends on what is the 'aim' of the course. For me, I used to go with C2 during Fun Summer Camps (short courses), and I choose Scratch for a longer term "Programming" course to prepare them for syntax based coding in future.

Hope this helps.
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Post » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:34 am

@Hasan999 It's never too late to post your experiences about this. Thank you for sharing. :)

You mentioned that C2 won't help the students learn classical troubleshooting skills. Did you try giving the students a game with broken visual code and ask them to identify the errors and fix them together?

Using behaviors is a good example for how students can skip parts of developing a software, but it's also one of my students' favourite feature since they can set up something running in minutes and then we can build on something they can see and feel. If you want them to code the car behavior, you can still make them do it using events. What do you think?
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Post » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:22 pm

@glerikud Thanks!

Yeah, that will work. By giving a broken/incomplete game and they figure out why it is happening and how to fix. Likewise, a car behaviour can be made using events and actions.

In fact, that is why I like C2 as being the most fun game making tool.

However, since this topic was about comparing it with Scratch... let me re-emphasize that (for a kid or beginner), advancing from Scratch-like Programming to any Syntax based programming (like Python/C) would be far easier and relate-able, than jumping from C2 to a syntax based programming <-- simply because of the flow of programming structure. Don't get me wrong, C2 will definitely develop/boost algorithmic thinking, and so will Scratch.. but both have slightly different applications and learning outcomes.
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Post » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:41 am

Agree with @Hasan999 , scratch ( or blockly , I like it more ) is more similar with traditional program language. Moreover, blockly could generate real text code (javascript, python) from code block (gui) directly.
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