Kodris Review by Erem Birkan
We have been using Kodris in the 9 thru 12 grades with approximately 5 students in our school Academy at Larragoite, Santa Fe Public School District. We wanted to teach coding to our students by using Python programming language. Because of that the primary reason we chose Kodris was teaching Python. Finally, we found a platform that teaches Python by using text-based and block-based coding at the same time and also it’s online. Running synchronized of the code and block parts of the Kodris platform is one of the most important features that distinguishes Kodris from other platforms. It distinguishes with many features. By examining Kodris, I inspected in a detailed manner by dividing into subject headings according to the platform's modules and I wanted to share my experiences with all my colleagues.
In this part, coding training is given with gamification. The subjects, such as variables, loops, if structures, arrays which are the basics of programming are taught in 250 gamified scenes. Python's complex-looking structure has been made clear and funny with scenes prepared from simple to difficult. As the subjects passed, the children find themselves in an adventure. Meanwhile they are moving on scenes are getting harder. At the beginning they think, ‘Oh, this is very easy,’ when the scenes getting harder, they start to think, ‘Wait a minute, how do we solve this now?’ Therefore, as the content is gamified, children are beginning to learn coding in a fun way, as if they were trying to make a progress in a game, rather than learning coding. The most important feature of the platform is that it can be written code. The code which is written code and block mode (visual drag-drop) run synchronously. When you drag the block, code is created automatically and when you write the code, block is creating itself automatically. Most of our students who use block mode, after a while, become familiar with real codes and switch to code mode. Running synchronized of these two modes allows the students to easily switch to the block mode as soon as they have difficulties in creating an algorithm with the relevant subject, it provides easily to create an algorithm. This feature is very well thought, since the logic of algorithm creating is the basis of coding education. In order to move on to the next scene, it is necessary to solve the current scene. If you solve the relevant scene by writing the shortest code, the system gives you 3 stars. In the longer way, it gives 2 or 1 star. At this point, it is necessary to show the children that it is important to write the shortest code. The children try to pass each scene with 3 stars instinctively.
The subjects and number of scenes in secondary school level that you can find below.
In order to guide the teachers and at the same time make the teacher's job easier, a 300-page teacher guide has been prepared separately for primary school, middle school and high school. Thanks to this guide! What I mean about a detailed guide is which prepared minute by minute for each course hour. In the lectures in the guide, there are examples of daily life, in-class activities and solutions of scenes on the Kodris platform in turn. Everything has been thought in a detailed manner up to the questions that can be asked to the students that brainstorm about the subject. It is enough to follow the teacher's guide to take full advantage of Kodris's blessings.
Along with the curriculum that prepared separately for primary, secondary and high school. There is also an annual plan. The annual plan allows for systematic coding training. This curriculum recommended by Pearson Education which is the most known learning company in the world.
It is an online module where we monitorize the learning levels on the basis of class and student. It is enough to copy/paste from an Excel file to create a class with the students' names. Through the “evaluation scenes”, a specially prepared assessment and evaluation system that allows students to watch all their solutions live, we can monitorize the level of students who learn the subjects. Student tracking screen is a great feature to follow the learning process of classes in multiple schools. It makes the work so easier. I can watch the process of all our students in our schools live from the system. We can see all correct or incorrect ways of their solutions to the problems. It is a nice feature which can be used to identify leading students in programming and to direct students in this sense. There is also a feature that restricts the scenes on the basis of class, allowing all classes to progress under the control of the teacher. For example you can restrict a class such “This class can not pass 80th stage this week”. Of course, using this feature does not mean to stop the student's progress. For the leading students, Kodris has extra modules. These modules can be offered to students. By the way, you can print certificates for students at the end of the education to keep them motivated.
We had the opportunity to get support from the Kodris team in a short time both during and after the course. They have live support services within working hours.
It is an online platform where we can code finally different from the systems that confine the coding into blocks, which is also supported with blocks, we can teach programming for real!