Virtual handson workshop : “Enjoyable Introduction to Programming using Alice”
by Dr. Jeyakesavan Veerasamy, CS faculty,
University of Texas at Dallas, USA.
While these
materials have been targeted for workshops, they can certainly be used for
selfpaced learning from your home as well. Just that it can be more enjoyable
experience if you have at least a partner to discuss and exchange ideas! This
material does not assume any prior experience in programming & it is really
meant for absolute beginners! Jump in and enjoy.
Item 
Description 
Material 
Duration 
P1 
Alice installation and lab setup  1 week prior to
workshop, download Alice 2.4 software from www.alice.org
and unzip and store in each computer. See the PPT for more details. 


0 
Why
does it make sense to use Alice first? (Why not learn C/C++/Java directly?) 


1 
Welcome to Alice workshop! Here are a few
suggestions to get the maximum value from this workshop. We will
cycle through 3 modes for each topic/example: Watching, Doing
it individually, helping each other to complete and work on something extra. You
can use http://www.onlinestopwatch.com/
to make sure that the workshop is progressing in timely manner. 


2 
Core programming concepts – Sequence,
selection and repetition are 3 pillars of programming! 
15
minutes 

3 
Introduction to Alice  Visual
Programming  Drag & drop approach for coding  no syntax errors 
program always ready to run! 
7
minutes 

3a 
Fun with examples: Open Alice tool –
select Examples tab in the dialog box – click and open each Example world and
play it. Do not try to understand the code. 
10
minutes 

4 
Scene Setup – get ready for
the show! 
9
minutes 

4a 
Scene
Setup practice  browse the gallery, add your favorite object and practice scene
setup adjustments. 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
5 
Working with Objects  there are
properties and methods associated with each object. Specifically we need to
understand all possible movements first. 
14
minutes 

5a 
Add
the same or a similar object from gallery and practice various movements. You
can always UNDO after trying each move. 
Replay
video if needed. 
13
minutes 
6 
Working with Object’s parts  there are
properties and methods associated with each object. Specifically we need to
understand all possible movements first. 
7 minutes 

6a 
Add
the same or a similar object from gallery and practice various methods for
body parts. You can always UNDO after trying each move. 


7 
Our first program – Coach and
Penguin  a sequence of actions – DO TOGETHER brings realism – Loop to repeat
actions 
11
minutes 

7a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
15
minutes 
7b 
Do at
least one exercise from the following list. Work on all of them if time
permits: Exercise 1: Add cow and chicken
to a new world and make them greet each other by bowing, then go back to
normal position. Repeat it using a loop. Exercise 2: Add two animals
like Dog and Cat. Make the dominant animal approach the other one. Now, make
the 2^{nd} animal grow in size and scare the first animal. 1^{st}
animal should turn and run away. Repeat it using a loop. Exercise 3: Add two people,
make them face each other, place a ball inbetween them and try to simulate
kicking the ball back & forth. 

15
minutes 
8 
Reinforcement: Seaplane example 
13
minutes 

8a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
8b 
Use
the same seaplane & make it go in a circle on the water surface instead.
Then, make it a bumpy ride (you can use sine wave) 


9 
Reinforcement: Person walking back &
forth using nested loops 
11
minutes 

9a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
10 
Person walking back & forth using a loop
and IF statements
 alternate implementation 
6
minutes 

10a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
11 
Jack's sophisticated walk using a builtin
method! 
9
minutes 

11a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
12 
Our own sophisticated walk using new
methods 
12
minutes 

12a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
12b 
Enhance
the program to include the coordinated hand movements as well. 

10
minutes 
13 
Our own sophisticated walk using a new
method with a parameter 
8
minutes 

13a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
10
minutes 
14 
Working with numbers: Guessing game  Let the computer
think of a number (use random number generation). Your goal is to make
minimum # of guesses to find that number. 
20
minutes 

14a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 
15
minutes 
14b 
Reverse guessing game: you should think
of a number between 1 and 100. Computer should ask minimum # of questions and
try to find that number. 

20
minutes 
15 
Math practice: Generate 2 random integers: one from the range
of 1 to 100
and the second one from the range of 1 to 20. Select a random operation (+,,* or /) and pose the math question to the user. Get
the user’s input and validate the answer. Repeat it 10 times and summarize
the student’s performance. 


16 
Concept:
Array  Lots of data of same type 


17 
Time for group dance! Add similar
objects and use DO ALL TOGETHER structure to perform a group dance. 
13
minutes 

17a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 

18 
Sophisticated group dance! As long as all objects
in the group have same object structure, then you can do more sophisticated
dance! 


18a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 

19 
Generate Texas Lotto winning numbers – basically we
need to output 6 random numbers within the range of 1 to 50. We also need to
ensure that there is no repetition of numbers. In other words, all 6 numbers
should be unique. 


19a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 


19b 
How
much you won in Texas Lottery? This lottery involves getting 6 numbers from the
user and selecting 6 numbers randomly and see how many numbers matched.
Winning amount increases as # of matches increase. 


20 
Searching for a number in an array: Generate 10 random
numbers within the range of 1 to 30 first. Then, ask the user to select a
number and check whether that number is in the array. 


20a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 


21 
Concept:
Events 


21 
Events: Hit the coach’s head with the ball. 


21a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 

22 
Frog game setup: Move lily pads at
random speeds independently 


22a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 

23 
Frog game: Frog jumping game
 our frog cannot swim :( so it needs to jump on the moving lily pads 5
times to reach the destination. 


23a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 
Replay
video if needed. 

24 
Memory game  there are 2
copies of each image hidden under the squares. If you find matching images,
they will stay up, otherwise they will be hidden again. Goal is to open all
the images with minimum # of clicks. 


24a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 


24b 
Enhance
memory game to keep track of # of number of clicks and report it. 


25 
Connect4 game  develop it for 2
players to play against each other. We need to implement the logic to
determine the winner. 


25a 
Complete
the same program on your own! 

Additional Topics
Item 
Description 
Material 
Duration 
A1 
Incorporate sounds, even your own sound files... 


A1a 
Try to do the same program on your own! 
Replay video if needed. 

A2 
Cameras move in real movies  let us do the same! Two kids holding hands together & facing each other. Mount the camera on one kid’s head and go round and round... 


A2a 
Try to do the same program on your own! 
Replay video if needed. 

A3 
Saving code and video 


A3a 
Try to do the same program on your own! 
Replay video if needed. 

Additional resources:
Free Alice tutorials: http://www.dickbaldwin.com/tocalice.htm
Following
site has several advanced Alice worlds:
Adventures in Alice programming @ Duke University http://www.cs.duke.edu/csed/alice/aliceInSchools/