GridWorld Role Play Online
I’m preparing to teach AP Computer Science this fall. One aspect of that preparation was attending the AP Summer Institute for a workshop run by Michael Lew. During that week, one thing we did was walk through a role play written by David Levine and Steve Andrianoff, in which students act out the part of different objects in a simulation of code execution. The code being simulated is from a case study called GridWorld, with which all AP computer science students must become familiar. We pretended to be the students in order to simulate the simulation for ourselves.
As we struggled, flipping around in the pages of our paper scripts and trying to faithfully follow along, I got the idea to convert it all to HTML. This week, I finally did. I was imagining that it would be nice to be able to project this on a screen in front of the class so everyone could at least follow along there.
One major difference between the web version and the print version is that polymorphic calls (to, say, the act method of a collection of Actors) must be resolved explicitly in order to link to the correct class script — when using paper, this seems to happen implicitly because the individual student representing the called instance knows their own type. It is interesting to think about the possibility of using this difference as a way to further explore polymorphism (and how, exactly, the JVM dispatches method calls) with students.
The Bug scenario is done, the Critter is not. I’d love to hear about any improvements you think of, things that you find confusing, or other input you might have. If there’s anyone out there who likes the idea, I will finish it up and package it as a .zip file for local use.