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Design Guidelines for a Children's Programming Environment

, University of Auckland, New Zealand

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-56-3 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


In order to design a programming environment for children, a number of guidelines were produced. The guidelines arose from several different approaches: a brief examination of the theories of child development, the production of a simple prototype environment, interviews of children to determine what they understood about computer programming, the evaluation of previous programming environments for children, and personal preferences based on experience. Guidelines ranged from suggestions as to the age range of children the environment should be aimed at, through to the necessity of making the environment fun. These guidelines were then used in the design of the Icicle programming environment. As children found Icicle to be usable and very enjoyable, it appears that the guidelines were reasonable.


Sheehan, R. (2005). Design Guidelines for a Children's Programming Environment. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2005--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 1058-1063). Montreal, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 9, 2023 from .



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