GrACE (the Gram’s House Automated Content Engine) is a project looking at how the use of procedurally generated puzzles impacts the educational effectiveness of a game to teach computer science principles. We are building a digital game that allows students to request random puzzles at an appropriate difficulty level, and that encourages collaboration between players. By looking at how players communicate with each other during collaborative conditions when they are each seeing different puzzles, we hope to learn more about how students communicate about solving computer science problems, and foster algorithmic thinking through forcing them to think mindfully about different possibilities for how the puzzles might be constructed.
GrACE is currently in a prototype and pilot study phase. We have a completed digital prototype and are testing and refining it with middle school students. A screenshot from the current version of GrACE is included below. We’ll have a link available so that others can play as soon as possible!