News, features and tips for teachers, computer science advocates, and other heroes in education

Just in time for school: Game & Web Development Courses, new features, and more!

Check out our new project-based learning courses to build your first website and game level today.

“CodeCombat is really fun because you get to see that what your character is doing in the game is what you made him do.” -- Mario, 10

We’ve been hard at work all summer building new features, playtesting them in our coding camps, and fine-tuning all the new levels. We’re so excited to finally share all of it with you!

Our biggest announcement today is the launch of our Game and Web Development courses — featuring new, project-based levels that bridge the gap between programming and real world applications by providing players an opportunity to build real websites and games. We’ve already seen amazing examples built by students during our summer camp, and we can’t wait to see more from the rest of the CodeCombat community.

Keep reading for more details about the new courses as well as the other features we’re launching today.

Web Development

In our Web Development courses, students learn the fundamentals of building interactive websites using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Our first course, which launches this week, introduces students to basic markup and styling concepts in order to build their first web page, a Wanted Poster for a dastardly villain of their choosing. The second course focuses on scripting and customization, which teaches students how to create their own on-line personality quiz. All webpages are automatically published to a custom URL so that students can easily share their finished project with friends and family.

Check out this example poster by one of the students from our summer coding camp -- the result of just an hour’s work by a student who had no prior experience with web development!

Web Development 1 and 2 are now available for all licensed students.

Game Development

What’s even more fun than playing a game? Making your own! In our Game Development courses, students learn how to build their own CodeCombat-style game levels and unleash them on friends and family to play with a mouse and keyboard. Over time, they’ll unlock the tools needed to create challenging puzzles and practice their game design skills to become the next star game designer. Final projects for each course can be shared are published to a custom URL so that students can easily share their games with friends and family.

Game Development 1 and 2 are now available for all licensed students.

Teachers can preview all Web and Game Development levels by going to the Course Guides page and selecting from the dropdown menus.

Spotlight: Increased Hero Diversity

We know how important it is to have a diverse range of playable heroes to support player engagement and investment in CodeCombat, so we’ve built in a Hero Selector that includes a variety of heroes of all genders and skin colors — students can choose their hero when they create an account and change it at any time.

New tools to help in the classroom

Practice Levels and Hints

We know that different students learn at different paces, and sometimes they may need extra assistance with new concepts. We’ve built two new features to help smooth out the learning curve of students who find themselves stuck.

Hints come in handy when students are struggling with a specific level. Every level has a blue “Hints” button at the top right corner, which give a more in-depth explanation of the level’s specific concepts and provide additional step by step examples of how to complete it.

The second new feature is Practice Levels, which help students get more experience with a particular concept if they are struggling. When the game detects that a student has struggled with a level, the game adapts so the student has more opportunity to practice the same skill until they improve. This provides a personalized learning experience for each student, so they can move past concepts they understand quickly, and get more practice for concepts that are challenging.

Lesson Plans and Syntax Guides

Lastly, we’ve spent time this summer consulting with education specialists to craft classroom curriculum and materials specifically for teachers who are using CodeCombat without any prior computer science experience themselves.

We’re publishing a set of curriculum resources in our new Resource Hub, which includes lesson plans, exercises, activities, and writing prompts to encourage reflection and retention. We’re also making printable guides available for students to reference as they work through levels. In addition, we provide level solutions for every course so teachers can help spot and correct errors in students’ code as they come up. We’ve found these resources reduce friction when introducing programming in the classroom.

If you have a Teacher account, you can log in today to access all of Computer Science 1 classroom materials. Need licenses for students who have finished the first course? Get in touch with our team today so we can build a solution for you!

“CodeCombat really taught me that even though it may look hard, once you learn how to do it, it can be very simple to do.“ -- Alanna, 15

CodeCombat in Your Classroom

If you’d like a demonstration of the new features or help bringing CodeCombat into your classroom, we’re here for you. Just request a demo and we’ll be in touch!