Coding with Media in the Inclusive Coding Environment

The Coding to Learn and Create project's Inclusive Coding Environment software is built around a storytelling metaphor. Learners can create their own creative stories using code, or act out scenes and goals in someone else’s story. Our goal is to build an environment that supports children with complex learning needs to express their imagination, stories, and experiences through code. We consider a story as the complete state of an on-screen world—including all scenes, characters, and behaviors within it, as well as supporting “hybrid” stories that include off-screen robots and other physical activities. Every element in our design should enable users to create a story, such as building a scene, creating a character, and assigning specific goals and behavior to their characters.

Types of Media


Users are able to select from a collection of already built backgrounds, edit them, or build their own. Only one background can be selected at a time and displayed on the scene. Backgrounds are static images and don’t interact with the characters. 


Users can select from a collection of already built characters, edit them, or build their own. They can add as many characters as they want to their scene. Users can decide whether a character is static or dynamic. Dynamic characters are interactive and users can build a program and assign specific actions and behaviours to them. Static characters are not programmable. They can place their characters anywhere on the scene and adjust its visual appearance, such as size, direction, and transparency. Each character can also perform as an avatar for robots that are connected to the coding environment. 


Actions are the essential elements for bringing a story to life. They help users build a specific behavior for their characters, plan a mission, move a character, build a game, indicate a condition, etc. The action panel is made up of a wide range of different options, such as movements, sounds, controls, and events. Users can customize this panel and configure the number of available options for building a story.