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Getting Started with CONSTRUIT

The CONSTRUIT! project created an environment for exploring concepts (such as computational thinking, but also other 'systems' in a variety of different domains, including maths puzzles and physics). This is an alternative method of 'programming' (more analogous to spreadsheets), allowing learning resources to be created without thinking about conventional programming paradigms:

Many of the resources we have made support 'computational learning'. For instance, we could teach Quicksort:

or Bubblesort (note there are arrows on the left and right to step you through the code of this).

Or you could explore scales on a musical instrument:

These resources are made using a different paradigm for programming, for instance in this extract of code:

a is b + c;
c = 5;
b = 4;

a will automatically change whenever either c or b changes. The order of the statements does not matter, a will always be b + c (like on a spreadsheet). This means that you can describe relationships between variables without having to worry about writing the code to update them (we call them Observables - they are similar to variables, but they more directly relate to values/properties that you might actually 'observe' in the real-world). For a demonstration of the power of this you can see how to build a basic model of the Solar System:

We also managed to convert the Solar System construal to 3D - there is a way of viewing this with Google Cardboard that could be used to create VR resources, although the network functionality required is currently not working.

For any of these resources (we call them construals) you can view the source code by opening a new 'Script View' window (click the + in the top right). You can also open a new 'Observable List' and see the values of Observables change in real-time.

You can explore our entire repository of construals here:

For more information about the project, please see our Empirical Modelling page and our publications