Beginner Skillmap Sneak Peek

Posted on March 30th, 2021 by kiki-lee

Next month, Microsoft MakeCode will release a sneak peek of our newest adventure, the Arcade Beginner Skillmap!

Beginner Skillmap page

The Motivation Behind Skillmap

The MakeCode Arcade Beginner Skillmap was designed to help address the rise of students learning at home, and improve the current inequities found globally today in computer science education. This lack of diversity stems, in part, from the belief that programming is too hard or too boring. The Beginner Skillmap is designed to provide a simple drag-and-drop interface that engages students through an exciting and purposeful first set of coding experiences.

Designed using research-based pedagogical strategies, the Skillmap is an easy-to-follow pathway that introduces computer science concepts and game development without the need for instructor intervention. Students who progress through Skillmap tutorials will learn coding fundamentals (such as loops, variables, and conditionals) and game development skills (like design, storytelling, rules, and end conditions) as they create retro-style arcade games. Even better, all of this has been created to speak directly to the interests and goals of the student to ensure that they’re learning skills that matter to them.

The Skillmap combines elements of gamification with traditional learning path progressions to engage and guide students who are new to coding. At each stage of the Skillmap, there are animated GIFs that provide previews of the activities ahead.

Completion achievement notice

It also features celebrations at each path’s end, including certificates and confetti, as a reward for a job well done. Future versions will incorporate additional gamification elements to incentivize persistence and pushing beyond comfortable limits. All Skillmaps will center around the creation of fun, engaging arcade gaming experiences that students love coding (or creating), playing, and sharing with their friends and family.

Try It Today

To preview Beginner Skillmap, visit aka.ms/skillmap.