CodeCombat is a learning website that offers role-playing game adventures and gamified lessons to help students of all ages and skill levels learn coding and computer science from the basics up to advanced coding concepts. CodeCombat enables teachers to create classes, invite students to join, and access a wide variety of educational materials including lesson plans, cheat sheets, tutorials, guides, and more.
Teachers can share lessons with students and use the Dashboard to monitor their progress and keep track of their learning. The professional development section offers courses to further help teachers effectively integrate coding lessons in their instructional practice. As for online classes, CodeCombat offers individualized 1:1 live private sessions for kids of all ages.
CodeCombat resources are designed to be inclusive and to accommodate different learning styles and needs. Some of the accessible features included in these resources include ‘voiceover narration, closed captioning, the use of appropriate color schemes, and text-based visual cues.’
Having a teacher account enables you to access the full features in the Teacher Dashboard including creating classes, registering students, monitoring students learning, accessing lesson plans and course guides, and many more. To create a teacher account, head over to CodeCombat homepage and click on Sign up button then select Sign up as a Teacher. You can either type in your name, email address and provide a password or you can sign up using Google Classroom or Clever.
To create your first class, log in to your teacher account and click on Create a New Class button located in the Teacher Dashboard under My Classes tab. Type in a name for your class and add few more details. Next, choose a programming language for your class and make sure it is the right choice for your students otherwise you will not be able to change it once created then click on Create Class.Your newly created class can be accessed from My Classes tab in the Teacher Dashboard.
There are various ways to add students to your class in CodeCombat:
Share with students the code of your class which you can find in the Add Students section of your class page and let students know that they can use it to join your class without the need for an email address. They simply type in their first name, last initial, username, and a password.
Students can join your class using the generated URL of your class which you can access in the Add Students section of your class page. Email addresses are not required, students will simply provide first name and last initial, username and password.
c) Student join via Invite by Email
This option allows you to send an email invitation with the URL of your class that students can use to join your class. To send students an email invitation, click on View Class link under the name of the class and click on Invite Students by Email. Type in the email addresses of your students or copy/paste them from a class list and click on Invite Students.
d) Join via Classroom Integration
You can sign in to CodeCombat using your Google account and sync your Google Classroom with CodeCombat to automatically roster students into your class. Alternatively, you can use log in using Clever and instruct your students to use it to sign up to CodeCombat.
CodeCombat provides teachers with the option to share their classes with other teachers. As the creator of a class, you can share it with up to two teachers. You also get to control the permission settings of your shared classes.
You can either grant full access in which case the added teacher will be able to view and modify your class (e.g., add or remove students, lock or unlock levels, modify licensure, assign chapters, and more) or you can set it to view only so that invited teachers can not add any modification to the shared class.
To share a class with another teacher:
- Log in to your teacher account
- Under My Classes tab in the Teacher Dashboard, click on the Share button next to the class you want to share
- Type in the email address of the teacher
- Choose the permission settings of your choice
- Click on Add
Ozaria is a coding game that ‘that offers a flexible and comprehensive introductory Computer Science curriculum, fully aligned to CSTA CS standards’. Teachers can use Ozaria to teach computer science without the need for prior coding experience. Ozaria provides access to a wide variety of educational materials including lesson slides, engaging activities, formative and summative tools, and a dashboard to keep track of students progress.
Ozaria is based on narrative story in which students take the character of the hero and ‘enter a vast world filled with the echoes of many rulers, kingdoms, and a history rich with myths of ancient magic and the legend of a darkness long defeated.’ Ozaria offers the first lesson for free.
CodeCombat offers professional development courses for computer science teachers of any experience level. The course is 40 hours of self-paced modules covering both computer science concepts and general teaching skills modules. More specifically, the course consists of modules: Concept modules and Skills modules.
“Concept Modules are aligned to each of Ozaria’s lessons. These modules provide instruction on concepts so teachers develop the confidence and know-how, as well as tools, tips, and strategies for teaching the concepts to students. Skills Modules are broader in scope and are applicable to any Computer Science or STEM curriculum. These modules provide best practices for implementing evidence-based 21st-century teaching and learning strategies, such as computational thinking, project- and game-based learning, social and emotional learning, assessment strategies, and much more.”
The PD course is also eligible for 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit.
CodeCombat’s free version offers limited features. To unlock the full features you need to upgrade to CodeCombat premium which costs $9.99 per month. The annual subscriptions cost $99/year. CodeCombat also offers custom pricing for schools and districts.