Code Rally in academia
Want to use Code Rally in academia?
Thanks to Code Rally's simple design and friendly graphics it is the perfect fit for the classroom. As every download of the game comes with a Java/Java EE development environment (Eclipse, IBM WebSphere Developer Tools, IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile) it is easy to use the tools that come with Code Rally to teach Java and Java EE programming.
You are able to run your own server for your students to race on - this can be school, room or class wide and with it you will be able to identify which students are doing well and which need some help based on their race times. This also enables you to have healthy competition between students who can be competing for top place!
For a beginner's programming class students can be introduced to the game by racing an intermediate AI - this does not require any coding but introduces the students to how to race the game. Once they have raced an intermediate car they can then be moved onto coding their own basic AI.
The simplest AI only needs 3 lines of code adding to be able to navigate around the track - see how
Once you have your students modifying their cars to perform better you can introduce them to new tracks - each with their own challenge to overcome (be it building a car that handles corners well to a car that avoids collisions) - to find out what each track introduces see our
Racing in teams
If you have limited computers or want to encourage teamwork between your students you can have them working in teams - this can be done by having each student working on their own AI and entering it into races with a team username, or by sharing the code between students on the same or different machines. To be able to have different machines sharing the same code you will need to create a free project on the Academic JazzHub and add the Rational Team Concert plugin to the Code Rally eclipse install. This will then let you put students into teams which share the same code between machines (you will be able to see their code as well as which students made which changes as well. For more information on how to get this working please ask in our forums and someone from the development team will be able to walk you through what is needed.
Although Code Rally is designed to be accessible and easy to get started it can be used as an advanced teaching aid. Here is a list of challenges you can ask your students to beat in the game:
These challenges are currently not built into the game - you will need to manually verify if a challenge has been completed by watching the race replay. Of course these are just a list of challenges we have run at code rally challenge events - if you can think of more challenges you can set let us know!
If you would like more information on how to use Code Rally in education, or if you have any requ