How does pair programming on Code.org work?

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Pair programming allows students to work together on programming activities, side-by-side at the same computer. Students can choose teammates from a list of other students in their section when they are ready to pair, and then teachers can track both team progress and individual student progress. 

How do I turn pair programming on or off for my students?

You can turn on pair programming for a section of yours via a setting in the Edit Section Details dialog. To find this setting, do the following:

  1. Visit your Classroom Section list on your homepage (studio.code.org/home)
  2. Click the gear icon to the far right of the section you want to turn on pair programming for
  3. Choose 'Edit Section Details'
  4. On the next screen, you'll see an on/off option for pair programming

All sections (regardless of its assigned course) by default support pair programming - either word/picture-based, or email-based, but you can turn this off when you set up the section or by visiting the Edit Section Details dialog later on.

How do students get paired up with other students?

Students will choose their partners at the beginning of each login section. Students can choose to pair with up to 4 other students in their section.

This pairing process works differently based on the login type that you chose for your section. 

Secret Word and Picture Password Sections

For secret word- or picture password-based sections, students will see a checkbox option upon first visiting their section's join page (studio.code.org/sections/ABCDEF for example).

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If they check the partner option and hit 'sign in,' they will be given the option to choose a partner.

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Personal Email, Google Classroom, and Clever sections

For these section types, students can select a partner once they're signed in by clicking their name in the top-right corner of the page and then selecting 'Pair programming' from the menu that appears:

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How can I tell which students are pair programming?

For students

On the student's page, their name will be replaced by 'Team' in the upper, right-hand corner when they are paired. 

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Clicking the menu will show them who they are pairing with.

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Partnered students can also view the solution made by the logged in student in their own account by visiting the level they worked on together. Partners will see a yellow box showing an option for viewing the solution they made as a team.

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For teachers

Progress tab: When you view your students' progress in the Progress Tab of the teacher dashboard (learn more), you will see a pairing icon if students were paired when they completed a level.

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Looking at student code on an individual level: When you're looking at your students' work on an individual level, you can see which students paired together in the blue teacher panel on the right-hand side of the screen (EX: Bill partnered with Lily).

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Any progress made by the logged in person (as in, green bubbles of progress indicated completed puzzles) will reflect upon the partners' sides as well. 

Can students pair with people outside of their section?

No - students will need to be in the same section for them to select partners for pair programming.

How can students stop pairing? 

Pairing of students is not permanent - Students will be un-paired upon signing out of Code.org every time, and can choose different partners upon signing in again.

If students want to unpair while they are still signed in, they should:

  1. Click the 'team' + pair programming icon in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen and then click 'Pair Programming' in the menu that appears
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  2. Tap 'Stop Pair Programming' in the dialog

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Does pair programming allow my students to do live collaboration with one another while they're on separate machines? 

No - Pair programming on Code.org, in its current state, is designed to be used by students sharing one device and working together on one device. It is primarily designed for use in K-5 courses. We don't support live collaboration between students (and/or between teachers) on one single project or puzzle, but hope to add such support in the future.

 

Paired partners won't be able to see the "driver" student's work until after they finish a given puzzle. If you're a student working on one computer (entering code yourself), and you're paired with a student working on another computer, the paired person won't see your code written in real-time. You'll need to finish the level yourself, and then your paired partner can go back and look to see what code you've written.

If you want two students (or teacher and a student) to be working on one project, and for them to use pair programming, they will need to make sure they are signing into the site at completely separate times (without overlapping), or the person who signs in after the first person will not be able to see the updates made by the first person. 

Where can I learn more about pair programming?

We published a blog post with more background and a brief walkthrough (via pictures and animated .gifs) on pair programming here.

 

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