Example Apps - U4L06



Hey all,

I’ve been reading through this lesson - it requires students to think of something they’ve always wanted to learn then think of things that have gotten in the way of learning this thing - and I’m having trouble predicting what types of responses students might give for this task, which makes it hard to judge what a productive interview might look like. And, since students will use this interview as the basis for their project at the end of Chapter 1, I’d really like to have a better idea of the expected scope of this activity - I don’t want students to head down a path in designing a prototype for an app that ends up being too time-intensive or will end up being too simplistic.

Frankly, most of the examples I can think of for my students don’t seem to be things that can be improved with an app. If a student has never learned how to ride a bike because they don’t own a bike: an app won’t improve that. Or, I can imagine this situation ballooning into students basically being asked to design a learning management app - for example, if a student says they’ve always wanted to learn Spanish but they haven’t because they’ve never taken a class or had the time, then a student could respond to this by basically making an app that teaches Spanish (ie: DuoLingo or something). Is this a reasonable app for students to try and prototype on paper? In my initial thoughts, this seems a little too intense for this whole process - I would imagine students would want to come up with an app that is a little more niche-focused.

For any teachers who taught this last year and students made app prototypes for each other in Lesson 4.7 - can you share some of the apps students came up with, or maybe recall the experience of having students interview each other? Or maybe someone with more insight in this lesson can clarify the type of interview answers they’re expecting from this lesson, and how that interview could lead into an app for lesson 4.7?


Hey @dschneider hopefully some of last year’s piloters will join us on here eventually but check out this thread from last year that includes at least some of their thoughts when they taught this lesson http://forum.code.org/t/pilot-u4l06-identifying-user-needs/5920.


@dschneider I piloted this unit last year and my students took the assignment in a couple different ways and some of them had big ideas for their apps that were probably more in-depth than they really needed to be but I let them think big and others found niche ideas. This lesson is a good opportunity for some additional market research about what How To Apps are available.

Regardless of the app idea, I wanted to make sure the students stayed focused on how a person was going to be using it, making the interactions simple, accessible for anyone to use, and a consistent design throughout. I wanted to make sure they did not to focus on making a complete app. The interviews and the responses did not go as well as I had hoped. My students struggled with the followup questions partially because I do not think they knew how to write a good interview question to get their partner to respond with enough detail. This year I might give them some question starters or brainstorm a list of questions that students can use. In the end, each student had an idea to start with from the interview and I allowed them to keep going back and getting additional feedback if needed.

Some of our other apps were how to throw different pitches in a baseball game, learn to skateboard, a hair makeup design app. One student admitted that he did not know how to match his clothes in the morning so we had a learn how to dress yourself app. If I can think of others or find any of my pictures from last year I will post them.

I hope this helps a little but if you have additional questions let me know. I will try my best to help.


Hey Kevin - thanks for sharing. This is really helpful in imagining situations that might come up in my own classroom. I’m glad you shared your reflective note about students not knowing how to structure interview questions or get good follow-ups - this is sort of what I’ve been anticipating with that lesson based on what I saw in the brainstorming in earlier lessons. And, if the interviews don’t go well, it can impact the next project where they make the paper prototype.

Ultimately I’ve been creating more and more sentence stems in advance of my lessons and it seems to be helping - it helps model for the students what information they’ll need so they know how to answer the question. I can try something like that for the interviews too.


I put together a few resources that my students could use. I wanted them to recognize the value of the paper prototypes and how it is used in the industry as well. The paper prototype project walks the students through a lot of skills at a very rapid pace. Navigation Diagram, Test cases and analyzing user feedback are all active ingredients in real life projects. I wanted my students to get into the process more than just submit sketches to get done with the rubric.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cpmGnraIXLoDk8rfLCq7bUclwNDPEUSX2Qm1auvdD9M/edit?usp=sharing


I have some small classes. Some of the kids are really shy and do not like to talk to each other that much. I have this idea but I am not sure if it will work.

Most of my kids want to interview themselves and answer the questions. I thought about it and believe that if I do not allow this to happen, they will not do the assignment.

I am thinking that I could allow them to interview themselves, but if they get stuck, they could swap papers with another classmate to create the app. This way, another student could build up the app. Hopefully, this works.