Learn Programming with XNA: Curriculum Available Now

Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

Learn Programming with XNA: Curriculum Available Now

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I get asked about curriculum available for XNA on a pretty regular basis. I’ve been linking to a lot of stuff that is available in parts and pieces and even more complete things like Brian Scarbeau’s great XNA educational resource page. And Kelvin Sung’s Game-Themed Introductory Programming Project.  Microsoft just added another piece at the puzzle with a curriculum titled Learn Programming with XNA.

Overview

"Getting Started Making Games with C# and XNA Game Studio" is a programming course for senior high school or undergraduate students with no prior programming experience. It is intended to engage students with the craft of programming by the creation of gameplay using the XNA game framework.

Whilst the students will learn how to create games, the course should really be regarded as one which teaches programming. All of the issues that are explored are also applicable in the wider scheme of software development.

Presentations are provided as part of the learning materials. The presentations are grouped into a number of topic based parts with a practical session to underpin the taught content. Each presentation is interspersed with demonstrations and annotated with speaker notes, as well as content review sessions.

The material is intended to foster a dialogue between the presenter and the audience; in some places the presenter is given some discussion points to further this. There are also some "interactive development" sections where presenter and audience use what they have been taught so far to solve a particular problem. These attempts (and their occasional failure) lead to more detailed exposition of the material and hopefully remind those present that having things not work is actually part of the software development experience.

The whole package includes demos, labs/projects, PowerPoint presentations and teacher notes. Lots of stuff in there. If you are thinking about a game development course take a look.

And there are more curriculum resources available on a variety of CS  topics at the Pre-Collegiate Faculty Connection site including a dynamite standards-based Web Design curriculum. Take a look around.

  • Thanks for the information. Could you provide a direct link to the 'Learn Programming with XNA' curriculum as I have not been able to successfully search for it on the Pre-Collegiate Faculty Connection site.

  • I found the curriculum package, but is there anyway to get this curriculum package without being a registered teacher/professor?

  • I did add some direct links - I really thought I'd done that but clearly messed up. I am looking into the policy around making this available for non-registered educators. One of the issues we always have with things like this is keeping the "answer sheets" and solutions away from snooping students. :-)

  • Actually you don't need to register. You can click past the registration dialogue and get to the download (or at least I did).

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