[IAEP] New activity: Arithmetic.

Chris Ball cjb at laptop.org
Mon Aug 10 20:57:54 EDT 2009


Over the last few Sunday afternoons, Ben Schwartz, Michael Stone and I
have been hacking on a new activity.  It's a collaborative arithmetic
quiz, and extensively uses Ben's "groupthink" collaboration module.
Here's a link to a bundle:


The game tries to show all the participants the same questions at the
same time, gives an ongoing scoreboard of how many questions each
participant has answered correctly, and measures the amount of time it
takes everyone to answer each question.  It also lets the group choose
which of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division their game
should use, and how hard the questions should be.

We think it's pretty fun already, but it still needs plenty of work,
and we'd love to have help with it.  Some obvious next steps are:

* Artwork!  We haven't spent any time making it pretty.  If someone
  wants to go ahead and rip everything apart and put it back together
  in a way that actually looks attractive, that would be awesome.
* Looks like I messed up the logo in Inkscape, and it doesn't have
  the correct stroke_color references.
* It crashes when resumed, as opposed to launched with "Start".
  Haven't looked into that yet.
* Gettextification and translations.
* An algorithm for scoring that depends on how quickly an answer is
  given.  (One idea could be that you get 9 points if you answer with
  9 seconds left, down to 1 point for answering with 1 second left.)
* A natural end to each "round", perhaps involving giving out "medals"
  (just as Typing Turtle does) for achievement to the participants.
* There may still be cases where it shows entirely different questions
  to the participants, instead of everyone seeing the same ones, and
  we'd like to know about that so we can fix it.

If anyone's in a position to get feedback from kids on whether playing
this collaboratively is fun, and what might make it more fun, that'd
be really good to hear.  We'd welcome everyone's changes to the
activity; we can always back out a change if it needs to be discussed
more, so don't be shy about pushing changes to a branch or asking for
direct commit access.  (If there's some way to allow anyone with an SL
gitorious account to commit directly, that would be an ideal setup.)

The GIT tree contains groupthink referenced as a submodule, so to
check it out:

git clone git://git.sugarlabs.org/arithmetic/mainline.git Arithmetic.activity
cd Arithmetic.activity
git submodule init
git submodule update


- Chris.
Chris Ball   <cjb at laptop.org>

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