Using Pseudocode with Your Students

Pseudocode is a step between the blocks or commands in VEXcode and regular language. Oftentimes, students can "guess and check" their way to finding a solution. This, however, does not result in them building a conceptual understanding of the coding concepts.

Pseudocode can be used to help students create a conceptual understanding of Computer Science and of their code. Students use pseudocode to communicate the behaviors they want their robot to perform during a project to compete a task.

This article will cover:

  • Steps to Pseudocode

Steps to Pseudocode

These steps go through what the students and teacher should do so students can build a list of behaviors that make up the task and understand how it relates to the desired robot behaviors before they begin to code. 

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1. Break the task down into the smallest possible behaviors.

This can be done by sketching out the task or by making notes about the steps.

Engineering Notebook

VEXcode IQ Blocks

VEXcode IQ Python

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2. Label the behaviors. This can be done in an engineering notebook or by using comments in VEXcode IQ.

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3. Have students share their pseudocode with the teacher. This is when they can have a conversation with the students about the expectation of the robot and the task the robot is actually supposed to perform.

If the student's pseudocode matches the expectations, they can begin their coding. If pseudocode does not match the expectations and the task, then encourage students to go back to step one and break the task down into even smaller behaviors and go through the process again.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus