CodeSkulptor is a web-based Python development environment developed by Scott Rixner. Marie Chatfield designed and implemented an initial version of the current user interface. CodeSkulptor3’s documentation was developed by John Greiner, Joe Warren, and Scott Rixner.
We’ve reviewed CodeSkulptor3 for usability, cost, and other classroom-friendly characteristics. CodeSkulptor is a wonderful sketchpad for developing Python, particularly Python games, as there is good flexibility to learn about user input (text, keyboard, and mouse) as well as principles of collision detection, without the need to install any software on the computer.
User Interface & Usability
- Easy to use and learn, with familiar controls (stop, play, save)
- Friendly for beginners, but has enough advanced capabilities to make small games
- saving is a manual process that involves either downloading files, or copying and pasting the URL. If this isn’t done carefully, students may lose work
- Free for all; no paid version
- Works across all browsers, but we’ve found it works best in Chrome.
- Can be used on tablets or desktop computers
- Requires internet access
- Built-in tutorials, sample games, and documentation
- Active community of users and examples of code can be found using google search with CodeSkulptor3
- No features for classroom management, student progress tracking, etc.
Safety & Privacy
- The platform does not collect private data.
Support & Community
- No support; this is built by professors and provided for free to the public
Customizability & Extensibility
- There are no plugins or extensions available.
- Modules include 8 standard modules, 3 graphics modules, and 2 miscellaneous modules, all of which can be included using the import <module> syntax
- CodeSkulptor cannot be used offline, so projects should be saved frequently, and downloaded at the end of class.
- Students can also save URLs and their work will be saved.
Updates & Maintenance
- Bug fixes and updates are automatically applied and don’t require maintenance from users
- Collaborative sessions can be created
- We recommend reading the how-to and testing out the feature before using it in class.
Languages & Frameworks Supported
- Python is the only language
- SimpleGui is the custom graphics environment (similar to tkinter or pygame)
- Can easily handle large classrooms;
- CodeSkulptor is used for Coursera’s Introduction to Python courses, and handles traffic from students around the world.
- CodeSkulptor does not integrate with third-party tools
- A wide variety of real-world projects can be created on CodeSkulptor
- Various modules provide extensibility that can be used to do mathematical operations, work with time, make graphics, interact with the program, and perform linear algebra.
Curious to try CodeSkulptor for your classroom? Visit py3.codeskulptor.com to get started, and let us know what you think!