CCE Theses and Dissertations

Karel The Robot: A Gentle Introduction To The Art Of Programming For The Apple IIE

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Dennis Murphy

Committee Member

Anna Vacca

Committee Member

Bill Skillcorn


'Karel the Robot' is a pre-pascal programming tool specifically designed to introduce students to the structure and form of programming. The original version was written by Richard Pattis for the UNIX operating system, and is now available for the IBM and Macintosh. Because of the high number of Apple lie computers in use in schools, the author has written a version of 'Karel the Robot' for this machine. The program was used to teach 60 high school computer students the Karel language. The IBM version was then used to teach the same lessons to 49 additional students. The students were given a teacher-made test to evaluate their knowledge of Karel principles and were asked to respond to a questionnaire. The results of the two group's tests were compared using a z-test. The z-test result of -1.72 at a .05 level of significance indicated that there was no difference in the two groups. The test was also checked for internal consistency using the split-half method and the SpearmanBrown formula. The Spearman-Brown results of 0.833 indicated a high degree of consistency within the test. Other comparisons were made by sex, grade level, and computer experience and math enrollment.

The only significant difference in the test results occurred with math enrollment. The statistical results confirmed that in this case the two computer programs were equally reliable in teaching the Karel language. The Apple version of 'Karel the Robot' is available free of charge from the author or from the Alabama Council for Technology in Education.

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