Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners (Repeat Q3/2017)

This free open online course is aimed at teachers and parents of pre-teens to help you encourage children to get involved in programming and coding from an early age. You don’t need to know anything about coding to take part! This course will introduce you to Scratch, a free coding system by MIT. You’ll learn how to use the system and how to teach children how to use it and put their imagination and creativity to work.

This course was retired in October 2022.

Self-paced since October 25, 2017
Language: English

Course information

image for retired course
This course was retired in October 2022.

Course Summary

This course in French/Ce cours en français

Are you a teacher of young learners? Are you involved in young people’s extra-curricular activities? Then this course could be for you. Whatever subjects you normally teach, you and your learners are surrounded by modern digital technology. Much of the technological change has been driven by young people, and their creativity has never been more influential. Facebook, Google, and Youtube were started by people in their teens and twenties. Many jobs of the future will be in information technology, underpinning so many other sectors such as agriculture, tourism, telecommunications, and financial services.

This course will help you to encourage today’s young digital consumers to become tomorrow’s digital creators. It is based around Scratch, a popular system adopted by millions of young learners worldwide as it fosters youthful curiosity, promotes creativity, and provides a basis for lifelong programming learning. You’ll be truly amazed at how fast your learners get up to speed with coding skills! And if you’ve never written a line of code in your life, don’t worry. This course will get you started one step at a time!

This course is offered as part of various Code Week and digital literacy programs designed to bring programming skills to young people across the globe. It will help you take your first steps towards mastering a simple and fun programming language!

We are pleased to offer this course also as part of the following initiatives:

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Course Characteristics

  • Starting from: September 26, 2017 09:00 UTC, open until October 25, 2017, 09:00 UTC (What does this mean?)
  • After the course closes, content is available in self-study mode.
  • Total learning effort: 4-6 hours
  • Optional self-tests, exercises, and final assignment. You can take the final assignment at any time. The results and records of achievement will be available shortly after the course ends.
  • Discussion forum for you to share your experiences with other learners and get the help of experts
  • Course language: English
  • How is an openSAP course structured?

Course Content

  • Unit 1: Introducing Scratch and the Art of Coding
  • Unit 2: Creating an Interactive Digital Environment
  • Unit 3: Coding Geometric Shapes and Freehand
  • Unit 4: Planning and Designing Games

Target Audience

  • Teachers of 8-11 year olds
  • Parents of 8-11 year olds
  • Anyone interested in bringing new skills to young people

Course Requirements

  • There are no formal requirement for this course.
  • You do not need any previous programming experience!
  • You only need access to the internet. You can download the course content and the system.
  • All content and system access is completely free-of-charge.

About the Instructor

Brendan Smith

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Brendan Smith is an Education and Outreach Officer at National University of Ireland, Galway and at the Galway Education Centre. His mission is to empower people with the potential of technology and science.

He has won many awards for his contributions to education and social engagement in Ireland. He has a passion for travel, culture, justice, and the environment.

Previous Versions of This Course

Previous versions of this course are available here:
Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners, June 2 through June 30, 2015
Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners, October 1 through November 2, 2015
Africa Code Week: Teaching Programming to Young Learners, September 15 through November 9, 2016

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The course is free. Just register for an account on openSAP and take the course!
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Course End
Oct 25, 2017
Course Start
Sep 26, 2017


This course was rated with 4.63 stars in average from 139 votes.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.