Solutions

RainbowIDE

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Thematic color for code

Helping dyslexics and visual learners see code structure and not get lost in the details by thematically coloring code, minimizing common elements and bringing out what makes this particular piece of code unique.

pdf
Team
RainbowIDE
Contact details
minna.kivihalme@aalto.fi

Help us find tools for making ICT education accessible for adult learners

What can be done to improve the accessibility of ICT education? How can we increase the attractiveness of the ICT studies amongst all people despite of their age, gender or cultural background? What could be the solution that helps to increase the diversity in the ICT sector?

Read more about Help us find tools for making ICT education accessible for adult learners

Solution description

By coloring key parts of code in themes, it is easier for visual learners and dyslexics to not get lost in the text and to see the big picture (the code architecture, which really matters) instead.

Solution context

Code is text-dense and hard for certain groups to parse.

Solution target group

Dyslexics, visual learners, people who lack a freakish knack for manipulating abstract monochrome symbols

Solution impact

This solution would bring in groups that are normally hesitant, overwhelmed by code as a wall of text, and therefore feel like it isn't for them.

The impact could be measured by testing how many self-identified visual learners and dyslexics no longer drop off the pipeline of code learning.

Solution tweet text

Thematic color hi lighting is the new syntax hilighting. Don't just read code, understand it. Follow the big picture instead of getting lost in the weeds. And yes, this is for you too, art school dropout.

Solution innovativeness

Syntax hilighting exists. Thematic hilighting currently does not. The closest thing to it is VSCode's ability to hilight a single function throughout the code at a time.

Solution transferability

Thematic hilighting can also be used with regular text to keep certain details straight or help dyslexic kids not fear the words coming up in a long document (by coloring easy words green, for example. This code-based prototype was built on a text-based tool that I also developed that does this. (www.rainbowedit.com)

Solution sustainability

A proof-of-concept prototype exists. The next step is to make a version 1.0 with core functionality, custom built for this purpose, not built on something designed for another purpose. In the mid term, this is a code analysis tool for advanced beginners. Long term it could also become an IDE for advanced beginners.

Solution team work

well and yes

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