Gradual Release of Responsibility

A Gradual Release of Responsibility for Success, Independence, and Creativity in Computer Programming

We use backward design to determine the overall learning outcomes in computer programming.


Hatch Studio is structured so that students gradually become experts in programming.

Studio JS provides a scaffold to expertise in user experience, design, general websites, and app development.

Studio P scaffolds toward programming in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Both studios centre around project-based learning and, in both cases, the projects are the basis of problem-based learning. They differ in other ways.

Studio JS has a many-layered scaffold that includes a visual output to help move students from concrete to formal operational (abstract) thought. Another of its notable features is its three different coding levels: Type-What-You-See, Pseudocode, and English & English-by-Component.

Studio P also has multiple layers of scaffolding. It includes Minor Projects that help students learn individual skills. Minor Projects are organized by area of focus to facilitate working on a specific skill set or competency. Major Projects are designed to have students demonstrate the synthesis of multiple core competencies within computer programming.


Studio JS Features

These are included in all 25 of our scaffolded learning levels

  • Help buttons that detail information about a computer language's syntax and vocabulary, Pseudocode, computational logic, and computational thinking 
  • Dynamically ranked Challenges (thought work)—their level of difficulty depends on the frequency with which they are completed
  • Project recommendations to help with even skill development (based on a student's prior work)
  • Skills reports that provide insight into skill and competency development

Hatch Python Features

Excellence in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence starts with project-based learning that provides a gradual release of responsibility.

Beyond the Minor and Major Projects—all of which are labelled Easy, Moderate, or Hard—Studio P scaffolding is realized with: 

  • Four separate independence levels for all minor projects,
  • Major Projects that come with individual requirements and hints for each requirement to make the project easier or harder (students choose),
  • Project recommendations based on a student's prior work; for even skill development,
  • Milestone Achievement Reports in 23 separate categories and 10 different achievement levels; a great guide for both students and teachers, and 
  • Skill reports for insight into skills and competencies.

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