Helping students understand a new codebase can be challenging and time consuming. Creating descriptive enough instructions can be cumbersome and still not easy enough for students to follow. CodeTour can help you introduce your students to your assignments and projects in a streamlined and interactive way.

What is CodeTour?

CodeTour is a Visual Studio Code extension that allows you to create a step-by-step guide through your codebases. This can be helpful in your classroom to break up your assignments into steps for students to follow or to get them familiar with all parts of the assignment by pointing them to relevant pieces within the assignment.

In the short video below, an instructor is removing existing instructions embedded in the source code and replacing them with CodeTour steps so students can jump from step to step in the large game development project: CodeTour in a sample assignment

Essentially, a "code tour" is simply a series of interactive steps, each of which are associated with a specific directory, or file/line, and include a description of the respective code. Tours can either be checked into a repo to share with source control, or exported to a "tour file", which allows anyone to replay the same tour, without having to clone any code!

Case study

We've used CodeTour in the Microsoft partnered Space Jam lessons: Use basketball stats to optimize game play with Visual Studio Code, inspired by SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY

Microsoft partners Space Jam coding lessons

CodeTour helps guide the self-paced learners through module 2, where they are creating a web app that uses basketball stats to make decisions on the basketball court.

Here is a short clip of a student using CodeTour to start working on their basketball web app: CodeTour in a Space Jam lesson

Getting started with CodeTour

To start using CodeTour, you'll need to download the CodeTour extension from the VS Code Marketplace.

CodeTour extension in Extension Marketplace

To use CodeTour effectively in your classroom, we recommend following the guidelines on the CodeTour repository.