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:
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!
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
Here is a short clip of a student using CodeTour to start working on their basketball web app:
Getting started with CodeTour
To start using CodeTour, you'll need to download the CodeTour extension from the VS Code Marketplace.
To use CodeTour effectively in your classroom, we recommend following the guidelines on the CodeTour repository.