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Visual programming

Visual Programming

What is it?

Programming is the process that makes it possible to create computer software, applications and websites. Currently, computers are unable to think for themselves; they require users to give them sets of ordered instructions to know what to do. This is referred to as 'code'. Most of the resources you use on the computer and internet are made with code. Programming is a core element of the Digital Technologies curriculum because it helps students develop essential skills such as problem-solving, logic and critical thinking.

Visual programming, also known as block-based programming, is the coding language prescribed in the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies for primary schools. This type of language allows users to create programs by manipulating elements graphically rather than writing them in text format.

Australian Curriculum definition

Visual programming

A programming language or environment where a program is represented and manipulated graphically rather than as text. A common visual metaphor represents statements and control structures as graphic blocks that can be composed to form programs, allowing programming without having to deal with textual syntax. Examples of visual programming languages include: Alice, GameMaker, Kodu, Lego Mindstorms, MIT App Inventor, Scratch (Build Your Own Blocks and Snap).

Note: A visual programming language should not be confused with programming languages for creating visualisations or programs with user interfaces, for example, Processing or Visual Basic.

Source: Australian Curriculum: Technologies glossary


Learn more about it


How to teach it



For the classroom

Curriculum links

Level F - 2:

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Level 3 - 4:

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Level 5 - 6:

Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)

Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching, iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)