An Exploratory Study of the Remixing Practices in the Scratch Programming Community: Trends, Causalities, and Influences

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

One of the greatest achievements of Scratch as an educational tool is the eager willingness of programmers to use existing projects as the starting point for their own projects, a practice known as remixing. Despite the importance of remixing as a foundation of collaborative and communal learning, the practice remains poorly understood. Without a clear picture of how and why Scratch programmers remix a project as a starting point of their own projects, this programming community would remain in the dark about which programming practices encourage and facilitate remixing. The designers of programming environments for blocks lack feedback on how the remixing facility is used in the wild. To gain a deeper insight into remixing, this thesis presents the results of a comprehensive study of this practice in Scratch that investigates the following heretofore unexplored dimensions of remixing: (1) the prevailing modifications that remixes perform on existing projects, (2) the impact of the original project's code quality on the granularity, extent, and development time of the modifications in the remixes, and (3) the propensity of the dominant programming practices in the original project to remain so in the remixes. Our findings can be used to promote those programming practices in the Scratch community that encourage remixing while also improving this practice's effectiveness, thus benefiting the educational and end-user programming communities.

Scratch, block-based programming, remixing, program analysis, code quality, introductory computing education