FAQ: RoboBlockly

For questions about connecting and running hardware Linkbots using RoboBlockly, please see the "FAQ: Linkbot Labs and Linkbots" page and/or the "FAQ: Linkbot Troubleshooting" page. Connecting and running an Arduino board is covered on the "FAQ: Arduino and Robot Sensors" page.

How do I change the default download location when saving Blocks/Board/Grid or Ch programs in RoboBlockly?

In Google Chrome, click "Preferences" under the "Chrome" menu, or click the "three vertical dots" menu at the top right of the window and choose "Settings" in the menu. A "Settings" window should open. Click the "Advanced" option and then choose "Downloads" from the submenu. It will allow you to change the location for downloaded files. In Internet Explorer, when you download a file it lets you select whether you want to download to your default download location or to a new location. Please note that Internet Explorer cannot save the Grid. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more ... > Settings. Under Downloads, select Change. In the dialog box, select a new location for your downloaded files. In Safari, under the "Edit Menu" click Preferences and then the General tab. Locate the "Save downloaded files to" section, click on "Downloads" > "Other"..., and then browse and indicate your new download location.

What is the size of the background image (for the grid) that can be uploaded?

The size of the grid is 360 px by 360 px. The image that is drawn on the background can be any size, but if it is too small, the image will be stretched, and if it is too large, the image will be reduced.

Why does the grid on the background image not match the grid displayed in the uploaded blocks?

The grid in the background image may not match the grid in the uploaded blocks. For example, the background image may display the grid at 24×24 inches while the XML file that is loaded to display code blocks in the Workspace has the 36×36 inches option set.

How can I help translate RoboBlockly in other languages?

Please contact us.

I created multiple groups for students in my class in Class Management. After I assign homework for different groups, why cannot a student see a homework assignment?

Check that you assigned this student to a group and that you assigned homework to All Students.

What can I do if RoboBlockly is running slowly?

Turning on the sound on your computer may help. Also, having a lot of browser tabs open can slow things down.

The grid image (e.g., a RoboPlay Challenge Mat with the 96x96 grid) isn't being displayed properly. How can I fix this?

Clearing the browser's cache (where it stores copies of images, among other things, in order to enable faster loading of web pages) can help. For Chrome, see the instructions here. Instructions for a variety of browsers are covered here.

I can't seem to see all the code blocks in the menus. How can I get the missing ones back?

RoboBlockly has several settings to reduce the number of options and features displayed, in order to minimize distractions. For example, there is a "Simple View" checkbox below the grid area: When the Simple View box is checked, only the most-used block menus, and most-used code blocks within those menus, are displayed. To see all the menus and code blocks, simply uncheck the Simple View box. In addition, some lessons and activities are set up to display only the code blocks that are needed for that lesson/activity. For example, an activity that only needs driveDistance and turn blocks might look like this: If you click the button for the menu that is displayed ("Robot 1" in this example), then it toggles on the full display of the menu's code blocks: Clicking the menu button again will toggle it back to the minimal display. Finally, there is a "Min View" checkbox just above the grid on the right. Selecting it will result in a very minimal display, used for activites with young students:

How can I use RoboBlockly with an LMS, such as Canvas, Brightspace, Schoology, etc.?

1. Creating and Posting an Enrollment Link for Students to Enroll in a RoboBlockly Class The easiest way for students to enroll in a teacher's RoboBlockly class is for the teacher to generate an enrollment link that students can click on and be automatically enrolled in the class. Information on generating this link is in the "Add and Manage Students" chapter of the RoboBlockly Instructor's Guide. The following gives a brief outline of the process: After signing in to RoboBlockly, the teacher clicks on the "My Classes" button at top right to take them to their My Classes page (sample shown below): Click on the Class Name in the My Classes as Instructor section ("Math with Robotics" in this example) to bring up the Manage Sections page for the class: Click on the "Students" link for the appropriate period (Period 1 or Period 4, in this example) to bring up the Manage Students page: Click on the "Add Students" button to get a pop-up window that has several options for adding students to the class: Click the "Create a Message with a URL..." button to generate a URL that students may use to enroll in the class. The URL will be displayed with a sample email message that can be used: Instead of or in addition to using an email message, the teacher can also post the enrollment link on their class page in their LMS and direct students to click on it. Another option is to turn the enrollment link into a QR code (using any one of various apps that do that, such as qrcodemonkey), and then post the QR code in the LMS or display it on a classroom TV or large screen. Students can then use a tablet (or phone) camera to scan the QR code and be enrolled. IMPORTANT: Students should only use the enrollment link ONE time. Once all students are in the class, the teacher should delete the link from their LMS page. (The link is good for 7 days after being generated. But the teacher can always generate a new link if necessary.) After enrolling in the class, students sign in to RoboBlockly either through RoboBlockly's sign-in page or via a single-sign-on app that a school or district uses, such as ClassLink. 2. Posting RoboBlockly Assignments in an LMS There are two basic methods to post a RoboBlockly assignment within an LMS: Method #1: After creating a RoboBlockly assignment with one or more activities, the teacher can copy the student URL for one of the activities within the assignment and then add the link to their LMS page for students to click on. To copy the student URL for an assigned activity, the teacher must first activate the Student View option for by clicking the green "Add Myself" button on the class's Manage Students page (details on accessing this page are given in #1 above): Once the teacher has added themselves to the class as a student, they will see the class listed on their My Classes page in the My Classes as a Student section: Clicking on the blue Assignments link on the right side will bring up the student's view of the class assignments (the green assigment is open, and the gray assignment is still accessible but closed for submissions): The green (open) assignment has two problems listed, with links to each problem (Fly Across the Country, and Walk the Dogs). Copy the link for the problem to be posted elsewhere (right-click on it and choose the "copy link" option in the pop-up menu, or click on the link to open the problem and then copy the link in the address bar). Then post the link on the class LMS page or create a QR code and use it as described in #1 above. VERY IMPORTANT: To do this, you must use the link to the problem on the Student View version of the Assignments page, because it has a special code that identifies it as an assigned problem for that particular class. When the student uses this link to open the problem, it will include the "Submit Homework" option. If you copy the link to the same problem that is listed on the teacher's version of the Assignments page, or on a RoboBlockly curriculum page, the link will not have the special code. These types of links will open the problem in question, but it will not have the option for students to submit it as homework. *************** Method #2 to add RoboBlockly assignment to LMS: If the LMS allows it, the teacher can create an iFrame and embed the student view of the page for the assigned RoboBlockly activity into an LMS assignment page. NOTE re. "Not Authorized" message: If a student tries to access a RoboBlockly activity via a link posted in an LMS or elsewhere (or as a QR code), but the student has not yet signed in to RoboBlockly, they will see a "this activity is for authorized users only" type of message. If they then click on the "Sign In" button at top right and go through the RoboBlockly sign-in process (using their school account's Google, Microsoft, or Clever sign-in), the activity will be displayed for them.