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Craft the Curriculum Parameter Passing Activity

A kinaesthetic learning activity to explain how parameter passing works

Peter Donaldson

Created by Peter Donaldson
last edited Aug 21 2015 by Peter Donaldson


This activity allows students to gain an understanding of parameters and parameter passing techniques. This is an introductory lesson. The focus of the lesson is to introduce passing parameters; at this stage, topics such as difference between functions and procedures are not considered.

Pupils will be able to understand

  • the difference between a non-modular and a modular program.
  • what a parameter is and how they help us to create modular programs.
  • different types of data flow that a sub-program can have.
  • the difference between passing a parameter by reference and by value.
  • Understand what happens to a local variable when the subprogram it’s created in finishes.

Level: Higher Computing Science

Duration: 1 period

Teaches: Sub-programs/routines, defined by their name and arguments (inputs and outputs) and parameter passing (value and reference) and scope- local and global variables.

Acknowledgements and License

Inspiration for this event came from #CASincludes Hack the Curriculum days.

This idea and associated resources were developed by Morag Shaw- Clydeview Academy in Inverclyde, David Stott- Kirkland High School & Community College in Fife, Colin Chisholm- Morgan Academy in Dundee City and Dr Mark Zarb- Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen City

With final refinements, improvements and formatting by Peter Donaldson- Crieff High School in Perth and Kinross

During a Craft the Curriculum for Higher Computing Science joint event held by PLAN C and Education Scotland

© Crown copyright 2015. You may re-use this information (excluding logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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