TTh6:00-7:15: HCC 327
Instructor: Ron Zacharski
gmail & googletalk: ron.zacharski
cell phone: 575.680.4041
cell phone: 757.831.6224
cell phone: 804.994.3123
MW: 10:30-11:30 Trinkle B20 (raz)
TTh: 1-2pm Thinklab (mg, raz)
TTh: 5-6: HCC 327 (kc, mg, raz)
Fri: 10-3 (kc)
Khan Academy Course
What you need to know
I want students to
- avoid suffering
- learn about computer science
- have fun
Spending hours in your room being frustrated because you can’t figure out some programming task is not healthy or productive. Neither is having fears of not doing well. I am committed to these goals and believe the reboot is designed to accomplish them. Here is the short version.
- We will be taking a step backwards, starting with the basics and taking our time to make sure the basic concepts are clear before moving on. There will be no assignment in the class that will be as difficult as 2D!
- No final exam and no final project worth a ginormous amount of points. The points you gain during the class are pretty evenly distributed among the weeks of the course. More details later.
- We are flipping the classroom. This means that you are going to watch short interactive videos outside of class (If you want to watch them at midnight or 8am – it makes no difference to us). These videos are from the Khan programming course developed by Pamela Fox. I have evaluated a number of introduction to computer programming online courses and the Pamela Fox course is simply phenomenal.
- In class, we will walk through additional examples reinforcing what you learned in the videos.
- Most of the time in class will be spent coding. If something isn’t clear or you have a bug, there will be someone available to sit down and help you. It is rare for a section of 110 to have one in-class lab aide. We have two.
- The course is based on mastery learning (explained in class)
- We think feedback is important. We are interested in your concerns, and your suggestions. We think this is a good course but maybe we can make it better.
- In the grand scheme of things this course (and computer science in general) is not very important to your future happiness. Don’t worry.
How does this compare to other 110s? If I want to major in computer science, will this prepare me for 220?
Your previous instructor seemed to have a philosophy of teaching a wide breadth of topics in the intro class. My approach, in all the 110s I teach is to focus on a handful of core programming principles and have students gain some fluency with those. This reboot will cover exactly the same core concepts. We will just practice a little less with them. If we think “we are cramming a 15 week course into 8 weeks” that sounds pretty stressful. We believe that you will quickly see that it is not stressful, but yet will give you a solid foundation if you wish to go on to 220 (the next course in our major).