Planning for instruction: CS21A

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What do you expect students to learn?

In CS21A, I expect students to learn how to write graphical Java
applets and applications that use conditionals, control structures,
and collections to solve problems. I also expect them to learn how to
learn new functions and ideas from documentation, and develop the
habit of object-oriented design and decomposition. They should also
master tracing and debugging programs.

How will you correlate what you expect students to learn with assignments and evaluations of their work?

To measure their ability to learn independently by referring to
documentation and experimenting with programs, I will give open-ended
laboratory exercises and credit for things learned outside class.
I will also give research-style assignments.

To measure their ability to read and trace through code, I will have
drills and other exercises.

To measure their ability to debug, I will give them programming
exercises where they have to test and debug source code.

To develop their ability to design objects, I will present them with
situations and ask them to identify the objects, methods and
attributes in an assignment that spans several sessions.

What knowledge and skills are prerequisite to success in your course?

Students must know how to move and copy files on the computer in order
to submit their projects. Arithmetic is also required.

How will you know whether students are learning throughout the course?

Self-evaluations, laboratory work, quizzes.

How will you vary your instruction?

Most of my instruction will be in the form of written supplements and
laboratory activities. I will also demonstrate code in class.

How will your syllabus show students the focus of your course and how all assignments are connected to that focus?

The topic outline will be central to the course webpage. Assignments
will highlight which topics they are relevant to, and assignments will
also be cross-referenced with the topics so that students who want to
practice a particular topic can choose among the available exercises.

How many students should you expect?

I expect 20 students in my CS classes and 30 students in my MIS classes.

Is this course for majors and/or minors, or does it attract students from other departments?

Almost all CS students approach this as a relevant major course. MIS
students might not see the relevance of the course to their future
work. I occasionally get non-majors.

How much work can you reasonably assign for each class?

I can assign short homework (~ 15, 30 minutes to complete) for the
lecture days. Most lab work should be done in class. Students are
expected to devote outside time to work on their projects.
Realistically speaking, I should expect no more than 4 hours a week,
preferably set up as two long blocks.

How many of my students will never have written a college-level paper?

Most of my students will need some correction.

How will you budget your time?

I would like to prepare courseware for this. I expect to devote an
average of 2 hours preparing for each class session.


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