Assignments for Introduction To Computer Science:
In a typical Distance Computer Science course, you will have approximately 70 assignments
to turn in. Often, you will turn each of these assignments in multiple times, in a
system we refer to
The types of assignments include the following:
True/False Reading Questions will help you read the text more carefully than
you would normally.
Multimedia Help Movies (and T/F Quizzes)
A lot of computer science is learned by watching someone do something (maybe multiple times),
and then trying it yourself. To help you focus on these multimedia help movies, we have
some True/False questions that go along with each one.
Various problems where you will be building an HTML and/or PHP webpages, and then turning
these in electronically for instructor and/or teaching assistant review.
Some on-line quizzes to help you focus on key concepts we are covering.
Final Term Project
This project will be on a topic that you choose. A hobby, an academic interest, something
from your major - all are possibilities. In consultation with the instructor, you will choose
this topic, and create a series of webpages - a website - for this topic, that includes
programming functionality from PHP and HTML.
When ready or when stuck, the student "hands-in" the URL/file they are working on to the instruction team
using a webform. The instruction teams looks at, grades, and comments the URL/file,
usually asking more questions of the student, seeking the student to achieve the desired
expertise of the module.
The "hand-in" and "get-back" of these notebooks can happen 2, 3, 4, 6, 9,... times for
a single URL/file. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until the student has 100% understanding
of the objectives of the module.
About 50% of the communication between student and instructional team happens via these
URLs/files. The other 50% of the communications happen via
Instant Messenger/Chat in real-time.
"Hey, Professor, I have a question on Lab #2, Question 3."
"Sure, hand it in so I can see it, and we'll chat about it here."
"I'm having troubles with problem (c). I keep getting a PHP error. "
"Look on line #57. You need a ';' on the end of that line."
"Ah. Got it. Now I'm getting another PHP error."
"See if you can find the new problem. Looks like it is near Line 80."
"Cool. Hold on."
This example conversation could be happening at 10AM in the morning - 10AM for whom? the student may
be in France, and the instructor in Boston. The exact time is up to "when the student and
instructor connect." It might be over a Saturday afternoon, it might be on a Tuesday evening.
If the connection does not happen on Chat on a particular day, then the communication happens
during the "back-and-forth" of the notebook exchange. This is not in "real-time", but it is
After each module, the student will take a Quiz.
This Quiz is made available when both the
instructor and the student feel that the student has mastered the content in the module.
In almost all cases, the Quiz is "aced" because the Quiz is not taken unless the instructor
is satisfied as to the student's understanding. So Quizzes are usually "happy experiences!"
At the end of the course, when all of the assigned modules have been completed,
the student is given a Final Exam.
The Final Exam
is taken at the student's location, under supervision by an Exam Mentor that
is jointly identified by the student and approved by the instructor. Usually the Exam Mentor
is someone at the student's company or at the student's home institution, who agrees to
proctor the Final Exam to the student.
Although this Final Exam might sound scary, it really is not. The Final Exam is only
administered when the instructor is confident and satisfied with the student's completion
of the course materials. As is the case with the Quizzes, the Final Exam is usually a
"happy experience" as well.