Computer Science 115L: Introduction to Computing
Madalene Spezialetti, Trinity College, Fall 2012/Spring 2013
CPSC 115 Introduction to Computing is an introductory level course. It is the first programming course required for majors and it is also taken by non-majors for a wide variety of purposes. Students take Introduction to Computing for a wide variety of curricular and personal reasons, however, most students fall into one of the following categories: 1) Students who are exploring the possibility of pursuing one of the Computer Science degrees, 2) Students who know that they want to major in Computer Science, 3) Students who are taking the course to fulfill a requirement for another major (Engineering, Neuroscience, Economics etc.), 4) Students who are taking the course to fulfill the Models and Data Minor (a college interdisciplinary minor), and 5) Students who are simply interested in learning to program.
Blended learning will be used in two ways in this course. First, CodeLab, an online programming exercise system will be used. Second, a number of instructor-created videos that introduce programming topics will be utilized. Goals of using CodeLab: CodeLab will provide students with a structured approach to exploring their comprehension of fundamental programming concepts in an environment that provides feedback to the students. Goals for Instructor-Created Videos are to: 1) provide students with an initial exposure to concepts before they are covered in class, allowing more class time to be devoted to a wider range of activities which reinforce the material 2) provide students who have no previous programming experience with an tool to ease their transition into the class. It is anticipated that providing students with online tools to strengthen and enhance their comprehension of programming-related course material will create free time within the classroom and laboratory sessions for a broader range of topic coverage and a broader variety of teaching and learning activities.
Electrical and Computer Engineering 118: Computer and Logic Design
Cherrice Traver, Union College, Spring 2013
This is a sophomore level course required for Electrical and Computer Engineering students. Bioengineering students also enroll in the course for their technical elective requirement. At the completion of this course, students should be able to: a) determine the behavior of a digital logic circuit, b) translate descriptions of logical problems to efficient digital logic circuits, c) write assembly level programs to perform computational and input-output functions, given a computer organization and instruction set in the form of a microprocessor, and d) present a well-organized laboratory report.
Professor Traver has developed supporting tutorials/quizzes to supplement the textbook assignments for the conceptual computer design portion of the course. In addition, Moodle, and the digital logic concept inventory developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be used.
CMSC117: Introduction to Computing: Interactive Systems
Keith O’Hara, Bard College
This course introduces students to computing through the construction of interactive computing systems, exploring the interface between the physical and virtual worlds. Students will explore creative computation through programming projects involving 2D and 3D graphics, animation, interactivity, and the visualization of data. No prior knowledge of computer programming is required.
Computer Science 209: Graphics and Virtual Environments
Bridget Baird, Connecticut College, Fall 2012
This course is a mid-level, elective course with a large lab component. It is often chosen as an elective by computer science majors and minors and also by students interested in our certificate program in arts and technology. Learning goals included both a theoretical understanding of the principles in graphics and in virtual environments, and a practical application of how those ideas play out. Professor Baird hopes technology would increase individual learning so students could cover the basics more at their own speed while having the freedom to explore more. He will introduce necessary technological resources for students who take the course.
CMSC325: Computational Linguistics
Deepak Kumar, Bryn Mawr College
This is an advanced computer science course, which is cross-listed in the philosophy and linguistics programs. Few existing open-source educational materials are relevant to this topic, and Deepak has noticed that what is available tends to involve lengthy, video-captured lectures which wouldn’t be particularly useful or appealing for his students. Deepak is experimenting two different formats for the computer-based elements of a blended course: he is replacing a few of his lectures with online tutorials and recording short (5-10 minute) tutorial videos in which he walks students through the solutions to homework problems. He wants to see whether his students like these more targeted videos, and whether it improves student understanding and class discussion to have students watch the videos (and pause or replay as needed) and bring their questions and observations to the next class, rather than using class time to go through the demonstrations as he has in the past.