Home > compsci, sbar, teaching > Mon 6/13: CS standards, v0.8

Mon 6/13: CS standards, v0.8

Amazingly, this blog actually generated comments off of the first two posts, and I am going to try to satisfy the thirst of its ever-widening audience. (OK, stop laughing — I was being ironical.)

Anyway, two people actually asked to see copies of the standards documents that I created for my computer science courses, so I am happy to oblige. First, a few caveats are in order:

  • This was my first attempt at SBG, and I created these lists on my own without consulting with any pre-existing literature in place. Anything strange you see here is just the product of my deranged mind.
  • In the case of my CO451 course, I actually began SBG halfway through the course, so that document is necessarily incomplete. I hope this summer to revise all these documents, and I will definitely add standards for the first half of that course.
  • Some of the standards are duplicated. This was a necessary evil that came with using ActiveGrade. The program is awesome, but it doesn’t let you call back to standards from a previous marking period in any graceful way. I needed to copy and paste them if I wanted to reuse them in the second half of a semester.

Having said all that, here you go. Just FYI, the courses lay out as follows: CO355 (Introduction to Programming) is a one-semester course offered each semester for students with no experience. It uses Alice at the core. CO451 (Programming in Java) and CO552 (AP Computer Science A) are a paired set of semester courses that covers the AP syllabus in a year.

Categories: compsci, sbar, teaching
  1. June 14, 2011 at 2:54 am

    These look good. One quick observation—it looks like you go well beyond the AP-A curriculum covering Heaps and Queues and stuff. Is that by design? What are your thoughts on the AP curriculum these days? Have you seen the AP-principles stuff?

    Also, I like how you separate out style standards—are you continually reassessing these in each program and counting them with the decaying average? How does that work with students? I’ve been thinking of doing something similar with giving the students a checklist of “problem solving style things” (like writing units on every number, expressing all numbers to proper precision, etc).

    • rwistar
      June 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Good questions. Thank you for being the audience! Here are some answers:

      1) I do cover some topics in my AP course that are not specifically listed on the syllabus. That’s probably a combination of lazy reuse of my AB course materials, and my passive-aggressive protest of the brutal vivisection of the AP curriculum by the College Board.

      2) I don’t reassess *every* standard in *every* assignment. That would make me detest grading even more than I already do. Usually each assignment covers the 2-3 new standards for the unit we are covering, and then I bring in another 1-2 old standards from previous units. Deciding which ones to include was a problem that I mentioned in my last post on SBG. I need to rethink that.

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