Welcome to Exploring Computer Science


Welcome to Exploring Computer Science.  I am so excited to have you in my class!  This is a challenging and engaging course designed to help you better understand computers.  We will be covering three different topics in this course:

  • Human and Computer Interaction
  • Problem Solving and Algorithms
  • Computer Programming

We will also cover internet safety throughout the course as well. 

This course will be very interactive.  Most lessons require you to think and reflect on ideas or problems often before I take you through all the concepts.  While this may feel uncomfortable at first, I hope it helps you learn to take risks and think through situations logically. Whenever I do ask you to think or reflect on a concept that has not been taught, answers will be graded on participation and effort.  I will always follow up with a thorough explanation of the topic and the opportunity for you to reflect and revise your answer.  

I am excited to work with you and help you learn about computers!


Throughout the course you will be creating and updating an online portfolio for this course.  This portfolio will include some of your important assignments and give you an opportunity to reflect on each of the units.  It will also give you a place to refer back to projects that may be useful in future courses or in life.  Make sure you pay attention to instructions in each assignment to see which assignments need to be added to your portfolio.

Office Hours

Each day I will have 4 office hours dedicated to helping my students.  My office hours will be listed on the side of my course at the beginning of each week.  Please come to me during those office hours when you need help!  All I ask is that you first look through all of the resources that I have given you so that we can use both of our time as effectively as possible.  If you need help outside of my office hours, please feel free to email me and I will try to respond as soon as I am able.

Please note that whenever I am at my computer, my gchat status will have a little green light. If you chat with me during my office hours, it will be like you raising your hand and I will immediately answer.  If it takes me a second to respond during my office hours, it will be because I am helping another student and I will respond as soon as I am able.  If I am green lighted and it is outside of my office hours, however, I may be in meetings or working on other work that is time sensitive and needs to get done.  If I am available I will be happy to help you during that time.  If I am busy with other work, however, please know that I will respond when I am able.

Due Dates

All assignments and tasks will be opened the first day of the school week and will be due the following Friday at 6pm.  This way, you can make sure to have all of your work completed prior to the weekend and can actually enjoy your weekend!!  I do understand, however, that some of you have very busy schedules.  Because of this, I will make sure to open up each week one week early.  That way if you still prefer to work over the weekend you are more than welcome to.  You will just be working one week ahead instead of working behind.  This will make sure you have plenty of time to ask for help if you are struggling and attempt your assignment a second time if needed.

Paying attention to due dates will also help you determine which activities have points attached to them.  Any item that has a due date will have points attached to it! Regardless of what the item is called, if it has a due date you are expected to submit it and will earn a grade for it.

Grading Scale

93%-100% A
90%-93% A-
87%-90% B+
83%-87% B
80%-83% B-
77%-80% C+
73%-77% C
70%-73% C-
67%-70% D+
63%-67% D
60%-63% D-
0%-60% F

Extensions/Make-up Work

Sometimes life happens and you fall behind.  For this reason, I will allow up to 6 extensions per quarter without any penalty that can be used on any graded item.  This could all be in one week or spread throughout the quarter.  In addition, these extensions can be used either to make up missed assignments or continue working on a second attempt on assignments to improve your score.  The remainder of the late work policy will be used in keeping with our school mission statement:

"Our mission is to use innovative technology, service learning, student-centered instruction and personal responsibility to empower students to succeed."

Personal responsibility is an important part of this mission statement and something that I feel very strongly about.  For this reason, a late work penalty of 60% will be applied to any late work beyond the first 6 graded items.

In addition to this, there is one other rule:  When completing late assignments during the last two weeks of the quarter, students will only be allowed to do enough late work to raise their grade by a half a letter grade (Examples:  F to a D-, A- to an A).  I do not want to encourage waiting until the end of the quarter to get started on the class -- so hopefully this rule encourages you to begin making up missed work as early as possible rather than waiting until the end. 

Important Note: Any extension requests need to be received prior to the end of my final office hour for the week in order to have things opened up for a weekend/break.  If you do not email me your request before that time, please begin working on the next week so you can make sure you have time to complete make up work after the weekend.

Last modified: Thursday, 1 December 2016, 2:03 PM