A290/A590 Main Menu

General Course Information.


General Course Goals.

I hope to accomplish several things in this course. Since this is the first time I've done it, while I think I have a pretty good idea of what needs to be covered and how, things could change as we progress.

In general, there are two areas I want cover: the conceptual/technical and the practical. In many cases, these are related, but not always. The conceptual amounts to the "why" and the technical amounts to the "how" aspect of any class. We want to learn why things work and how to use them. However, the "how" may be a bit different than you are used to, since there is not necessary a single "how."

The practical is the "hands on" component. This is what you will do primarily in the labs, where we will show you how to do use the software tools to create your apps.


"Technical" Course Goals.

The conceptual goal of this course is somewhat challenging to explain. We want to be sure when we are done there is a clear understanding of how the entire .NET environment functions. This includes the under-lying Windows features, what it takes on the server side, what it takes on the client side, etc.

When you complete this course, you should have a basic understanding of the .NET framework and how to at least begin to use C# to build .NET-based applications.



I know this is often what students want to know first. Here's what I have in mind at this point.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory if you want to pass. If you skip any meetings on a regular basis, thinking you can get by on the outlines or guides posted after class, you will almost certainly fail. I know, it's happened many times in my other courses where I make similar resources available. Attendance will be taken in every meeting in the form of cards dropped off in class (you provide the cards), CAT exercises, or other "hardcopy" work submitted in class. Attendance will be counted separately from your Participation score, but it is CRUCIAL that you understand if you are not in class, it is impossible for you to participate.

EFFECTIVE FALL 2019:The Health Center will no longer issue "notes" simply indicating you went there, so such notes will no longer be accepted for an "excused" medical absence. Offical medical notices clearly indicating a medical absence was required, signed by a physician, will STILL be accepted to excuse an absence. In light of this new policy, each student will have 1 absence to use during the 8-week class period that can be used without explanation or documentation. All other absences will be noted in interpreted as laid out on this page.

Attendance will be worth 5% of your Final Grade. ADDITIONAL NOTE on absences: Please note that, while you can be excused from class with written confirmation due to illness, interviews, or similar major events, that excuse applies only to your attendance. If any work is done and submitted during class (CAT, Quiz, etc.) that is not excused and cannot be made up. Because these exercises are a small part of the grade, and because you should not be absent, they are all considered "you need to be in class to complete them" type exercises. Be sure you are clear about this policy.

ACTIVE Course Engagement: Because I expect this to be a course where we all contribute, your Participation is crucial. To make sure this is clear, your participation will be worth 10% of your final grade. It will be based on how actively you participate in our discussions and how well-prepared you are for those discussions.

CATs: We will be using a variety of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) during this course. Many of them will rely on every student being truly prepared when each meeting begins. CATs will be done in the regular meetings and not announced in advance. CATs cannot be "made up" under any circumstances, even an excused absence. These are "current status" exercises, designed to see where the class is at that moment. Either you are present to particpate, or you are not. In other words, even if you are excused from class for a well-justified and well-documented reason, if a CAT exercise is held in classs that day, you will not be excused from the exercise nor be able to make it up. Because this will be a crucial part of the meeting experience, it will represent (together with the MINIs and JITs) 10% of the course grade.

Homework: Written MINI Assignments plus JIT exercises There will be several regular written assignments that I call MINIs. In general, you will be asked to do additional research on a topic discussed on class. You will be encouraged to use all available resources, as long as you give proper credit for what you use. These will usually be due within 2-3 days after they are posted. These will be submitted electronically to your OnCourse Dropbox. There will be regular JIT exerices, usually related to a MINI, that you will submit to me via email. The MINI + JIT exercises (together with the CATs) will be worth 10% of the final grade.

Homework: Programming Projects There will be regular programming assignments based on the work we do in class. The assignments will be designed to show you are comfortable with what is happening in class. They will not be designed to substantially extend your knowledge. These will be submitted via the Canvas system. The Programming Projects will be worth 25% of the final grade.

Final Project:There will be one major project in the course. It will be submitted via the Canvas system and have several intermediate Phases that will not be submitted via Canvas, with their own deadlines. The Project will be worth 50% of the final grade.

Overall Grade: So, your overall grade will be based on the following:

Regular Attendance: 5%

Active Class Participation: 10%

Regular Written MINI + JIT Assignments + CAT Exercises: 10%

Regular Programming Projects: 25%

Final Project: 50%

Grading Scale:We will begin with the standard 90-80-70-60 grading scale. +/- grades fall in the upper and lower 2.5% of each range, respectively. This scale could drop by the end of the term, but it will never rise. This mean if you earn a 90.00% average, you are guaranteed an A-.


Important Course Policies.

Be absolutely sure you understand the following course policies. It will be assumed that you have read and accept these policies before the end of the first week of class.

If you have never been in a CS/Informatics course before, these policies may seem inflexible and severe. However, they are not unlike the sort of guidelines or contract stipulations you would find in the "real world" and that's the way I run this course. Consult the Important Course Guidelines for a more complete list. It is also worth noting these are almost exactly the guidelines Prof. Bardzell uses when he teaches A290/A590.

  1. You are solely responsible for your performance in this course. We are here to help you whenever possible, but all of your choices have logical consequences. Make sure you take interest in your scores and Final Grade before you earn them.
  2. No work will be accepted late, period. If I do not have any assignment in my possession before I leave the classroom the day it is due, it will be scored a 0 (zero). Similarly, if you miss the deadline on any material submitted electronically, even by .01 second, you should expect a score of 0 (zero) there as well. Canvas will lock out every assignment promptly at the specified deadline. Should this occur with something like the Projects, the result would be at least a full letter grade on your Final Grade.
  3. I do not accept work electronically, UNLESS specifically requested. While there some things, like MINI and Homework Project assignments, MUST be submitted electronically, no other work will be accepted eletronically. If it is due on a certain day/date, I expect it in legible hard-copy form before the end of the meeting period at that time. Anything else will probably result in a score of 0. [See #2 above]. The same is true for anything submitted on CD.
  4. This is an Computer Science course, and we expect you to use the technology. What this means, specifically, is we expect you to have an IU Email account and we expect you to use it. We expect you to check email at least twice daily, under normal circumstances. If an announcement is made in class regarding a schedule change, etc., we would expect you to check email at every opportunity. Additionally, we expect you to monitor the Canvas A290/A590 environment. This can be an important resource and you should learn how to use it if you don't already know how. Just be sure you understand that "I didn't check email" or "I didn't check the website or Canvas" will not be acceptable reasons for not getting work done on time or failing to meet other course requirments.
  5. Any requests for an alternative exam time must include documentation supporting the need for an alternative and be submitted at least one week in advance. There are certainly legitimate reasons to request an alternative, such as job interviews, conferences, etc. However, these are also events you know about well in advance. Any such request must be made directly to me, at least a week in advance of the assignment deadline, preferably two weeks.
  6. Emergencies: I realize emergencies will arise, but it is still your responsbility to notify me as quickly as possible should such an emergency occur. NOTE: I consider an emergency to be something like a death in the immediate family in the last 24 hours or severe personal injury requiring hospitalization. In all other circumstances, I think you should be able to contact me before an exam or other major course event. My email and voicemail numbers are clearly indicated on the course HomePage and I am in my office by 7:30am every day. I try not to be totally unreasonable in this regard, but if you come to me a week after missing an exam and claim you missed the exam because of car trouble, I will not be very sympathetic. [If you missed a project deadline at work and didn't contact your Supervisor for week, would you expect her/him to be very sympathetic? If you had a major presentation to a client and failed to notify your Manager in advance that you could not attend, what would you expect the consequences to be?] Again, I am in my office on all class days by 7:30am and can be reached via email and my voicemail, both of which are posted on the HomePage.

Finally ...

Don't let any of the above scare you away. I just wanted to be sure anyone enrolled in the course this summer has a decent amount of information to make an informed decision.