CSCI201: Computer Programming I

Updated 2019.08.14

Fall 2021 Syllabus


Tom Kleen, Heelan Hall 274, 279-5411,

Office Hours

8:00-9:30, 2:00-3:00 Tue and Thu. Zoom link:




Our textbook is free and online: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. Notes will be provided online. There are many online resources for Python. A good video resource is here. And the related online textbook is here.

Course Objectives:

(1) To learn the basics of computer programming using the Python programming language.

(2) To learn the capabilities of computers by writing programs for computers.

(3) To learn some strategies for solving problems.


I expect you to:

(1)    Be honest.

(2)    Do all assigned readings.

(3)    Attend class every day. Log on, and open Visual Studio so you are ready to go at class time.

(4)    Complete the assignments on time.

Evaluation methods

Programming homework assignments, quizzes, at least 3 hands-on open-book tests.


Your grade will be based on two things:

(1) 25% programs and quizzes.

(2) 75% three tests, each weighted equally. Tests will emphasize programming and problem solving skills. You must have an average of 60% on the tests to pass this class.

The following grading scale will be used:























Required materials

Nothing to buy. Read the online textbook.


Assignments must be on time. The drop box closes at class time on the due date. If you do not get the assignment in the drop box before it closes, you will not be able to hand it in and you will receive a 0. Handing in a program consists of putting a copy of your Python file (.py) in the drop box. Programs must be on time and they must run. Any program that does not run (has compile errors) will be given a 0. Any program that is late will not be accepted and will be given a 0.


Before missing class on the day of a test, you must clear it with me before the test, and you must have a very serious reason for missing the test. If you are sick, you will need a note from the school nurse or a doctor. If you miss a test without clearing it beforehand, you will receive a 0 for that test. Leaving a voice-mail or an email without a reply is not considered clearing it beforehand. You must talk to me.

Course withdrawal

Withdrawal deadline before the institution of penalty grading is November 5. After the withdrawal deadline students may withdraw, but will receive a penalty grade of WP (withdrawal passing) or WF (withdrawal failing). Withdrawals are not permitted during finals week.

Academic Honesty

What Briar Cliff says:

Briar Cliff strives to create an environment where the dignity of each person is recognized. Accordingly, integrity in relationships and work is supported and rewarded, and honesty in academic matters is expected of all students. Actions which are contrary to the spirit of academic integrity will not be tolerated. Any attempt to misrepresent someone else’s work as one’s own, receive credit for assignments one did not do, obtain an unfair advantage over other students in the completion of work, or aid another student to do the above will be considered a breach of academic integrity. The Integrity Policy, Procedures, and Appeals can be found on Pages 41 and 42 of the BCU Catalog Undergraduate and Graduate Studies. Here is the link to the catalog:

What I say:

(1) There is only one way to learn how to program, and that is by writing programs. For most people, programming is a time-consuming activity. Any student who is not prepared to put in the required time outside of class should consider dropping this class and taking a class which requires less of a commitment.

(2) Programming is an individual--not a group--activity. Unless you are told otherwise, you are expected to write your own programs from beginning to end. This does not mean that you may not ask another student for help. It does mean that you do not "work together" on assignments unless specifically told to do so. Any student found turning in a program which is not his (or hers) will be failed for the course.

(3) There is no such thing as "extra credit".

Course Schedule

We meet Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 to 1:45.


I expect you to be here every day. See attendance, test, and homework policies. Print out and sign by our second class meeting.

Electronic devices

Turn off or silence all cell phones (and any other electronic devices) and put them out of sight before class begins.

Computer use during lectures

You may use your computer during a lecture for the purpose of taking notes. You may not use the computer to play games, surf the Internet, email, IM, etc. If you do, your computer may be unplugged.

Title IX Educational Act

As an instructor, I have a mandatory reporting responsibility under The Title IX Educational Act of 1972 which prohibits violence, harassment, and discrimination based on sex and gender. For the sake of Briar Cliff University students' safety and welfare, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have involved a Briar Cliff University student with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. This includes incidents that occur within on-line courses, on and off-campus, or study abroad. This also takes into account all means by which I might learn of such an event, whether I see it personally, whether I am told about it directly (e.g., in-person, through an assignment, on a discussion thread, etc.), or whether I learn about it indirectly (e.g., secondhand, social media, etc.). Confidential assistance is also available for students. If you or someone you know has been harassed, assaulted, or discriminated against because of sex or gender, the following resources are available: On Campus Confidential Resources:

·        Director of Counseling Services: Therese Copple (712) 279-5433

·        Director of Health Services: Jo Morgan (712) 279-5436

·        Campus Minister: Jason Salisbury (712) 279-5263

·        Title IX Coordinator: Dave Arens (712) 279-1715

·        Deputy Title IX Coordinator: Liz Rembold (712) 279-5458

·        Deputy Title IX Coordinator: Ben Irlbeck (712) 279-1706

·        Security Department: (712) 898-1888

Incidents may be reported electronically at

The Sexual Violence and Harassment policy and additional off-campus resources can be found at:,-assault-and-title-ix-procedures/

Academic Support

Compass services include academic advising, academic navigation, academic peer mentors (help with learning strategies, study skills, and more), financial and billing navigation, multicultural navigation, peer advising leaders, and the Charger Closet. More information about these services and contact information can be found on the following link:

The IT Help Desk can answer technology questions and can work on student computers for $25. The IT Help Desk is located in Heelan Hall 140 and is available Monday-Friday, 7 AM-4:30 PM. You can call (712) 279-5401 or email

Make an appointment with the Writing Center for help on the writing process, including citations. Use this link:

The Bishop Mueller Library provides research assistance and has databases where you can find scholarly articles, books, movies and more. The small Charger Cupboard food pantry is also located on the first floor of the library. Here is the link:

BCU Counseling services are available, free and confidential for all Briar Cliff students. The campus counselor can help with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, stress, alcohol or drug use/abuse, relationship issues, sexual abuse and domestic violence. You can all or email the counselor anytime with questions or concerns. Contact Therese Copple at 712-279-5433 or email her at Her office location is Alverno G4.

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program that helps first-generation students, low income students and students with disabilities to reach their full potential and achieve academic success.

Course mentors, or tutors are available for a number of classes and appointments can be made in Starfish for a one-on-one, 30 minute appointment with a course mentor. Use this link for more information:

Disability Statement:

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations should initially contact Jeanene Sampson (Heelan Hall108 or 712-279-5562) to discuss needs. Documentation of the disability is required.


The instructor retains the right to clarify and/or to amend the contents of the syllabus, provided that students are given reasonable and timely notice of such adjustments.