CSCI201: Computer Programming I

Updated 2019.08.14

Fall 2020 Syllabus


Tom Kleen, Heelan Hall 274, 279-5411,

Office Hours

10:00-11:00, and after class, Monday through Thursday.




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:

A: 90-100, B: 80-89, C: 70-79, D: 60-69, F: 0-59

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 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 October 7. 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.

Title IX Educational Act

Info on the BCU Sexual Harassment policy.

Academic Honesty

(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".

Disability Statement

Persons with disabilities who need accommodations should initially contact Jeanene Sampson (Heelan Hall-108 or 712-279-5562) to discuss needs. Documentation of the disability is required.


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

Course Schedule

We meet daily from 12:30 to 2:50.


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

On Campus Confidential Resources:   

Director of Counseling Services: Jeanette Tobin  (712) 279-5433

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

Director of Campus Ministry:  Sr. Janet May (712) 279-5227

Reporting to University Officials / Title IX Resources:

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

Deputy Title IX Coordinator:  Beau Sudtelgte (712) 279-1633

Security Department:  (712) 898-1888

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