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Visual Basic

I don't teach this class any more, but this is the sight I used when I's old news now!

Here you will find information related to my Introduction to Programming using Visual Basic and the Advanced Topics in Visual Basic courses.

Course Description

Introduction to Programming Class

This is an introductory course in computer programming using Microsoft Visual Basic, a high level computing language that is geared towards the graphical user interface (GUI) environment of Windows. Emphasis will be placed on basic programming techniques (including variables, input/output, lists, loops, and simple functions), VB syntax, and problem solving. Students interested in a career in computer programming, or just interested in seeing what programming is all about, will benefit from this course.  Students who plan on taking Advanced Placement Computer Programming with Java should take this as an honors level class.

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • write programs that make decisions, iterate commands, process input and output, and display graphics;
  • solve problems that require the use of a computer; and
  • be comfortable discussing programming and programming techniques.

Advanced Topics Class (2nd semester)

This is a continuation of the introductory course and delves deeper into concepts such as data files, arrays, databases, user-defined data types, advanced functions, object-oriented programming and graphics.  The students will synthesize this knowledge into a large-scale, self-designed project. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in computer programming will benefit from this course.

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • design and create a fully functional, large-scale computer application;
  • create their own data types and classes; and
  • error trap and debug their computer programs.

Class Expectations

I have very stringent expectations in regards to your behavior in our class and your use of school owned hardware and software.  In particular:

  • Respect all of your classmates and your teacher, showing willingness to listen, to cooperate and to help.
  • Be on time to class.
  • Share your insights and learning with others in the class.
  • Cooperate:  students should assist others in the learning process as a means for applying their own understanding to problem solving.  This is particularly important in this class…if you understand something well, search out those classmates that are struggling and help them!!
  • Keep up with the class schedule - Have you figured out how important this is?

Ways to do poorly in this class:

  • Fall behind the class schedule - Get it??
  • Play computer games - First time you do it, it's a detention, second time is a trip to the office.  Of course, if you're working on coding your own program, you're more than welcome to play it as a means of debugging.  However, if you're messing around, I'll know it!
  • Bring food or drink into the computer lab - There are strict rules in the computer lab forbidding food and/or drinks of any kind.  Please don't bring any to the lab at any time.  If you bring it once, I will take it.  If you bring it again, I will send you to the office.
  • Randomly browse the Web - Focus on programming!!!
  • Do homework for another class - Focus on programming!!!  This is not a DR.
  • Come to class late - If you are late, I will deduct 5 points from your class participation grade for that day.  If you are late to class 3 times, then your participation grade will be a 0/10 for each day late thereafter.
  • IM with your friends - You're supposed to be focused on your programming work, remember?  It's tough to do that while you're IM'ing.  So...don't do it.  Repercussions will be the same as with playing games.

Homework / Class Assignments

You may or may not have homework for this class.  Since the nature of the class is self-paced, you may be able to keep up to the minimum pace by doing work only in class.  However, if you fall behind the class schedule, you'll need to work outside of class to catch up. 

Review Questions and Programming Exercises are due on the days indicated on the schedule.  5 points will be deducted from your score for every day an assignment is turned in late.  An assignment will be scored as a 0 if it is not handed in by the fourth day after its scheduled due date. 

The scheduled due date for future assignments will not change if a prior assignment is handed in late.

Any assignments not completed due to absence must be made up on the day you return to class.

Evaluation / Progress Reports

Your grade will be calculated based on a number of components, including

  • End-of-chapter Review Questions
  • Programming Exercises (including games if you choose this route)
  • Class Participation (I'll judge this based on your in-class effort)
  • Final Project

Each of these components will make up a certain percentage of your overall grade for each term.  For the guideline percentages, please see the chart below:

Review Questions 15%
Programming exercises (including games) 60%
Class Participation 25%
Term Grade 100%

Similar to a final exam, the final project will count as 20% of your overall grade for the class.  Accordingly, your final grade will be calculated as follows:

Term 1 40%
Term 2 40%
Final Project 20%
Final Grade 100%

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