CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience. The course uses small coding experiments in the browser to play with the nature of computers, understanding their strengths and limitations. Sign up for the "To be announced" session to be notified by email when the class is next run, and sign up for "Self-Study" to start browsing the class materials right away. Self-Study mode makes all the videos and assignments available to be done at your own pace, but without a certificate of completion at the end.
UPDATE: we're doing a live, updated MOOC of this course at stanford-online July-2014 (not this Coursera version). See here: http://cs101.class.stanford.edu/
CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience. Computers can appear very complicated, but in reality, computers work within just a few, simple patterns. CS101 demystifies and brings those patterns to life, which is useful for anyone using computers today.
In CS101, students play and experiment with short bits of "computer code" to bring to life to the power and limitations of computers. Everything works within the browser, so there is no extra software to download or install. CS101 also provides a general background on computers today: what is a computer, what is hardware, what is software, what is the internet. No previous experience is required other than the ability to use a web browser.
Here is another video Nick created for this class.
CS101 topics are covered with a mixture of video lecture and active lab work, all in the browser:
Self-Study mode makes all the videos and assignments available to be done at your own pace, but without a certificate of completion at the end.
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.
The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated quiz questions. There will also be standalone quizzes that are not part of video lectures, and programming assignments. There will be approximately two hours worth of video content per week.
Each lecture comes with written document that parallels the video explanation, so there is something you can review after the lecture that includes all the examples and whatnot. Or put another way, you do not need to take detailed notes of the lecture -- it's already been done for you.
Yes. CS101 has a "lab" component where students play with short bits of computer code, on their way to understanding the nature of computers.
Not at all. The course assumes zero computer knowledge. Everything you need to do in the labs will first be explained and demonstrated in the lectures.
Everything should work in a recent browser, so that should be simple. We'll have a list of which browser versions we've tested before the course starts.
No. CS101 uses code to explore the nature of computers, but does not pursue code in the depth of a full programming course. Certainly CS101 students will have a real understanding of what code is and how it works, but not going so far as a full programming course. CS101 is an excellent first step for someone who then wants to take a full programming course.
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