What we will do in this class

by Mike Gleicher on January 14, 2017

In this class, there will be…

  1. A weekly reading assignment
  2. A weekly discussion assignment
  3. A weekly Seek and Find assignment
  4. Regular “in-class exercises” (approximately once a week)
  5. Several “Design Exercises”
  6. Other “online assignments”

The natural rhythm of the class will be:

  • Two lectures a week, one of which will probably have some in-class exercise.
  • A Reading assignment every week (possibly with multiple parts due on different days).
  • A Discussion assignment every week (possibly with multiple “initial postings” that are required, and with an expectation of participation in discussion).
  • A Seek-and-Find assignment due every week.
  • A “Design Exercise/Challenge” will happen every 3-4 weeks (and unfold over 2-3 weeks)
  • Some other things.

Reading Assignments

In prior offerings, I was told that this class has a lot of reading for a CS class. Expect this year to be the same. You can look at previous years to get a sense: this year’s readings will be similar in quantity and type, but different in specifics.

Each week, there will be a single reading assignment that you are responsible for. It may have multiple parts, and different parts might be due at different times. Some readings may have choices.

We will assess whether or not you are doing the readings from the other class activities. Sometimes, discussions will ask you to discuss or summarize a reading, or some of the other activities will build on the readings. Also, your participation (online and in class) may be used to assess whether you are doing the readings.

All of the readings will be made available online, including the textbooks.

There will be optional readings as well.

Online Discussions

Online discussions will be a significant part of this class.

Each week, there will be a separate online discussion. The previous week’s discussion will not be closed (so interesting conversations can be continued).

For each online discussion, there will be one or more “required postings,” as well as an expectation that each person engages in the discussion (i.e., makes more than the minimum number of postings). Each assignment will detail what is required in the required postings, as well as suggestions for discussion topics.

There will be two “grades” for each discussion: one based on the required posting, and one for participation.

There are also “informal” online discussions (besides the assignments). These are optional, but if you contribute in a positive way, it can help your grade.

Seek and Find Assignments

Each week, you will have an assignment that requires you to find a visualization (usually on the web, but you can find them in print and scan them). Each week’s assignment will ask you to find an example of a visualization (subject to some specifics), and to answer some questions.

Seek and Find assignments are “graded” and required.

In-Class Experiences

In class experiences will be “graded” on the Not Present / Something / Acceptable / Good scale. It is our expectation that most people will get “Good” for trying.

You can’t make up an in-class experience. Even if you did the work at home, you will have missed out on the collaborative aspects and other things that only happen in class. For some of the assignments, we will let you get “partial credit” by doing it on your own afterwards (especially if there are reasons why a large portion of the class might miss an exercise).

The Design Exercises

The design exercises are “mini-projects” where we will ask you to actually create things. There will be 3-4 over the course of the semester. They will typically have multiple phases (for example, there may be a phase where you need to turn in your thoughts on the tasks, or to summarize your goals). For each assignment, the deliverables will be described.

The exercises are intended that everyone should be able to do them – and it is your choice of what tools you use. All of the exercises will be “programming optional” – we will provide ways for you to do them without doing any programming (for example, using GUI-based design tools).

Other Assignments

This is a catch-all for small assignments that we’ll ask people to do that don’t fall into the regular categories. There won’t be a lot of them, and they won’t be very big. But we will keep track of them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Previous post:

Next post: