COMP SCI 1101 - Introduction to Programming

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course is designed for students with no prior programming experience. Students who have experience in procedural programming languages may consider taking COMP SCI 1102 Object Oriented Programming instead. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of procedural programming. Topics include data types, control structures, functions, arrays, files, and the mechanics of running, testing, and debugging. The course also offers an introduction to the historical and social context of computing and an overview of computer science as a discipline. - Algorithms and problem-solving: Problem-solving strategies; the role of algorithms in the problem-solving process; implementation strategies for algorithms; debugging strategies; the concept and properties of algorithms - Fundamental programming constructs: Syntax and semantics of a higher-level language; variables, types, expressions, and assignment; simple I/O; conditional and iterative control structures; functions and parameter passing; structured decomposition - Fundamental data structures: Primitive types; arrays; records; strings and string processing - Software development methodology: Fundamental design concepts and principles; testing and debugging strategies; test-case design (black box testing and requirements testing); unit testing; programming environments - Human-computer interaction: Introduction to design issues - Social context of computing: History of computing and computers; evolution of ideas and machines; social impact of computers and the Internet; professionalism, codes of ethics, and responsible conduct; copyrights, intellectual property, and software piracy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 1101
    Course Introduction to Programming
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites SACE Stage 2 Mathematical Studies or equivalent
    Incompatible COMP SCI 1008, COMP SCI 1201
    Restrictions Available to B Eng (Software Engineering) and other non-Engineering degree students only
    Assessment Written exam, assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Amali Weerasinghe

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course, you should be able to:

    1. confidently design algorithms to solve simple problems,
    2. be able to implement those algorithms in the python programming environment,
    3. be able to correct, test and debug python programs, and
    4. be able to explain how algorithms and python programs work.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 2, 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text book: We recommend to buy the book "Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python: A Multimedia Approach by Mark Guzdial and Barbara Ericson" (have a look at auction websites,
    or drop by your favourite local bookshop, or buy it at the publisher (ebook available)). Additional material provided by the authors (such as the pictures and sounds) can be found here (--> Python).

    Students are expected to access additional resources on the course Moodle forum.
    Online Learning
    In this course, we use an online discussion forum and learning environment available here: 

    You must ensure that you regularly access the materials available in the online form. It is your responsibility to regularly check this forum for notices, and to participate in online activities.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In this course, you will receive 3 lectures per two-week block. These lectures are used to present and discuss new concepts, and to review worked examples of the application of these concepts. These lectures times will also be used as the main avenue for communication with students, and so it is essential that students attend classes.

    Workshops involve whole class and small group collaborative work and demonstrations. In these sessions, students will work with academic staff through the practical application of concepts discussed in lectures to aid understanding.

    Practical sessions and tutorials involve the assessment of student understanding. In practical sessions, students will be asked to complete a series of practical problems, which will then be assessed during the session. Some of these practical sessions will be held under examination conditions. Tutorials provide an opportunity for the assessment of both practical and theoretical understanding, with students being asked to complete and discuss a series of practical and more theoretical questions, including presentation and written communication skills.

    Computer Science Learning Centre: the learning centre, Level 1, Engineering Maths, provides one on one tutorial support for first year Computer Science courses, and a space for first year students to study. If you are having trouble with your courses, please attend the Learning Centre for assistance, or contact your lecturers.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students are expected to spend 10-12 hours per three unit course. This includes approximately 6 hours of contact time per week, and approximately 6 hours of independent study time.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course consists of the following key topics:
    Topic Description
    Course Introduction The first lecture and workshop for this course introduce you to the course requirements and to the laboratory environment that you will be using throughout the course.
    Topic 1: Sound In this topic you will extend your knowledge to manipulating sound, learning how sound is encoded in a computer and how to change the volume and pitch, and how to embed new sounds into a soundfile.
    Topic 2: Pictures In this topic you will learn the fundamentals of programming, including key concepts such as variables, constants, data types, iteration, selection, functions, problem solving skills and algorithm development. You will learn how to create and modify images.
    Topic 3: In this final topic, you will learn more advanced programming concepts, such as the use of more complex data structures, testing and software engineering strategies, and gain experience in the design and development of more complex algorithms. We will explore a more complex media manipulation project.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    This course is assessed with a combination of examination and continuous assessment work.
    Task Weighting
    Practical Assignments 10%
    Practical Examinations 10%
    Group Assignment 10%
    Tutorial (Submission/Participation) 5%
    Workshops 5%
    Final written examination 60%
    Students are required to complete weekly practical assignments and one group assignment (in the second half of the semester). Examination assessment will include examination through two practical examinations held during the semester, and a written examination held at the end of semester.

    Students will also be assessed for their contribution and participation in the weekly workshop sessions and their submissons and partcipation in tutorial sessions.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    You are required to achieve at least the minimum standard for the examination for this course, which is 50%, as well as 50% overall to pass the course.

    Assessment Detail
    Practical Assignments: from Week 2, you are required to attend weekly practical sessions, during which you will be assessed on the satisfactory completion of a series of practical questions. You must prepare answers to these questions before you attend the practical session. The assessment of this work will include design, functional implementation, testing and your ability to explain and analyse your work.

    Practical Examinations: one of the weekly Practical Sessions will be devoted to Practical Examinations. During this examination session, you will be required to complete a series of practical questions under examination conditions.

    Tutorial Submissions and participation. Marks will be given for participation in your tutorial sessions for submission of your answers prior to your tutorial. 

    Group Assignment: during the second half of semester you will be required to complete a group programming assignment, involving the creation of your own media project. Sample topics will be provided to you, however, you are will be able to select your own topic based on approval by your lecturers. This assignment will be assessed on your design, documentation, testing, functional implementation and presentation.

    The assignment will be assessed through a combination of in-tutorial assessment and assessment of the final submitted entity.

    Workshops: the weekly workshop sessions require you to complete a series of collaborative, group-based activities. During these workshop sessions, you will be assessed on your participation and contribution to your group.

    Final Examination: your final examination is your main assessment component, combining assessment of practical skills (development of algorithms, code development, testing and analysis, etc) and theoretical skills (understanding of concepts, analysis of concepts, the ability to compare and contrast, etc). Frequent revision of the course content, participation in the course activities, and successful completion of the assessment activities throughout the semester will be a crucial step towards the successful completion of this examination.
    Practical work, the practical examinations and workshop participation will be assessed during your scheduled course activities. Your assignment work will be assessed through a combination of tutorial activities and through the final submission of these assignments at the course Moodle forum.

    Tutorial work must be submitted prior to the tutorial at the course Moodle forum.

    If you are unable to attend a practical session, due to medical or compassionate circumstances, you are able to submit your work at the next available practical session. Your marks for that assignment will be capped at 50%.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.