COMP 1001 [0.5 credit]
Introduction to Computers for the Arts and Social SciencesThis course is intended to give students in the arts and social sciences a working knowledge of computers and their applications; computer fundamentals; use of computing facilities; introduction to graphical user interfaces; a sampling of software packages applied to problems in the arts and social sciences.
In the modern age of students having grown up knowing how to use computers, some parts of this are a little strange (like "introduction to graphical user interfaces"). Plus, it begs the question why arts students can be total computer newbies while computer science students are expected to know all those basics (hmm, a hint as to why diversity is down??). But that's beside the point.
The point is that I'm super excited to get to teach this course this summer! Assuming I will have some freedom to teach what I want, I intend to make my students love (or at least not hate) computer science.
I've heard that class sizes are around 50 in the summer, which might be just small enough to do some CS Unplugged demos. After all, learning binary numbers and a few basic algorithms seems to fit with the course description. So does learning some basic programming concepts; I intend to use Scratch to teach that. After all, they don't need to know how to do real code after the class if over. With Scratch, they can make fun projects and become familiar with the basic concepts of programming, but not have to worry about code. Hopefully, if I need to show how to use the usual spreadsheet programs and such, I can find ways of making that more interesting, too.
If any of you have taught a similar course and have some great ideas to share, please contact me or leave a comment!