RU Department of Information Technology

Syllabus • ITEC 120 Principles of Computer Science I • Fall 2013

Instructor: Don Braffitt
Office: 015 Davis
Phone: 540.831.5072
Office hours: Mon/Wed 2-3pm, Tue/Thu/Fri 11-11:50am, and by appointment
Instructor home page:
Desire2Learn (D2L):
MyProgrammingLab (MPL - based on CodeLab):

Radford University, Department of Information Technology
ITEC 120. Principles of Computer Science I.
Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory (4).
A rigorous, systematic approach to object-oriented problem solving and programming.
ITEC 120 official course description.

Prerequisite: None. Students with no prior programming experience are advised to take ITEC 109 prior to ITEC 120. Students with no pre-calculus mathematics background are advised to take a course similar to MATH 138 prior to ITEC 120.

Postrequisite: You must earn a grade of "C" or better in this course before you can continue with most subsequent ITEC courses (the typical next courses for ITEC majors are ITEC 220, ITEC 225, ITEC 345, and ITEC 122). ITEC 120 is required of all ITEC majors within Computer Science and Technology (CSAT) and Information Science and Systems (ISAS).

Minors: ITEC 120 qualifies for 4 credits of the required coursework for any one of the three ITEC minors.

Transfer equivalents: ITEC 120 credit can be also be obtained with a grade of 4 or 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam or through appropriate transfer credit including the following Virginia Community College System courses: CSC 201, IST 149, IST 249, ITP 120, or CSCI 212.

Course Sections  toptop

Text, Online Materials, ITEC Tutors/PIs, labs, LARC, other links  toptop

Textbook cover

Topics  toptop

Goals and Objectives  toptop

Students successfully completing ITEC 120 will be able to do the following:

Labs, Homework, and Quizzes  toptop

Labs and homework will be completed using Java in at least three environments (225 Davis computers, MPL, and and submitted via MPL and D2L. You may also use your own computers to complete labs and homework. Quizzes will be completed via D2L. Students are expected to submit their own work for all homework and quizzes by the due date.

Homework and quiz submissions are due Fri at 8pm.

There will be a total of 10 homework assignments due Fri at 8pm as detailed in the schedule below. Each homework grade counts 3% of the final grade. There will be a total of 12 quizzes, one a week on non-exam weeks due Fri at 8pm as detailed in the schedule below. Quizzes are open-book and open-notes and unlimited retries. Each quiz grade counts 1% of the final grade. Thus the homework and quizzes given throughout the course will be worth 42% of the final grade. Homework and quizzes will also help prepare students for exams.

Exams  toptop

Exams will be completed via D2L in 225 Davis. Students are expected to submit their own work for all exams. There will be two 50 minute in-class exams during the semester in addition to a 120 minute in-class comprehensive final exam during final exam week. Exams will be worth 45% of the final grade. Exams are closed-book and closed-notes.

Student Responsibilities  toptop

Students are responsible for the information that is included in the assigned readings, lectures, labs, discussions, homework, quizzes, and any additional information discussed in class or posted in D2L. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the instructor's office hours, the ITEC tutor hours, and the online supplementary materials provided by the textbook publisher and the textbook authors. The best preparation for exams is to complete readings, labs, homework, and quizzes, and to participate in class and via D2L by asking questions and participating in discussions.

Excused absences are granted in cases such as emergency, illness, religious holiday, RU-sponsored travel, or other RU-related activities (i.e. internship and job interviews) that may cause a student to miss a class provided the student notifies the instructor via email prior to the absence. Students should notify the instructor 48 hours prior to missing an exam to make alternate arrangements for a makeup exam. All required class work must be submitted via D2L and MPL by the due date whether or not a student has an excused absence for a particular class. Students are granted at most one unexcused absence per week (see details below for the grade impact for any unexcused absences).

Assessment  toptop

The assessment will be weighted as follows:

One unexcused absence in a week will result in grade loss of up to 20 points for class participation for that week.
Two or more unexcused absences in a week or a class participation grade less than 80 in a week will result in grade of 0 for homework for that week.

All three exams will include some material drawn from the topics discussed in class, some of which will be beyond the specific textbook content.

The assessment will be according to the following scale:

    A  = 90% to 100%
    B  = 80% to  89%
    C  = 70% to  79%
    D  = 60% to  69%
    F  = 59% and below

During the semester, grades will be provided to students via D2L. Any questions about a particular grade must be resolved during office hours by Fri Noon the week after that grade is posted in D2L.

Attendance and Participation  toptop

Class attendance is required for students to receive full class participation credit. Absences (excused or otherwise) do not relieve students from the responsibility for subject matter missed or homework, quizzes, or online class participation work to be completed. If the university cancels class for any reason such as inclement weather, the assigned work for the week is still due as specified in the syllabus and D2L.

The 13% participation portion of the student grade is based primarily on effort and completion of lab projects and is weighted 1% each week (except for the last week which is extra credit) based primarily on

Class attendance for class sessions and other weekly class participation work will be recorded via a D2L assessment which each student completes each week. Attendance for any class session is defined as student presence and participation for at least 90% of a class (lecture and lab). In addition, students will complete a participation quiz via a class participation card at the end of most Mon/Wed/Fri classes.

Final weekly class participation submissions are due Fri at 8pm, but students are required to also submit class participation work at the conclusion of Tue and Thu lab sessions. Tue lab work can be submitted late up until Wed 8pm. Thu lab work can submitted late up until Fri 8pm.

Class lecture and discussion sessions present and explain problem solving techniques and standard algorithms, illustrated with examples. In the laboratory students learn, with faculty guidance, to solve programming problems and to implement their solutions. Students are also required to solve, code, test, and debug problems without direct faculty guidance.

Students are granted at most one unexcused absence per week with a grade impact for one unexcused absence of up to a 20 point reduction in the class participation grade for that week. Two or more unexcused absences in a week or a class participation grade less than 80 in a week will result in grade of 0 for weekly homework for that week.

Class Courtesy Policy  toptop

Please set cell phones, pagers, and notebook computers to silent during class. Students are encouraged to bring computers to all ITEC 120 classes. Computers should primarily be used for work relevant to ITEC 120 during ITEC 120 classes. Please refrain from any activities while in class that would be disruptive to the class.

Honor Code  toptop

In accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to support and uphold the Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of this academic integrity will not be tolerated. Refer to your Student Handbook for details. Each of these classes will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. All work you submit for a grade must be your own work including You may work together on the Tue/Thu lab problems, but you must still make every effort to ensure you understand the finished product. You are responsible for understanding your work. You cannot learn how to program using Java unless you do the programming assignments. You need to be able to understand and explain the code you submit for a grade.

Students With Disabilities  toptop

If you are seeking academic accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act at Radford University, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO). To receive academic accommodations for this class, please submit your documentation to the DRO in the lower level of Tyler Hall suites 54-69, by fax to 540.831.6525, or by email to After submitting documentation to the DRO office, you will set up an interview with a Disability Services Specialist to discuss accommodations. You will be notified via email once your accommodation package is complete and ready to be picked up. Once you have picked up your accommodation package, you will need to meet with each course instructor during their office hours to review and discuss your package. For more information and/or for documentation guidelines, visit or call 540.831.6350.

Changes to Course Syllabus or Class Schedule  toptop

All changes to either the course syllabus or the class schedule will be posted in D2L and usually announced in class. Students are responsible for any announced changes even if absent or tardy when the announcements are made. Sometimes changes will be posted in D2L prior to a class announcement (e.g., schedule adjustments if the university closes due to inclement weather or an emergency).

In Case of Emergency  toptop

In the event of a university-wide emergency, course requirements, classes, deadlines, and grading policies and procedures are subject to change. Potential changes that could occur include alternative delivery methods, alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, accessing class materials and/or classmates, a revised attendance policy, and a revised semester calendar and/or grading schedule. In the event of a university-wide emergency, please refer to the course materials in D2L.

Course Expectations  toptop

Schedule  toptop

Class starts Mon 26-Aug in 212 Davis.
Fri 18-Oct (end of 8th week of classes) is the last date to withdraw from an individual class with a grade of W.
Topics Text Homework
(due Fri 8pm)
(due Fri 8pm)
(due Fri 8pm)
(225 Davis)
Week 1
Syllabus and Lab Fundamentals
Chapter 1 Quiz 1 Class 1
Week 2
Data and Expressions Chapter 2 Homework 1 Quiz 2 Class 2
Week 3
Conditionals and Loops Chapter 5 Homework 2 Quiz 3 Class 3
Week 4
Using Classes and Objects Chapter 3 Homework 3 Quiz 4 Class 4
Week 5
Review Chapters
1-3, 5
Partial Credit Partial Credit Class 5 Exam 1
(Thu 26-Sep)
Week 6
Writing Classes Chapter 4 Homework 4 Quiz 5 Class 6
Week 7
More Conditionals and Loops Chapter 6 Homework 5 Quiz 6 Class 7
Week 8
Object-Oriented Design Chapter 7 Homework 6 Quiz 7 Class 8
Week 9
Arrays Chapter 8 Homework 7 Quiz 8 Class 9
Week 10
Review Chapters
Partial Credit Partial Credit Class 10 Exam 2
(Thu 31-Oct)
Week 11
Arrays Chapter 8 Homework 8 Quiz 9 Class 11
Week 12
Inheritance Chapter 9 Homework 9 Quiz 10 Class 12
Week 13
Review Chapters
Homework 10 Quiz 11 Class 13

Fall Break week
Week 14
Review Chapters
Partial Credit Quiz 12
Partial Credit
Class 14
Extra Credit

Final Exam week Final Exam