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WCOM1000 – Introduction to Computer Programming

2020 – MUIC term 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Teacher
Manavjeet Kaur
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Macquarie University International College
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Teacher
Adnan Mahmood
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Macquarie University International College
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Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This is an introductory computer science unit that provides a practical introduction to basic computing and programming concepts. Students gain an understanding of and practical experience in computer programming; practical experience in implementing informal prose descriptions of problem solutions using an imperative language; an understanding of and practical experience in designing, coding, testing and debugging simple algorithms; and an understanding of the principle of incremental development. Other topics covered in this unit include: the concept of program correctness; the differences between high-level languages, assembly languages and machine languages; the role played by compilers; and the execution of programs by computer hardware.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: apply problem solving skills to develop algorithms that solve small to medium-sized computational problems.
  • ULO2: design and write code to implement a program description in an imperative programming language.
  • ULO3: use standard software engineering practices to document, debug and test their programs.
  • ULO4: understand and apply appropriately the concepts of variables, loops, functions, conditionals and compound data in the implementation of programmed systems.
  • ULO5: identify and describe ethical issues in an academic environment and demonstrate active engagement in the learning process.
  • ULO6: communicate disciplinary knowledge using appropriate academic discourses.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Term Dates & College Calendar

Details of key dates during the term can be found on the Important Dates calendar.

Enrolment and Timetables

General timetable information is available via Macquarie University's Timetable page. 

Students will be able to enrol in units and register for classes via eStudent and also view their personal timetable. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that classes they have registered for do not clash.

Students are only permitted to attend classes in which they have registered via eStudent, unless they have written approval from the Student Services Manager. To seek approval, students must email muic-elc.admin@mq.edu.au or speak to a member of the Student Administration and Services Team at The College Student Desk (Ground floor, 8 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Avenue). Approval will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

The last day to enrol, add or change units is Tuesday of Week 1. Changing groups is not possible after the enrolment period has concluded.

Guest Lecturer Presentations and Workshops

One or two Guest Lecturer presentations and/or workshops may be scheduled during the term. These sessions will take place outside of regular class time, usually in a lecture theatre on campus. In the session, a speaker (an expert or well-known academic in the field) will give a presentation on a particular topic related to the unit or field.

While attendance at guest lectures is not compulsory, and content covered is not examinable unless covered in regular classes, students are strongly encouraged to attend these sessions as they will:

  • help them to engage with and broaden their understanding of the discipline;
  • contextualise content covered in class by providing insights into recent research and workplace developments in the field;
  • provide opportunities for networking; and
  • provide an experience of what lectures are like.

Specific details including time and venue for Guest Lecturer presentations and workshops will be posted in iLearn announcements and provided in class.

Recordings of these sessions may also be made available to students via iLearn.

Attendance Requirements – All Students

All students are expected to attend 100% of scheduled class time.

Attendance will be monitored in each lesson & students will be able to see their current attendance percentage to date and potential attendance percentage for each unit they have enrolled in via iLearn.

  • Current Attendance Percentage will reflect the percentage of classes a student has attended so far (based only on the lessons held to date).
  • Potential Attendance Percentage will reflect the percentage of classes a student can potentially attend by the end of the term, taking into consideration lessons attended and assuming the student also attends all future lessons scheduled (based only on the total number of lessons in the Term).

When a student is present for a part of a lesson (for example arrives late, leaves early, leaves the class frequently, particularly for lengthy periods), the teacher reserves the right to mark a student absent for that part of the lesson.

Attendance Requirements for International Standard Foundation Program Students

International students in the Standard Foundation Program are required to maintain at least 80% attendance across all their enrolled units in a Term of study to satisfy the conditions of their visa. Students who do not meet this requirement may be reported to the Department of Home Affairs and excluded from the University. 

Where a student is at risk of not meeting the at least 80% attendance requirement across their enrolled units in a Term, they will be counselled by the teaching and/or student services staff. Once an international student fails to meet the 80% attendance requirement, they may be reported to the Government for non-attendance and their visa may be cancelled. 

Because of the intensive nature of this program, students should be aware that their attendance may fall quite quickly and should carefully monitor their attendance on a regular basis. They may do so by checking their attendance in iLearn and ensuring they attend at least 80% of classes in each of the units they are enrolled in. Students should refer to the Potential Attendance Percentage.

For further information on attendance, please refer to the Attendance and Study Load Policy

Public Holidays and Make-up Lessons

If any scheduled class falls on a public holiday, a make-up lesson will be scheduled, either online or face to face. Please check the iLearn announcements and your emails for details of the make-up lessons.

In Term 1, there will be no public holidays.

Technology Used and Required

  • Access to the Internet (available on Campus using Macquarie OneNet and in designated 8SCO Self-Access Computer Laboratories);
  • iLab - iLab is Macquarie University's personal computer laboratory on the Internet. It enables students to use the Microsoft Windows applications they require to do their university work from anywhere, anytime, on any device;
  • Access to Macquarie University Library catalogue (MultiSearch); and
  • Access to Microsoft Office Suite (available in 8SCO Self-Access Computer Laboratories and via iLab) software downloads page for full instructions.

Bringing Your Own Device (BYOD)

Macquarie University is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) friendly and encourages students to bring their Windows or Mac devices to use on campus and during classes.

In some classes in this unit, you will need to have access to a mobile device, Office applications (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and an Internet Browser of your choice. If you do not have your own device and computer access is required in a particular lesson, you may be able to borrow a laptop to use for the duration of the lesson.

As a Macquarie University student, you are entitled to free access to the Microsoft Office Suite, which you can access through iLab. If you have problems with this, please contact OneHelp.

If you do bring your own device, you will need to ensure that it is sufficiently charged as access to power points may not be available in the classrooms.

iLearn

iLearn is Macquarie's online learning management system and a principal teaching and learning resource which will be used throughout the term. Students must log in to iLearn at least 3 times per week to access important information including: 

  • Announcements and News Forums - Teaching staff will communicate to the class using iLearn announcements. Announcements may also be emailed to students’ Macquarie University email address, but students should also check the News Forum regularly;
  • Attendance – current and potential attendance percentage for the Term;
  • Unit Guide and staff contact details;
  • Set unit readings available through MultiSearch (library);
  • Lesson materials and recordings where available;
  • Learning and teaching activities and resources, questions and solutions;
  • Assessment instructions, questions, marking criteria and sample tasks;
  • Assessment submission links such as Turnitin;
  • Links to supporting materials and services available at the University; and
  • Evaluation Surveys for the unit.

For any resource-related iLearn questions contact your teacher. For any technical or support issues using iLearn, please contact the IT helpdesk (Ph. 02 9850 4357) or lodge a ticket using OneHelp

Useful Study Resources

StudyWise is an iLearn resource created by the Learning Skills Unit. This resource is specifically designed to help you to manage your studies, strengthen your study techniques, write effective assignments and improve your English language proficiency. Once you enrol in StudyWise, you can access it from your iLearn course list under the category "Student Support".

InfoWise will help you improve your research skills by teaching you how to use MultiSearch, decode citations, identify key search terms and use advanced search techniques.

Lib Guides provide students with links to electronic sources and websites that are good starting points for research in different fields or disciplines.

MultiSearch will connect you to Macquarie University Library and allow you to search library resources, databases, unit readings and past exam papers.

Macquarie University Library has released a mobile device app called libMQ. The app allows students to easily access MyLibrary (be notified about loans, renewals, holds and fees owing), book a computer, Library floor maps, see new books lists and search MultiSearch.

It can be downloaded from either Google Play or the App Store.

Academic Language and Learning Workshops are designed to help you with Study Skills, Assignment Writing, Referencing and Academic Language.

Research resources provide information about:

Numeracy Support is provided by the Numeracy Centre. Students can attend these support classes on a drop-in basis as required.

Studiosity is a one-to-one personal study support service which may be made available via your iLearn unit. If available, you may use this service to get online study help and/or feedback on your assignment usually within 24 hours. If you are unsure whether this service is available in your unit or how to use this service, please check with your teacher. Please note that this is an external service and feedback provided is generic in nature (for example comments on grammar and cohesion) and may not be specific to the requirements of the task. If you require specific feedback on how your work aligns with the expectations of the unit or marking criteria, you should consult your teacher.

Learning and Teaching Activities

Lessons

Lessons will include a mixture of activities. New content and topics will be presented during lessons, and students will be given problems, practice questions and other interactive activities to apply the knowledge and the skills gained in the lesson. Students will be required to take notes, complete set tasks and engage in discussions and individual and group activities.

In class, specific time may be dedicated to working on assessment tasks and students will be given guidance and feedback to complete these. Certain lessons may be dedicated to independent research and reading related to the unit whether in the classroom or a computer lab.

Active Participation

Students will be required to not only attend but also actively participate in lessons.

Active participation entails:

  • active engagement in-class activities;
  • contribution to class discussions by asking and answering questions;
  • coming to class prepared and having completed required pre-readings and activities;
  • completion of set class and homework activities;
  • collaboration with other students; and
  • adhering to Macquarie University’s Student Code of Conduct.

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The unit comprises six modules:

  • Foundations of Programming (FP)
  • Variables and Conditionals (VC)
  • Loops (L)
  • Functions (F)
  • Compound Data (CD)
  • Program Design and Problem Solving (PDPS)

Each of the 4 modules (VC, L, F, CD) cover one skill which is necessary to program a computer. Thus, each student must demonstrate satisfactory performance in each of these modules to pass the course. Satisfactory performance in a module is defined in the assessment tasks section. The first and the final modules (FP and PDPS) synthesises the skills learned in the other modules. Student performance in these modules is important to their final grade and to demonstrate they have reached the level of mastery required to pass, but less than satisfactory performance in these modules does not preclude a student from passing (as it does for the other modules).

Week

Lesson

Module

Topic / Content Covered

Required reading (from the textbook)

Associated tasks

Assessment Task

(if applicable)

1

1

FP

Introduction, Learning outcomes, algorithm, number systems

1, 2

 

 

2

FP

Algorithm, number systems

 

In-class activities

 

3

FP

Shapes and colours

1, 2

 

 

4

FP

Practise drawing composite shapes

 

In-class activities

 

 

5

PDPS

Program design and problem-solving

Ethics in the context of IT

Online resources

In-class activities

 

6

PDPS

Practise on Program design and problem-solving.

 

 

ICE1 (FP)

2

1

VC

Variables, data types, animation, mouse and key events

  • The Need for Variables
  • Data Types
  • Declaring a Variable
  • System Variables
  • Variable Scope
  • Need for Precision
  • Casting
  • Randomization

3,4.5

 

Assignment 1 Due

(Monday – 8:00 AM)

2

VC

 

Practise code with conditional statements

 

In-class activities

 

3

VC

Boolean expressions and conditional-1

  • Rational Operators
  • One-way Condition Structure
  • Two-way Condition Structure
  • Bracketing
  • Boolean Operators

3,4.5

 

 

4

VC

Practise code with conditional statements

 

In-class activities

 

5

VC

Conditionals-2

  • More Advanced Conditionals

3,4.5

 

 

6

VC

Practise code with conditional statements

 

In-class activities

Mock Exam

 

3

1

L

Loops - 1

Motivation for Loops

  • for Loop
  • while Loop
  • Tracing a Loop
  • break statement

6

 

 

2

L

Trace and write code containing loops

 

In-class activities

VC1 (Module Exam)

3

L

Loops - 2

  • Nested Loop
  • Tracing a Nested Loop

6

 

 

4

L

Trace and write code containing nested loops

 

In-class activities

 

5

L

Loops - 3

  • Advanced Loop Exercise

6

 

 

6

L

Trace and write code containing nested loops

 

In-class activities

Mock Exam

ICE2 (L+F)

4

1

F

Functions - 1

  • Function Syntax
  • Function Call
  • Function Implementation

7

 

Assignment 2 Due

(Monday– 8:00 AM)

2

F

Trace and write programs using basic functions

 

In-class activities

L1 (Module Exam)

3

F

Functions - 2

  • Cascading Function Calls
  • Nesting Function Calls
  • Graphic Function

7

 

 

4

F

Trace and write programs using intermediate functions

 

In-class activities

 

5

F

Functions - 3

  • Advanced Function

7

 

 

6

F

Cascade, Nested and recursive function

 

In-class activities

Mock Exam

 

5

1

CD

Compound Data -1

  • declaration and memory allocation
  • Populating an array
  • Go through an array using a loop

9

 

 

2

CD

Practise Compound Data

 

In-class activities

F1 (Module Exam)

3

CD

Compound Data -2

  • Arrays copying
  • PVectors
  • Strings
  • Arrays and functions

9

 

 

4

CD

Practise Compound Data

 

In-class activities

 

5

CD

Compound Data -3

  • 2D array
  • 2D array and function

9

 

 

6

CD

Practise Compound Data

 

In-class activities

Mock Exam

ICE3 (L+F+CD)

6

1

PDPS

Program design and problem-solving

10

 

 

2

PDPS

Practise on Program design and problem-solving.

 

In-class activities

Mock Exam

CD1 (Module Exam)

 

3

All Modules

Revision

10

 

 

4

All Modules

 

Revision

 

Mock Exam

 

5

All Modules

Revision

 

 

 

 

6

All Modules

Revision

 

Mock Exam

Assignment 3 Due

(Friday – 5:00 PM)

7

 

Final Examination (applies to units with final examinations only)

The second attempt to the module exams VC2, L2, F2 and CD2

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Academic Integrity

Using the work or ideas of another person, whether intentionally or not, and presenting them as your own without clear acknowledgement of the source is called Plagiarism

Macquarie University promotes awareness of information ethics through its Academic Integrity Policy. This means that:

  • all academic work claimed as original must be the work of the person making the claim;
  • all academic collaborations of any kind must be acknowledged;
  • academic work must not be falsified in any way; and
  • when the ideas of others are used, these ideas must be acknowledged appropriately.

All breaches of the Academic Integrity Policy are serious and penalties apply. Students should be aware that they may fail an assessment task, a unit or even be excluded from the University for breaching the Academic Integrity Policy.

Assessment Policy

Students should familiarise themselves with their responsibilities under the Assessment Policy, and notably Schedule 4 (Final Examination Requirements).

Final Examination Script Viewings

A student may request to view their final examination script once results have been released but scripts remain the property of Macquarie University.

Students should view their final examination paper prior to submitting a grade appeal, if this is relevant to their case. The viewing will be conducted in a secure location under supervision.

To request a final examination script viewing, please email muic-elc.admin@mq.edu.au and write ‘script viewing’ in the subject heading.

Scripts may be reviewed for up to 6 months following the results release date for the relevant Term.

Grade Appeals

A student who has been awarded a final grade for a unit has the right to appeal that grade as outlined in the Grade Appeal Policy. Grade appeals apply to the final mark and the grade a student receives for a unit of study. They do not apply to results received for individual assessment tasks.

Grade appeals must be submitted via ask.mq.edu.au within 20 working days from the published result date for the relevant unit. Before submitting a Grade Appeal, please ensure that you read the Grade Appeal Policy and note valid grounds for appeals.

Students are expected to seek feedback on individual assessment tasks prior to the award of a final grade. Students also have the right to request generic feedback from the teaching staff on their overall performance in the unit, including in a final examination. This can be done at any time in the six month period starting from the day on which the final grade of the relevant unit is published.

Course Progression

The College closely monitors students' academic progress as per the Progression Policy for Programs delivered by Macquarie University International College.

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, a student must successfully complete (pass) 50% or more of their enrolled units in a Term of study and meet any other requirements to pass listed in the Unit Guide.

Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress will be classified as "at-risk" and will be notified in writing. At-risk students may be required to undergo academic counselling, undertake certain initiatives or have conditions placed upon their enrolment to help them make satisfactory progress.

Students must also pass 50% or more of the units in two or more terms in order to meet the Minimum Rate of Progress (MRP) requirements. A student is deemed not to be making Minimum Rate of Progress if they fail more than 50% of their enrolled units in two consecutive Terms of study, or if they have failed more than 50% of their units after studying two or more terms.

Any domestic student who has been identified as not meeting MRP requirements will be issued with a Notice of Intention to Exclude letter and may subsequently be excluded from the program.

Any international student who has been identified as not meeting MRP will be subject to exclusion from the program and be issued with a Notice of Intention to Report letter and may subsequently be reported to the Department of Home Affairs for not meeting visa requirements. International students must comply with the Progression Policy of the College in order to meet the conditions of their visa.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes from Previous Offering

None

Course Contact Hours

Weekly face to face contact for this unit will be 12 hours (72 hours per term).

There will be 6 lessons per week consisting of 3 X 2-hour lessons and 3 X 2-hour workshops in the MUIC PC laboratory. 

Unit Specific Texts and Materials

The following texts have been prescribed for this unit.

  • Daniel Shiffman, Morgan Kaufmann, Learning Processing: A Beginner's Guide to Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction, 2nd Edition, 2015, ISBN-10: 0123944430 ISBN-13: 978-0123944436

IMPORTANT:  A free and Online edition (pdf version) of this book is available through MQ Library. Click on "Full text available at ScienceDirect eBooks

Then, click on Download all chapters

Texts will be available for purchase from the Co-Op Bookshop located in the Level 3, MUSE Building Phone: 8986 4000.

All students should ensure that they have access to the prescribed text(s) from the start of the Term as failure to do so could jeopardise their academic progress in this unit.

Other editions or formats of the above resource(s) may be acceptable, but students must consult teaching staff prior to purchasing these.