This course is an introduction to computer science and programming in Python. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Take a new computational problem and develop a plan to solve it through problem understanding and decomposition.
2. Follow a design creation process that includes specifications, algorithms, and testing.
3. Code, test, and debug a program in Python, based on your design.
Important computer science concepts such as problem solving (computational thinking), problem decomposition, algorithms, abstraction, and software quality are emphasized throughout. The Python programming language and video games are used to demonstrate computer science concepts in a concrete and fun manner. However, a learner can take the knowledge and skills from this course and apply them to non-game problems, other programming languages, and other computer science courses.
You do not need any previous programming, Python, or video game experience. However, some computer skills (e.g., mouse, keyboard, document editing), knowledge of algebra, attention to detail (as with many technical subjects), and a “just give it a try” spirit will be keys to your success. Despite the use of video games for all the programming examples, PVG is not about computer games. PVG will still provide valuable knowledge and skills for non-game computational problems.
The interactive learning objects (ILO) of the course provide automatic, context-specific guidance and feedback, like a virtual teaching assistant, as you develop problem descriptions, algorithms, and functional test plans. The course forums will be supported by the creators of the course, to help you succeed.
All videos, assessments, and ILOs are available free of charge. There is an optional certificate available for a fee.