Required Work

Updated January 3, 2015. 

Check the Assignments to see details for this week’s work.

Check the Course Schedule page to see what’s due and when.

Our (compact) trajectory

  • Week 1: Intro
  • Weeks 2–5: Python
  • Weeks 6–7: HTML5, CSS, responsive design, agile development
  • Week 8: Spring Break
  • Week 9: JavaScript
  • Weeks 10–13: jQuery
  • Weeks 13–15: Go further. Create a project. It’s your choice. (Note: In Week 11, you’ll need to submit a project plan for approval.)

What things are worth (grade percentages)

  • Quizzes = 25 percent
  • Weekly assignments = 25 percent
  • Weekly meetings (work shown) = 25 percent
  • Project = 15 percent
  • Class attendance and participation = 10 percent

There will likely be 10 quizzes, weeks 2 through 12. Each quiz will be 10-15 points. Quizzes will be taken on your own time, outside of class. There will not be any tests or exams.

For each week when tutorials or exercises are assigned (weeks 2 through 12), there will also be an assignment that must be turned in through Canvas (E Learning). This assignment, like the quizzes, is based on the material covered in the tutorials or exercises. It is not intended to be a large, arduous assignment. Complete the tutorials or exercises, and then the quiz and the weekly assignment should not be overly difficult. Canvas will tell you when quizzes and weekly assignments are due.

  • Python: 4 weeks, 4 quizzes, 4 assignments
  • HTML & CSS: 2 weeks, 2 quizzes, 2 assignments
  • JavaScript: 1 week, 1 quiz, 1 assignment
  • jQuery: 3 weeks, 3 quizzes, 3 assignments
  • Project: no quizzes, no assignments, but weekly meetings are required

Ten is such a nice number — 10 percent is a full letter grade. If you get all zeros for one week, that’s close to losing one letter grade for the course. So don’t stress over an 80 percent on a quiz. A zero is going to hurt you, but 80 percent is nothing to cry about.

(Complete grading scale: See Syllabus page.)

This course requires you to pursue an individual agenda for learning. No one learns code by sitting in a lecture. People learn code by writing code, testing it, playing with it, and making things with code. This course has been set up to reward you for working up to the top of your ability as you learn to do new things with code.

Intended result: You will have fun! You will struggle, but you will also learn.

The weekly meetings

Every week, you will show your work from the assigned tutorials or exercises to the instructor. You will be graded for completion of that work and for your ability to discuss it. If your progress was reasonable, adequate, sufficient, and acceptable, you’ll earn 10 points for the week. (You are expected to ask questions during the meeting.) If your work was not acceptable, you’ll earn 0 points.

The weekly meeting is mandatory. Points will not be awarded if you miss your meeting.

You are expected to work on code (we will learn several different types) for one hour every day, seven days a week, except for Spring Break. In the first class meeting, we will discuss what this means and how it can help you — not only in this course, but in the future.

Everyone who works with Web design, or code, or data must learn new things again and again. This is not the same as learning to use software applications. This course is designed to teach you how to learn, so that whatever new technologies come along, you will have the skills to learn those too.

Makeup work

If you miss a week for any reason, you are expected to work double-time and catch up. You cannot make up quizzes or weekly assignments once the deadline is passed UNLESS you provide credible documentation for extreme circumstances, such as severe illness. However, you can show your work for tutorials or exercises UP TO one week late and receive up to 10 points for it. No work will receive points if shown more than one week late.

Your instructor will not evaluate your work online or via email, except for Monday during finals week. You must show your work in person and talk about it.

Don’t freak out and run away like a scared chicken

The reason for this system is because learning code DOES NOT HAPPEN if you cram it into an all-nighter. Your instructor understands that there’s a wide range among students’ skills and aptitudes. Work on the assigned code lessons for one hour a day, every day, seven days a week. This is the main work in this course: Figure out how YOU can work steadily and regularly on learning a new skill.

The goal is not to get a grade. A high grade does not prove that you know anything.

Your results will be much better if you turn off your phone, turn off all messaging systems, close down all social media, and don’t play any TV or movies while you’re using your one hour a day. Set aside an hour for only this work, and just do it. If you hit a roadblock, or you find one or more lessons really difficult, it will not lose you your points for the week — unless you give up. ASK QUESTIONS. Use Google — a lot! Everyone finds code challenging at first! The people who learn to code are not special — they just work hard at it.


Benchmarks are shown on the Course Schedule. A benchmark is a point of reference or a standard by which to measure achievement. Each week in this course, a benchmark will be provided.

Because students have a wide variety of skills and aptitudes, possibly some students will not meet the benchmark in a given week. Meanwhile, some students will be able to go beyond the benchmark. You should try your best to get to the benchmark every week. If you find it easy (for example, you get to the benchmark after only three hours of work), you should continue working for at least one hour each day — and go as far beyond the benchmark as you can.

Important things to analyze in a week when you cannot meet the benchmark: Where did you get stuck? What did you do about it? Make sure you can talk about the answers to these two questions. Don’t fail to make time for the work. Put in the work each day.

Everybody gets stuck. The key to success with code is to continue, and not give up. Your experiences when you get stuck are an important part of the work for this course.

Extra credit

You will NOT have an opportunity to get extra credit in this course. Put your efforts into the daily work and do what is assigned, when it is assigned (or earlier).