COMP 200 (Introduction to Computing and Information Systems) is a three-credit introductory computer science course that covers the fundamentals of information systems and serves as a prerequisite for the computing and information systems (CIS) programs. This course has no prerequisites, though students are required to have basic computer literacy and competence. If students are concerned about meeting the requirements for this course there is a COMP 200 Computer Literacy Quiz and a COMP 200 Math Readiness Quiz that will assess your preparedness.
Introduction to Computing and Information Systems is comprised of six units, six quizzes weighing two percent each, six assignments each weighing three percent, three projects worth ten percent each, a conference participation section weighing ten percent, and the final exam that is worth thirty percent. The six units within this course cover topics such as an introduction to computer science, algorithms, RAM, CPU, GPU, binary numbers, boolean logic, gates, system or network administration, database design or administration, programming, system software, virtual machines, artificial intelligence, compilers, and language translation.
The six quizzes within the course are extremely easy, open book, and all the questions are multiple-choice. The questions that are asked in the quizzes are worded almost exactly as those from the textbook. Pro tip, have the e-text open while completing the quizzes and utilize the textbook’s search tab. Search the exact words from the quizzes in the textbook and you are likely going to find the exact quiz sentence in the textbook!
As for the six assignments, they require students to complete different exercises within the textbook from the different chapters. Students have the liberty of choosing whichever exercises they want to do and there is a wide selection to choose from. The exercises range from two to four activities and are to be done in a word document. For instance, for assignment one students have to choose one exercise from each of chapters two and three, assignment two requires students to choose one exercise from each of chapters four and five, assignment three requires a choice of one each from chapters six, seven, and eight, and so on.
The three projects within this course require students to program in a language that is most comfortable for them (I chose python), design a database, and design database queries. These projects are a bit of a challenge if students have no prior programming experience, though they are a decent difficulty level for the course. They are also not considerably long programs to code, just somewhat tricky at times. This course is definitely designed to challenge students, though it also teaches a lot of the fundamentals of programming that will be applicable in more advanced courses, such as COMP 268 (Introduction to Computer Programming in Java) and COMP 272 (Data Structures and Algorithms).
For the conference participation, students are required to undertake the end of chapter questions and post them in their associated chapter discussion forum. These questions are extremely basic. For example, students are asked to share a website or YouTube video that taught them a concept or explained a concept more clearly for other students to utilize. Also, students must reply on other student’s contributions in each of the chapter discussion forums as well. Be aware that if you want the entire ten percent then you must complete all the discussions for each chapter and you must reply to one person from each chapter’s discussion forum.
The final exam is online and is all multiple-choice questions. It covers all the chapters within the textbook and includes some of the quiz questions. In my opinion, studying the quizzes is the best place to start. When studying, I compiled all the quiz questions and their possible multiple-choice answers into one-word document and spent hours a day memorizing them all. I did not even read the entire textbook and I found that I was well prepared for the final exam.
From personally taking COMP 200, this course can be challenging and can take some time to complete, though it is a good introduction to the study of computer science. Students will learn interesting theory and begin programming their first program. For some this may be their first programming opportunity, which can be scary and exciting at the same time. Just remember, if the textbook is not providing you the information you need, utilize the internet! Stack Overflow is a great tool for students to troubleshoot their programs or to answer any coding questions they may have; I would highly recommend it! Also, utilize your IDE (Integrated Development Environment)’s debugger! Some good IDE’s are Netbeans, IntelliJ, and Notepad++ (they are all free). I would also recommend students to try and familiarize themselves with Java if the opportunity presents itself because the next computer science course that you will probably want to take is COMP 268 (Introduction to Computer Programming in Java). Ultimately, I would recommend this course to anyone in a computing and information systems program or anyone who has any interest in learning the fundamentals of computer science and programming!