Course Exam—COMP 268 (Introduction to Computer Programming Java v.12)

Course Exam—COMP 268 (Introduction to Computer Programming Java v.12)

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COMP 268 (Introduction to Computer Programming in Java) is a three-credit computer science course that focuses heavily on learning how to program, specifically with the Java computer programming language.  It requires concepts from and an understanding of COMP 200 (Introduction to Computing and Information Systems).  COMP 200 is a pre-requisite for COMP 268, or, alternatively, if you have previous programming experience you may discuss with the Course Coordinator to obtain approval to take the course if you do not have the pre-requisite.  COMP 268 is designed to teach students how to program, design, write and become familiar with Java programming.

Why You Should Take This Course

Programming is becoming more and more common these days.  If you are interested in entering the computer science or tech field, this is a must take for you! If you are interested in learning beginner level programming, this is also the course for you.  Programming is so important in today’s world; you can find it in almost every field.  I highly recommend this course to everyone, regardless of whether this is an academic requirement or not, this is an incredibly useful course as coding and programming are becoming more popular and common in today’s world.  To stay on top of all the tech advance or the fast-changing world, programming is an essential skill.

Course, Assignment, Midterm and Final Exam Details

Introduction to Computer Programming in Java has been recently updated and includes a total of eight mandatory units, with five optional units.  The mandatory units include Unit 1: Overview of the Mental Landscape, Unit 2: Programming the Small I: Names and Things, Unit 3: Programming the Small II: Control, Unit 4: Programming in the Large I: Subroutines, Unit 5: Programming in the Large II: Objects and Classes, Unit 7: Arrays and ArraysList, Unit 8: Correctness, Robustness, Efficiency, Unit 11: Input/Output Streams, Files and Networking.

The redesigned course now includes four assignments in total, with Assignment 1 – 3 each worth 15% and Assignment 4 worth 25%.  Participation totals 15%.  There is no midterm, but there is a final exam that is worth 15% that must be taken online with ProctorU or any other AU-Approved Exam Invigilator.

From personal experience, this course can be a demanding and challenging course if you have little to no programming experience.  With that said, the course provides all the essential material you need to excel, however, be prepared to practice lots! I personally read through the textbook several times before I was able to fully grasp the material.  I strongly recommend preparing for the course by allocating a lot of time to understand the course material as assignments do take time especially if you do not have experience with Java.  I found it extremely helpful do complete the practice questions in the textbook at the end of each Unit, as they include detailed answers and help you with the assignments.

Tips from Course Coordinator

Introducing Mr. Richard Huntrods P.Eng – Course Coordinator

Mr.  Richard Huntrods graduated from university with a B.Sc. in analytical chemistry (1977), then a B.Sc. in chemical engineering (1980) followed by a master’s degree in chemical engineering in 1988.  His project was the computer simulation of a cooling reactor for ethylene production.

After graduation in 1980, Mr. Huntrods began working in the IT sector for various oil and gas companies.  He wrote reservoir simulators in FORTRAN for four years, supported various engineering applications on a variety of hardware platforms, and generally worked as an IT software engineer during the 80’s.  In the ’90s, he went independent – becoming a consultant software engineer.  In addition to some typical energy sector programming, he spent time developing microprocessor applications, including a MIDI engine for a sound card.  During the ’90s he began teaching programming in the evenings at a local college.  In the late ’90s, Mr. Huntrods joined SAIT as a full-time instructor.  From 1998-2000 he was the Computer Technology Program Coordinator.  During that time, he began tutoring for Athabasca University.  In 2001 Mr. Huntrods left SAIT to join Athabasca University full time.  He still consults for several companies, working on various enterprise applications (server-side Java).

Mr. Richard Huntrods is a registered professional engineer (retired).  He is also a glassblower and an avid SCUBA diver.  In 2007 he switched to a rebreather so he could spend more time photographing underwater wildlife around Vancouver Island.

Mr.  Richard Huntrods’ general website is located here: and his scuba website is here:

Mr.  Richard Huntrods’ Advice for the Course

“This current revision (V12) has been developed based on my years of programming experience.

Athabasca University has moved to e-books and SCIS to OER (Open Education Resource) books as much as possible, and so the text was chosen as the best of the OER books.  There are sections that are no longer used by professional Java programmers such as GUI, so those sections are not required in the course.  I did however create commentary for the entire book.

I have been teaching since 1990, and have found that the more exercises one completes, the easier one becomes a programmer.  The best way to learn is simply to start typing in the examples in the text.  I have found this applies to any programming language that one wishes to learn.  There is no substitute for writing code.  There is no shortcut for actual typing, compiling, testing. and debugging.

The assignments were created specifically for this revision, based again on my years of programming.  I sought out some classic programming problems, as well as some novel ones.  I also wanted the assignments to be interesting as well as useful.  Assignment 4 is a culmination of that approach; I ask the students to write a text-based adventure game, such as those that were very popular in the early days of personal computing.  I chose the text game because it is a challenging programming problem, because it fits the accumulated learning materials appropriately, and because, at the end, one has created something that not only could be fun but can be shown to any prospective employer as a solid created program.”


If you have any further questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Coordinator at  Happy Java programming!

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