Elements of Computing Science

CISC 101/3.0


Introduction to algorithms: their definition, design, coding, and execution on computers. Intended for students who have no programming experience. All or most assignment work will be completed during lab time. 

Learning Outcomes

After completing CISC101, students will be able to:

  • Design new and adapt existing algorithms to solve computing problems
  • Express an algorithm in Python code
  • Examine and refine a Python program to improve its robustness, readability and efficiency
  • Design and construct a simple Graphical User Interface (a “GUI”) using the tkinter module
  • Summarize the historical evolution and modern construction of a computer
  • Discuss current trends and events in computer science
  • Better appreciate their own aptitude for programming


Summer (May–June) 2023
Course Dates
Delivery Mode



12% - Assignments 1-7 (Best 6 of 7)  
15% - Assignments 8-10  
25% - Quizzes 
7% - Textboox Exercises  
41% - Proctored Computer-Based Final Exam

*Students must earn 50% or higher on the final exam to pass the course  
** Evaluation Subject to Change **


Discussion topics can come from:

  • Questions on video material and exercises
  • Assignment difficulties
  • Problems understanding quiz solutions
  • Evolution of modern computing technology
  • Current computing trends, events and their effect on you and society

Expectations for Discussion Board includes:

  • Initial post submitted on time as designated in course outline
  • Length of post sufficient to demonstrate active participation and minimum grammatical error
  • Posts should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key idea and concepts
  • Response to at least two other students and promote discussion by due date
  • Responses to classmates should be respectful and sensitive to others’ gender, culture, background, etc.

Instructor Information


Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at http://www.campusbookstore.com/Textbooks/Search-Engine to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

Recommended Textbook

  • “Starting Out with Python” 5th Ed. by Tony Gaddis, Pearson (2021)

Computer Requirements

Students will need to be able to write and test Python programs. The recommended tool can be downloaded from www.python.org and the recommended python version is 3.5 or newer. Versions are available for many hardware platforms and operating systems. More details will be provided.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend around 120 hours in study, practice and online activity for CISC 101.

  • Each week will have between 4 and 5 hours of videos to study
  • Practice exercises will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete each week
  • The time spent on an assignment will depend on coding aptitude and how well the preceding material has been learned. An assignment could be completed in as little as 2 or 3 hours, but could take up to 6 hours. Assignment 1 will take the least time, and will be the easiest coding assignment to complete. Coding is best learned through practice, so the assignments supply an important reinforcement of course material. Coding efficiency usually improves with experience, so later assignments will not necessarily take longer than earlier ones, even though the completed programs will be longer
  • A quiz will take an hour to write each week, starting in week 2
  • Time spent in forums and chat rooms will vary, but could count for an hour each week
  • Readings are not required, but may be used at the student’s option to provide clarification of video material

Additional Information

NOTE: Learning Hours may vary. Sufficient preparation for CISC 121; alternative to CISC 110/3.0 and CISC 151/3.0