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  • Instructor: Dr. W. Brett McKenzie
  • Office: GSB Room 210
  • Office: 401-254-3534  Text 401-626-0806
  • Email address: wmckenzie@rwu.edu
  • Office Hours: 
    • Tue: 11 AM - 12 PM
    • Thu: 8:30 - 9:30 AM
    • Fri 12:30 - 1:30PM
    • Or by appointment
  • Course Hours and Locations:
    • T, Th:9:30 - 11:50
    • GSB222

Course Description

Course Objectives

We all represent the world whenever we interact with other people. Some of us whose abilities are refined are artists. Visual artists represent the world as painting, photographs, or sculptures. Writers represent the world through words. Musicians represent the world through sound and dancers through motion.

Programmers represent actions in the world through programs. Programming is as much artistry as it is science. Programmers, like artists, tease out a world of their creation from a medium. Their medium is a computer program. Modern object-oriented, event driven programming requires a logic of design for the computer to process and a rhetoric of interaction to communicate with the computer user.

At the conclusion of the course, you will be able to

Text and Other Materials

Product Details

Learning to Program with Alice (3rd Ed.)
Wanda P. Dann, Ithaca College
Stephen Cooper, St. Joseph's University
Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Copyright: 2009
Format: Paper; 384 pp

Alice 2.x Software http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=downloads/download_alice2.4
Alice 3.x Software
Alice 3.x NBM
NetBeans http://netbeans.org/

Supplemental (extracts may be provided)
Exploring Wonderland: Alice and Media Computation                                                               
Wanda P. Dann, Carnegie Mellon University
Stephen Cooper, Stanford University
Barbara Ericson, Georgia Tech

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Copyright: 2011
Format: Paper; 384 pp

Alice 3 in Action: Computing Through Animation, 1st Edition
Joel Adams

Copyright 2015
Format: Paper; 280 pp

Course Communications

 An RWU e-mail account is required for this class.
You may forward your RWU account to a preferred account, but you will be responsible for any e-mail messages sent to your RWU account.

Email Etiquette:

  • Begin the subject line with CIS200.
  • Use a closing that indicates your real name or use signature block.
  • When replying to an e-mail, start your reply at the top of the email.
  • Use standard written English - capitalization, punctuation and paragraphing.
Your e-mail is important. If you use CIS200 to begin the subject, I expect to reply within 48 hours. Otherwise, I may not notice it among the other e-mails I receive.

The Web
You will be required to submit some assignments on-line using RWU Bridges system.
http://www.wbrett.com is the supplemental course website and contains this syllabus and the calendar

Course Requirements

Readings and Labs
Read the chapters and complete the lab assignments. Assignments are due when assigned as class activities depend upon them. All assignments must be completed to pass the course. Assignments a week late or more will get a zero. You are responsible for keeping your completed lab sheets. Some of the lab assignments may require on-line quizzes.

There are three projects to complete during the semester. Projects are open ended assignments where you can display your knowledge. Project details will be discussed in class.

Frequent testing (approx. every 3 weeks) and a final exam. Lowest or missed test grade eliminated (no make-up test) if the final is taken. Final average incorporates class attendance, participation, completion of case assignments, project and, test results. Accommodations for learning issues will be in accordance with Roger Williams University policy. 

Attendance Policy
You are expected to attend class. If you miss class, you will need to get the material from another student, the text, or web resources. If you miss more than four classes (equivalent of 2 weeks) your maximum grade will decrease by 1/2 letter grade for each additional absence. Participation in chat/IM sessions, or exchanging e-mail during class is equivalent to an absence. We will discuss and come to an agreement regarding cell phone usage in class University Catalog, p 46 refers.

Academic Integrity
You are encouraged to work with others in your class because an alternate explanation can be helpful. However, assignments you submit and projects you present are your own work alone unless specified otherwise. You will be required to complete at least one project as a team. You are expected to credit intellectual property sources for all media used in your projects. Intellectual theft results in a zero for the assignment.

Plagiarism Checker (Vericite, TurnItIn.com, SafeAssign or other service)
Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to an auto-checker for the detection of plagiarism.

Services for Academic Access
Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should first contact the Student Accessibility Services office to coordinate reasonable accommodations. The SAS office will provide documented/registered students with the specific information needed to begin the accommodation process. SAS is located on the second floor of the Main University Library in the Center for Academic Development and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The contact number is 401-254-3841. Please then see me directly during my office hours so that we can have a private conversation about your specific needs.

Course Calendar
The attached calendar is your guide to the course. It is my best estimate of the course at the date of publication. I reserve the right to make changes depending upon the pace of the class and external events. The calendar will be updated on-line. You are responsible for schedule changes.

Course Grading







Performance Assessments & Final


Project 1


Project 2


Project 3




Course Materials
Course materials are covered by the appropriate copyright. Locally prepared course materials are the property of the faculty, which includes hand-outs, website content, and other presentation materials or assignments. Use beyond the classroom requires permission.

Course Recordings
Audio and video recordings of the course are permitted with the instructor's consent. These materials are to assist you  in completing your coursework and are not authorized for redistribution.

Student Course Materials
Completed assignments, especially projects, may be used to build instructional portfolios and serve as instructional examples for future classes, or in instructional workshops. All reasonable attempts to remove personal identification while maintaining the integrity of the project will be made. Permission to use your class projects at academic conferences may be requested.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
The development of Alice has been supported by the NSF, you may be requested to participate in evaluation or assessment of the program. Participation is voluntary and will be anonymous and confidential unless you provide written release.