Homeworks 4 and 5 are the hardest ones of the semester. If you haven't started on them yet, please do so as soon as possible. Also, the CS101 Open Lab will be closed for Good Friday, so if you planned on going there to work on #5 that day, please be sure to go sooner than that.
Our 5th homework assignment is now posted, for those who would like to work ahead.
HW #4 is now available. Since this is the first Access assignment and most people find Access to be the most difficult part of this course, I strongly advise starting on it early.
For those taking the exam off campus, I just sent the exam information out to your proctors.
If you are taking the exam on campus, you don't need to check anything regarding this. You can take the exam Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday (2/19-21/2018) in the Open Lab, as previously announced.
If you are taking it off campus, please check with your proctor to ensure they received my email as soon as possible. Please arrange a time to complete the exam with them Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday (2/19-21/2018), hopefully you've already done this. You can take the exam anytime between 8AM Monday and 10PM Wednesday (it should be submitted by 11PM). If your proctor did not receive the exam information, please let me know ASAP so I can resend the email. Include their email address in case you sent it wrong the first time. Please have them check their junk mail if they don't see it. I sent these emails BCC so that sometimes goes to junk mail boxes.
You will all have 50 continuous minutes to work on it (i.e. any breaks are included as part of the exam time). It must be submitted on our course webpage, just like the HW assignments. Exams are closed book, closed notes, etc. You can only use "Help" within Excel if you need to.
On Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday 2/19-21/2018, our first exam will be given. I will email exam instructions to your proctor, for those that are using that option for taking exams. For you, the exam can be taken anytime between 8AM Monday and 10PM Wednesday (needs to be finished and submitted by 11PM). I'll let you all know in another Announcement after I've sent the email to the proctors, as it's very important to ensure they received it. This will most likely occur Sunday evening or early Monday morning.
For those taking the exam in the Open Lab (Armstrong Hall 219), the instructor when you go will have the instructions for you. Please see the Open Lab schedule linked on this page under "Help" for times when you can take it. Please be sure to bring a photo ID with you to the exam - either your WVU ID or driver's license. It's not necessary to let me know what time you plan to go there.
For everyone, you will get 50 minutes to work on the exam. Note this time period includes any break you may take. Think of it as being in a normal classroom where there is no extra time given beyond the end of class. Every semester there are cases where someone takes too long on an exam (someone using an off campus proctor). Please be aware this is very easy to detect and you will be penalized points (best case) and possibly lose all credit for the exam (worst case for a first offense).
As you'll find, exams are very similar to HW assignments - you'll be given a set of instructions to follow, probably some data to import and will create a finished project to submit (on our course website, just as you submit HW files). Exams are closed book, closed notes, etc. The only help you can use is the Help function within the application at hand (Excel in this case).
One commonly missed fundamental part of Excel is using different cell reference types. Please be sure you review the different type (relative, absolute, mixed) before the exam. Here is a brief refresher:
This is a relative reference: C5
This is an absolute reference: $C$5
This is a column absolute mixed (note $ in front of only the column letter): $C5
This is a row absolute mixed (note the $ in front of only the row number): C$5
Just remember that "absolute" means "$". That "$" tells that column letter or row number "stay put and don't shift around if I copy you to other cells".
Finally, for anyone who still hasn't taken the Exam Proctors & Policy Acknowledgement Survey, you can do so from this link. Failure to complete this survey will force you to (1) only take exams on campus and (2) have a hold remaining on your account, which means you can't view your grades and will receive a failing grade for the semester.
If you have any questions about the exam, please let me know.
The day before class started, I sent everyone an email with subject "CS101 - Required: Information Requests". This email contained two survey requests, the second of which is required to be completed to see your grades and take exams. If you have not taken this required survey yet, please do so as soon as possible. Until you do, there will be a hold on your CS101 account and you won't be able to see your grades or get a passing grade for the course.
Our 3rd homework assignment is now posted, for those who would like to work ahead.
Our 2nd homework assignment is now posted. Note that HW #1 is the only one for the semester that will have a sample solution file posted with it.
Homework #1 is now available under the Assignments link.
One thing unique to this assignment is that you're given a sample PDF file of what your solution should look like. This is just to make sure you're on the right track as you get used to how these assignments are designed. Always be sure to right-click and save each HW file provided, instead of just opening them.
As you'll find, all HW assignments and exams are just like this - you're given a file with a set of instructions to follow, usually some data to import to start out with and you follow these instructions to end up with a completed project file (or files, later on). Once you're done, submit your file via the Assignment Submission Tool on our site.
Some assignments have a lot of individual but easy directions.. "format this like this", "set this size equal to that", etc.. I always advise printing it out and just checking off what you've done to be sure you don't miss any minor details that may cost you points. Also, always work top to bottom. You'll find that one step may be dependent on a previous step done properly.
As I said, every HW assignment and exam in our course will require you to import some data from an XML file when you begin the assignment. In the case of HW #1, you start by importing data from the "registrations.XML" file you download (inside the ZIP file you download). Just to be clear on how to properly import this data, here are instructions on how to do so:
1. Right-click the "Data" link on the HW1 webpage and save it to your hard-drive.
2. Using something like Winzip, extract the XML file that is inside of that zip file you downloaded ("registrations.xml"). Familiarizing yourself with a file extraction tool like WinZip is a skill needed to be successful in this class. It can be found as a free download and is easy to use, just do a quick Google search if you need to. Hopefully most people are familiar with ZIP files already. Newer versions of Windows have the ability to extract zip files already built in.
3. This step may vary depending on your Excel version: Within a blank Excel workbook, you should then be able to go to "Data" (at the top), "From Other Sources" and choose XML.. browse to the registrations.xml file.
This will communicate with that XML file and will import all of the data into the spreadsheet.
Focus on Registering for MyITLab
By now, you should have purchased MyITLab and the book (either the paper copy or the electronic copy). If you haven't, please do. The materials you need are listed here: http://cs101.wvu.edu/materials/requirements/
Registration instructions are located here and our Course ID is powell27344.
Please take a look at the schedule to see what I think you should be reading and working on today. Refer to the schedule each day and try to keep up with the suggested readings.
If you own a Mac, we have a virtual machine available so you can run Windows and Office to do your assignments in this class. Please see the Help Page for more details.
Assignments in this class will be configured well ahead of time to give you plenty of time to work on them. I encourage working ahead!
- MyITLab required and bonus assignments are all available from the first day of class. Due dates are available on the assignments page as well as our Section Schedule.
- Homework assignments will be made available about 14 days or so before they are due. Due dates will be available on the assignments page as well as our Section Schedule.
- Participation assignments are usually pretty quick assignments and will be available for only a few days. Due dates will be available on the assignments page as well as our Section Schedule.
- Each of our three exams will be available only on the days they are shown on our Section Schedule.
You can expect to look for your grades according to these guidelines:
- I generally grade HW assignments and Exams within two days after the due date. You should see your grades and feedback posted by then.
- I will update Participation grades usually after two or three have been due. I don't give feedback on these, you will just see your grade adjusted if you did the assignment(s).
- MyITLab grades are computed automatically. The course coordinator will import these into the CS101 gradebook periodically throughout the semester, usually after each assignment is due, if we have data available from the MyITLab team.
- Grades and detailed feedback are posted to the CS101 View Grades page. You should review grades as soon as they are posted. Grades may be appealed within 7 calendar days of when they are posted, except for any assignments at the very end of the semester. After this time, grades are final. All grades for MyITLab Bonus Projects are final and may not be appealed.
If you haven't already done so, please claim your WVU Login account so that you can use CS101 computers and the course website.
CS101 does not use eCampus. Please be sure to check your MIX e-mail and visit the CS101 website on a daily basis.
Our online section also does not use the attendance system.
What should you be up to on the first day of class? Here's what I suggest:
- Explore the CS101 website and your instructor's section. All of your assignments will be located here.
- Pick up the course textbook and MyIT access code. Information is on the Course Materials and Technology Requirements page.
- Check out the Start Here page to get an overview of what you need to know to be a successful student.
- We want to learn about you and what you hope to gain from taking CS101.
That should be a good start! For now - start to explore. Let me know if you have any questions.