Integrating Four Computer Science Pathways

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This is a case study of an academic urban school of 2000 students. To the extent possible, the ten principles enunciated below will be implemented. This school offers four Computer Science pathways with a single Computer Science teacher. A download was added to this blog on 12 September 2009. You may now download a PowerPoint slide show with audio that contains the information in this blog by clicking CS_2009_Curr_Sound. This blog was revised on 1 September 2009 to recognize that a University Pathway may terminate with either a programming language focus in Computer Science 31 or a broader, eclectic focus in Computer Science 33.

  1. University Entrance Pathway: On 19 June 2009 at a meeting at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the University of Alberta announced, “In the 2010 fall intake, the University of Alberta will treat 5 credits of CTS Advanced level Computer Science courses as a Group C (Math/Sciences) subject and as satisfying an admission requirement to a Bachelor of Science degree equivalent to Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Mathematics 31 and Physics 30.” At that same meeting the University of Calgary announced, “The Faculty of Science has indicated support in principle for admission changes that would ensure that Alberta students are treated consistently at both the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.” The University Entrance Pathway may follow either of Computer Science 101-201-202-31 or Computer Science 101-201-202-33.

  2. IB Standard Level Computer Science Pathway: The IB Standard Computer Science syllabus buy cialis generic covers the systems life cycle and software development, program construction online viagra buy in Java, computing system fundamentals, a dossier program,

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    and case study involving computer application of a “real life-situation. The fundamentals refer to language translators, computer architecture, computer cialis systems, networked computer systems, data representaion, errors and utility software. Java construction at this level refers to “Arrays, User-defined objects, Objects as data records, Simple selection (if–else), Complex selection (nested if, if with multiple conditions or switch), Loops, Nested loops, User-defined methods, User-defined methods with parameters (the parameters have to be useful and used within the method body), User-defined methods with appropriate return values (primitives or objects), Sorting, Searching, File i/o, Use of additional libraries (such as utilities and graphical libraries), and Use of sentinels or flags.” The IB Standard Level Pathway follows Computer Science 101-201-202-33IB.

  3. IB Higher Level Computer Science Pathway: The IB Higher Computer Science syllabus covers everything in the Standard Level plus computer mathematics and logic (number systems and representations and Boolean logic), abstract data structures and algorithms, further system fundamentals (processor configuration, magnetic disk storage, operating systems and utilities, futher network fundamentals and computer/peripheral communication) and file organization. Java topics includes multidimensional arrays, sequential and random access file handling, searching a file, recursion, merging two sorted data structures, polymorphism, inheritance, encapsulation, parsing a text file, implementing a hierarchical composite data structure, linked lists, binary search trees, stacks, queues and hash tables. The IB Higher Level Pathway follows Computer Science 101-201-202-31IB-33IB.

  4. Computer Science Sampler Pathway: This is for the students that want a taste of CTS Computer Science. The Computer Science Sampler Pathway follows Computer Science 101-201-202 with credit in three 3xxx CTS Computer Science courses, or 101-201-302 with credit in one 3xxx CTS Computer Science course and three other 3xxx level CTS courses, or 101-201-202-302 with credit in three 3xxx CTS Computer Science courses and three other 3xxx CTS courses. None of these “Sampler” sequences is a University Entrance Pathway as that requires the student to present five CTS Computer Science 3xxx courses.

Computer Science 101 Computer Science 201 Computer Science 203 Computer Science 31/31-IB Computer Science 33/33-IB Computer Science 302

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About the Author:

Gerry Donaldson was Calgary’s first high school teacher to use a lab of personal computers. Gerry taught CSE, including CTS, AP and IB Computer Science, for 30 years before teaching and consulting to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary.
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