I’ve had an email this morning welcoming me to the edX 6.00x course and letting me know that the course website has opened. 6.00x promises to teach the basics of computer programming using Python and the fundamentals of computation. Given that my first degree was in Computer Science and I spent the first ten or so years of my career as a C and FORTRAN programmer, I’m hoping it’s going to be a gentle reminder and a bit of a busman’s holiday. Of course, much has changed in programming since the mid 1980s (not least the fashion for object orientation) so it’s also going to be interesting to see how the basics are taught today. I see from the syllabus they’ve published that the old favourites, including recursion and sorting algorithms, are all still present!
The assessment and grading scheme seems a little different to the 6.002x course I took earlier on this year. This time, you get marks for completing the ‘finger exercises’ (5%) that are included in the lecture sequences, 15% for the weekly tests, there are two mid-term exams (one at the start of November and the other in December) both worth 20% each and a final exam in mid-January, worth the remaining 40%. You also only get a 3 hour window to complete each of the midterm and final exams instead of the very generous 24 hour window which was offered on the original presentation of 6.002x.
Pass marks are a little different from 6.002x as well – This time 80% will secure an ‘A’, 65% a ‘B’ and 55% a ‘C’.
I’m looking forward to getting started properly next Monday when the first lectures are released – and there’s still time to join me on this adventure if you want to by registering for free at edX.