An Evolution of Online CS Foundation Course for Non-CS Graduates in CS Graduate Program

Angkul Kongmunvattana, Wayne C. Summers


This paper presents the development, revision, and progression of an online course on fundamental principles of computer science that was proposed and designed for incoming graduate students with inadequate academic background in computer science. This foundation course gives an opportunity to non-CS graduates to learn essential computing concepts in just one semester. The first development of this course received overwhelmingly negative feedback from students because of the archaic course contents as well as the course schedule (i.e., the order in which the contents were taught). A subsequent revision to the course focused on contemporary computing concepts from the ground up. It was very well received by students. In the latest revision, a practical hands-on experience directly connected with each important computing concept was also integrated into each learning module. The assessment data from each revision of the course showed that this foundation course not only increased the number of newly admitted graduate students, but also provided them with sufficient CS background.


Computers science education; distance education; e-learning content development; higher education

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