What will I be able to do upon completing this course?
In this course you will learn to guide students in learning about sequences of instructions and basic counted repetition of instructions using Parsons' Problems to make learning less frustrating and give students more practice in less time.
You will also learn about common bugs students make in creating programs with sequences and repeats and specific approaches to help them figure out and fix their bugs. You will prepare to lead classroom discussions to deepen students knowledge and hear expert explanations you can model.
Finally you will learn about what is required to be authorized to teach computing in your state or country, explore the new Computer Science Teachers Association K-12 Computer Science Standards, be able to explain the benefits of block-based languages, and be prepared to support an equitable classroom using Pair Programming.
Can this course help me get the California Supplementary Authorization to teach Computer Science?
Yes! This course is designed as component of a Specialization that is 1 of a set of 4 Specializations (all will be offered on Coursera) that will support the requirements of the California Supplementary Authorization. Additionally, the Specialization may support credentialing or authorization in other states. However, most states require a transcript from an accredited institution of higher education. See the FAQ question on “Will I earn university credit” to find out how to get such a transcript.
Will I earn university credit for completing this course?
Yes, you can earn UCSD credit for completing this course, but only by completing the full Computational Thinking and Block Programming in K-12 Education Specialization. In addition, you will need to (1) Enroll in an additional UCSD Extension course before completing the capstone ($500) and (2), complete part of the capstone project via an online proctoring service. After this is done, your Specialization course grades will be accumulated and a transcript with your final grade (both letter grade or pass-only supported) will be issued from UCSD with 4 graduate-level units. These are eligible to count towards the California Supplementary Authorization.
What background knowledge is necessary to succeed in this course?
There is no background knowledge, neither in education nor in Computer Science, required to take this course - just an interest in learning how to give computers instructions to solve problems!
Basic proficiency in the use of Googledocs will be needed to complete assignments within the course. Google help documentation will be provided, and with some extra attention, first time use of Googledocs should not be a barrier to successful completion of the course.
What is the value of taking this course online?
By providing this course online, our goal is to enable you to master all the material in the course at a pace that is appropriate for you, rather than the typical processes of picking a specific date and measuring how much you can learn by that date of in-person courses. Instead of the relatively bigger chunks of learning work found in traditional courses (e.g. go to class, read the book, do homework, study for the test) this course has a lot of smaller and more diverse activities that guide your learning experience.
We use a lot of online features to: break learning into smaller chunks; engage you more in thinking and discussing content with others; better integrate and more frequently test your knowledge (with a focus on mastery, allowing you to go back and learn what you missed then come test again); give you practice in teaching-specific skills you will need as an educator (finding and evaluating online teaching resources, critiquing and modifying lesson plans)
We hope you enjoy and learn a lot!