Level Up! covers the complete Advanced Placement* Computer Science A course in unique and engaging ways. It's a significant change of pace from other online introductory programming courses. While you will rigorously learn the art of programming in Java, you will spend much of your time designing and writing games and simulations. This course has no textbook because all the materials are online. You’ll be reading; checking your understanding with self-tests; analyzing, modifying, and debugging code as well as writing it; and working with your fellow students to come to common understandings. You’ll work with sounds and pictures (what do you sound like speaking backwards?), write adventure games and “smart” board games, and spend time trying to understand whole programs rather than just little pieces.
We’ve designed this course to help high-school students prepare for the Advanced Placement Computer Science test, and we’ll cover everything you need to know. It has been successfully used in classrooms for several years, and now its available for anyone, in school or not, through EdX. If you are an adult or a student who isn’t going to take the AP test, you are more than welcome to join! We go beyond the minimum required by the AP committee, introducing graphics, mouse commands, and other tools for real programmers.
We based this course on the principles of “lab-centric” instruction, in which lectures are replaced by hands-on activities. We won’t include long, fact-filled videos, and the webpages in this course will be your “textbook”.