Wednesday, January 22, 2020

CompuScholar Python Programming Review

Did you know that the most popular introductory coding language taught in universities in the U.S. is Python?  I didn't.  So, what is Python?  Python is a general-purpose programming language that's easy to use and versatile.  CompuScholar Python Programming is a one-semester online course designed for students in middle school and high school (grades 6th - 12th) that teaches core programming concepts using Python.  It's a great introduction to Computer Science!  Your student will both create and run code directly in your web browser.  When Timberdoodle offered us the chance to include this course in our homeschool this year, we jumped on the opportunity.

A working on Python Programming via our desktop.

We had A (10th grade) start the program first.  She is well over halfway finished at this point and now B and C (8th and 7th grade) are also working through CompuScholar Python Programming and I couldn't be more thrilled.

What topics are covered?  Topics include printing and user input, data types and variables, logical expression and flow control, debugging skills, lists and loops, working with numbers/dates/strings, writing and using functions, simple object-oriented programming and more!  While I understand some of this, programming is not my specialty.  I'm thankful that with CompuScholar Python Programming it doesn't need to be.  This course both teaches the material and auto-grades everything (lessons, quizzes, tests and coding projects), score!  This is a huge blessing to me.

How does it work?  Students write code directly into the online Python engine so no local software installation or file management is needed - another huge plus!  Each chapter includes lesson exercises as well as graded activities.

A's Character Art Activity from Chapter Three - Above you can see her code that she wrote into the Python engine.

Her program prompts for your name when you run it.

Above you can see her program when it has finished running.

Above you can see A's dashboard.  This was when she first started this program so she was at 0% with her progress.

Here you can see that she is 64% done with the program at this point.

She currently has a 94.61 in the class.

We can also get an overview report of all of her grades - quizzes, activities, tests, etc.  You can see some of them above.  I really appreciate this.

A is really enjoying this program and she should finish it soon.  She is also on course to get an A (hopefully A+).  She told me that she enjoys the structure of the course - she watches the lesson video, then she reads the lesson text which recaps the video with additional information, she takes the quiz and completes the activities and exams as instructed.  It's a great self-study and self-paced course that counts as a 1 semester or .5 credit course (~ 90 hours).  Once enrolled students have access to it for a year so that gives them flexibility with their pace.  CompuScholar Python Programming has been a huge blessing for our homeschool family!

CompuScholar Python Programming is an outstanding component of Timberdoodle's 11th Grade Curriculum Kit.  If you have a middle schooler or high schooler looking for a self-paced introductory course to Computer Science I would highly recommend this one.

{Update:  A, B and C have all finished this course and they all received an A+.  I'm so proud of them and it was super fun to see them work together on the final project where they created a Dog Trick School.  I really appreciate that this course graded almost everything for me!  I did have to grade the final project though.}

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the CompuScholar Python Programming in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.


Karla Cook @ Roads to Everywhere said...

Thank you for the thorough review. Sounds like a great program!

Gina @ Oaxacaborn said...

Love how this goes through so sequentially and thoroughly!

Kristen of A Mom's Quest to Teach said...

This sounds like a terrific program - helping kids learn something new and exciting even if we, as parents, aren't strong in the material ourselves.

Anne Marie said...

Wow, what a practical course for the modern homeschool family! I love that it takes care of tests and grading for you.

Heather said...

I'm impressed seems like a thorough and well thought out program.

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