A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.
Lesson 01 – Computer Basics and the History of Programming
C# is a fantastic programming language that combines the best parts of C++, Java, and Visual Basic all into one language. This first lesson briefly explains the history of programming languages and then showcases the .NET framework.
Lesson 02 – The C# Compiler and Your First C# Program
Armed with some background, you will now proceed to installing the C# compiler, and then you will write, compile, and run your first C# program. Although you will start with a small program, it will be clear even small C# programs can be a bit tricky. This lesson gives you a great opportunity to practice working with the compiler, something that you will be using for the remainder of the course.
Lesson 03 – Data Types and Mathematical Operators
Now that you’re comfortable with compiling and running simple programs, you will shift to math. But you will be learning about the basic math operators that C# provides. And because you will need a place to save the results of your calculations, you will also learn about variables and their data types.
Lesson 04 – Value Returning Methods
This lesson is your first step into modular programming with methods. Methods are a helpful tool because they allow you to break up big programs into smaller, more manageable parts. First, you will start learning a few built-in methods that are available. Then you will learn how to write your own methods and call them in your program. Hopefully you will agree that this way of programming makes it easier to tackle large problems.
Lesson 05 – Void Methods and Overloading
This lesson continues building on the concept of methods. You will learn about methods that don’t return any value, which help make your program modular. This lesson also covers method overloading, which can help improve the readability of your programs by reusing method names within the same code file.
Lesson 06 – The if Selection Structure
By this point in the course, you will be comfortable doing the basics of C#: working with variables, math, and methods. In this lesson, you will learn about the if statement and how you can use it to let the computer choose which set of statements to execute based on some condition.
Lesson 07 – More About the Selection Structure
This lesson continues your investigation of the decision structure by taking a look at more complex if statements. You will also learn how to use the switch statement to make decisions in your programs as well. This ability to have multiple programming structures is sort of like having another tool in your tool belt. Sometimes a job is far easier to do if you just use the right tool. You may not always need to use every tool, but it’s good to know what tools are there and how to use them. You will find the same is true in programming.
Lesson 08 – The Repetition Structure
Keeping with the theme of programming structures, you will now look at the repetition structure. Just as there were different ways to implement the decision structure, there are a couple of ways to work with loops. This lesson focuses on the while loop, the for loop, and the do loop. Each structure works the same in that they allow you to repeat statements, but each one is a little different. Here you will learn their differences and add to the tools in your tool belt.
Lesson 09 – Arrays
One of the most useful applications of loops is arrays, so it makes sense for you to build on your knowledge of loops and explore array variables in this lesson. You will learn how to create and access array variables.
Lesson 10 – Classes
Object-oriented programming is a big topic, and C# is an object-oriented language. You will write a class that will store the data necessary to keep track of the time. Since you’re writing this class, you will have the ability to take this code and add it to any program that needs to store information about the time, such as appointment books and scheduling programs.
Lesson 11 – Exceptions and Files
Obviously, computer programs are big time savers and really help you to automate things. But in order for a program to be really useful, it needs to be able to save data for use later. In this lesson, you will learn how to read from and write to external data files, so you can store your user data forever.
Lesson 12 – Graphical User Interfaces
In your final lesson, you will learn programs with a Graphical User Interface (GUI). While C# has an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that gives you the ability to easily create GUI applications, the code that’s generated is buried deep in the file structure. You will also learn how to build your own GUI without an IDE. By doing this, you will be far better prepared for working with IDEs in the future because you will know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.