High School Journalism Class Assignments C#

This 26 is devoted to something a bit larger than a tip or bit of advice.

For this installment of the Next 26 I’d like to encourage advisers everywhere to share their best lesson — their ‘Money Lesson’ so to speak. I think we all feel really good about at least one lesson in our arsenals. This lesson may be one that’s an original, something we’ve borrowed, or something we have borrowed and tweaked a bit.

For this Next 26 I will showcase lessons from advisers around the country who are willing to share. I don’t care if this is your first year teaching or your 31st, we all have something to share in this collaborative environment.

I hope you follow along  to see what lessons are posted. I’m sure you’ll find some great ones you can use. I want you to be a part of it by submitting your own. I only want to put one lesson on here, so I’m hoping for some help from you all. This is a collaborative space so send the best you got my way and I’ll make sure to share it with the masses. There’s no such thing as ‘good enough.’ If you’re sharing it, I bet it’s great.

You share it. I pass it along.

You can submit your own lesson by clicking here and follow the directions.

The only thing I ask is that if you share, you give credit to someone else if the lesson is partly, or entirely, theirs. Likewise, if you find a lesson useful, please make sure to leave credits on the handouts and give credit to the originator if you share it. I’d hate to send The Next 26 Police out to knock on your door.  🙂

More than anything though, share this resource with a colleague near you. Use this spark, or one of the many others on this site, to start a dialogue with another adviser in your area.

Help yourself. Help others.

Lesson Twenty-Six

Lesson topic: Headline Writing/Tweet Composition
Shared by:  Starr Sackstein
Who are you: High school newspaper and journalism teacher (English too) at World Journalism Prep School in Flushing, NY
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: What can you say in 140 characters that would seduce an unlikely reader to slow down long enough to get engaged? Tweet your headlines to make them click your link or read your page.

Download: You can see the exercise Starr uses with her class here.

Lesson Twenty-Five

Lesson topic: Photo Feature Hunting
Shared by:  Dow Tate
Who are you: I’m the adviser for Harbinger Online, Harbinger and Hauberk, the news website, newspaper and yearbook at Shawnee Mission East High Scho0ol in Prairie Village.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: We assigned photographers for spreads and stories for both newspaper and yearbook. But we always needed the other photos in different sections and now for web galleries and wild art photos.  So out of necessity was born this feature hunting exercise for photographers.

Download: You can find a deeper description of what he does with his photographers here and some ideas of weekly challenges and rules here.

Lesson Twenty-Four

Lesson topic: Social Media
Shared by:  Marina Hendricks
Who are you: I am senior manager of communications for the Newspaper Association of America in Arlington, Va. In a previous life, I ran a program for teen journalists sponsored by The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia and taught an introductory journalism course at a local university.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: The “Social Media Toolbox,” available at hendricksproject.wordpress.com, features 16 lessons on social media plus related resources. The lessons can be used as a unit or individually, depending on the needs of students, advisers and school publication programs.

Download: You can find an overview for the lesson unit here or download it as a PDF.

Lesson Twenty-Three

Lesson topic: Brainstorming, Story Ideas, Newsgathering
Shared by:  Jesse McLean
Who are you: I’m a second-year adviser at Waterford Kettering High School in Waterford, Michigan. I advise WKHS-TV, a new broadcast news program at my school. I also student taught under Brian Wilson, where I co-advised the newspaper and yearbook during that time.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Sometimes the best story ideas come from places you don’t necessarily expect. For this lesson, I have my students fill out short responses for each square on this brainstorming sheet. My students are expected to fill out at least 16 of the 18 squares on the sheet in order to get full credit. They’ll come in with the sheet filled out and then they’ll sit in a circle and my executive producer will lead their discussion about all of their ideas for the majority of the hour. This lesson was inspired by former newspaper adviser at H.H. Dow High School, Betsy Pollard Rau.

Download: Jesse has shared the two pages of her double-sided handout she uses here.

Lesson Twenty-Two

Lesson topic: Photography, Observations, News/Feature gathering
Shared by:  Megan Ortiz
Who are you: A third-year adviser at Summer Creek High School in Houston. I advise the Odyssey newspaper and the Signature yearbook. (editor’s note full disclosure: she is also my sister and a former professional journalist who covered the NFL and NBA among other things)
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Each year, students in my photojournalism classes are sent in pairs to various classrooms. They go with a partner and one camera. While one students shoots, the other sits, observes and takes notes. Partway through their allotted time, they switch so that both of them have time to shoot the photos. They help gather names and information they could utilize in captions and/or a story down the road. The accompanying handout is a guide to help get them thinking like a reporter – and a lot of times it sparks ideas for feature or news stories. They have to shoot photos of the teachers and the students, and they spend about 45 minutes in the classroom. The students are then able to download their photos, batch rename them in Bridge and caption the five they like the best. Yearbook is always looking at these photos to see what they can use, and sometimes they pop up in newspaper as well.

On a side note: Toward the end of the year, the best teacher photos are made into poster-sized color prints. The students in all of my classes write a personal essay about a teacher/principal/counselor who has impacted them. The photos are then put in the main hallway – along with the essay – during Teacher Appreciation Week. It ends up being a way for the students to thank their teachers for putting up with all their interruptions and requests during newspaper and yearbook production. The students love seeing their work up in the hall, and the teachers/principals read every word that is posted.

Download: Megan has shared the handout she uses with her class to track their work. Download it here.

Lesson Twenty-One

Lesson topic: Interviewing/Feature Leads
Shared by: Evelyn Lauer
Who are you: Second-year adviser of Niles West News (www.nileswestnews.org), the student-run website at Niles West High School in Skokie, IL. 2012 JEA Rising Star.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Before we talk about feature writing, we spend a lot of time reading great feature writing–focusing on details, observation, story-telling, and adding color. One essay that I have my students read is “The American Male at Age Ten” by Susan Orlean. (This is a long piece; we read an excerpt) Reading this piece leads into discussions about “everyone has a story.” I tell them: “You could literally walk in the halls right now and interview someone and tell his or her story. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done.”

To drive this point home, I have them interview a classmate. (We do this at the beginning of the semester, too, during our interview unit, but now their skills have developed and they are asking questions to write a feature, not a news story.) Based on a 10-minute interview, their task is to then write a feature lead, pretending they are writing a profile on their classmate.

Their goal: DON’T BORE ME! Your job, as a reporter/writer, is to make this person interesting. It’s all about asking the right questions, listening, and then telling a good story.

Download: Evelyn has shared the feature lead sample.

Lesson Twenty

Lesson topic: Quotations
Shared by: Allison Berryhill
Who are you: I teach English and journalism at Atlantic High School in Iowa.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This lesson invites students to inductively discover various types of quotations and their purposes.

Download: Allison has shared the handout and exercise she uses with her class. Download it here.

Lesson Nineteen

Lesson topic: Photojournalistic Images
Shared by: Eric Thomas
Who are you: Eric Thomas teaches publications at St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Missouri: the Dart print newspaper, DartNewsOnline website and the Teresian yearbook.  St. Teresa’s is an all-girls private Catholic high school founded in 1866.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Often as photography teachers we get hung up on the photo composition principles: leading lines, rule of thirds, framing, etc. Those categories don’t help students create photographs with photojournalistic content. In teaching photojournalism I try to lean back on all of the kinds of photographs that I tried to gather when I worked as a professional photojournalist and when I studied photojournalism. This lesson plan showcases the kind of images that I want my student photojournalists to bring back to the publications room.”

Source Materials: Here are the source materials Eric uses for this lesson:

Lesson Eighteen

Lesson topic: News Gathering
Shared by: Ann Visser
Who are you: I’m the self-proclaimed queen of Pella (Iowa) High School, which does not mean I’m the oldest, just the one who has been here the longest. Advising publications has truly been a gift in so many ways, and I’m excited to having been a part of the profession for almost 30 years.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Trying to get your students out and about to gather the news? Looking for a way to make sure that they are thinking about what is happening that goes above and beyond monthly beat sheets? This might be the answer, especially for those yearbook staffs who are doing weekly coverage.

Download: Here is the handout students use with this lesson.

Lesson Seventeen

Lesson topic: Observation and description
Shared by: Matthew Schott
Who are you: I’m the publications adviser at Francis Howell Central H.S. in St. Charles, Mo. where I advise the newspaper, yearbook and literary magazine and each of those publications digital component.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This is a one to two day lesson I teach a couple days into my unit on profile/feature writing. It focuses on getting reporters to observe what is going on around them and taking them past just simply looking at something and describing it. I usually tie this in to my unit on writing profiles.

Download: Here is a handout he uses with his class for this observation lesson.

Lesson Sixteen

Lesson topic: Social Media
Shared by: Beth Phillips
Who are you: I am assistant journalism adviser at Francis Howell North High School. This is my sixth year teaching my fourth year being involved with the journalism program.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Whether a student is starting their own social media account or working on a social media account for the school publication, they need to have a plan and focus. Here is a planning sheet and evaluation sheet for students to follow. Students should develop a plan and execute the plan for two weeks. After two weeks, they should evaluate the plan and keep what worked and change what didn’t. Hopefully, they will keep improving on their social media presence. Students will classify their posts into categories, and those categories were mooched from Sarah Nichols’ assignment “It is ok to be a follower.”

Download: Here is a handout she created to help develop a plan and another she created that will help evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.

Lesson Fifteen

Lesson topic: Writing for a modern audience
Shared by: Rod Satterthwaite
Who are you: I am the newspaper adviser at Dexter High School in Dexter, Mich. I also teach one journalism class a year as a part time faculty member at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This lesson looks at alternative ways to provide coverage to today’s increasingly distracted audience of reluctant readers. I’m not advocating dumbing things down. I am advocating looking at other ways of covering events apart from the 10 inch story.

Download: Here is the presentation Rod uses to teach this lesson and he has graciously included notes to accompany the presentation.

Lesson Fourteen

Lesson topic: News Writing
Shared by: Gary Lindsay
Who are you: After teaching for 40 years at Kennedy High in Cedar Rapids, I have recently retired and now work as JEA’s mentor for Iowa, and keep busy working on JEA committee work, and local organizations. This lesson was developed by several JEA members as part of the inaugural National Professional Learning Committee headed by Jim Streisel and Mark Newton. This great team can take the credit or blame. It does work though, and my students consistently said it taught them more than any other lesson I used.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This week-long lesson gives students a set of facts and quotes that can be used to develop a news story about an athlete who may have messed up. I know, it’s far fetched (I wish!). Students need to apply previously taught skills of news judgment, and as the lesson progresses they are introduced to lead writing, news story formats, effective sentence combining and journalism ethics. The unique thing about this assignment is, like real-world stories, the facts change as the week progresses. The lesson is all explained on the PDF handout, and I have attached a rubric for evaluating the stories in process. Email me for an editable ID document if you want to adapt it to your own school.

Download: Here is the PDF handout and accompanying rubric.

Lesson Thirteen

Lesson topic: Using Twitter to learn about from other journalists
Shared by: Coni C. Grebel, CJE
Who are you: I’m a veteran English teacher who became a journalism teacher by default — no one else on staff would take it. That was 10 years ago, and I cried when they told me I would teach journalism. The only thing I knew about a newspaper was how to read one. Now, I’d cry if they told me I couldn’t teach journalism — and I might just quit. It is the highlight of my day. I teach at Lee County High School where I advise the Panoptic, the PanopticOnline, and the Mag literary magazine. I also teach honors tenth grade world literature and composition, senior British lit and comp and advanced composition. Oh — and most important — I’m mom of three daughters and three sons-in-law and grandmother of 3 1/2 darling little boys.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: When I started my Twitter account, the only accounts I followed were related to journalism or teaching journalism. I couldn’t believe that I was suddenly learning so much more and finding so many more resources from teachers across the country. I wanted my students to learn that Twitter was more than just telling your friends where you are and what you’re doing. That was the catalyst for this lesson. I wanted my students to see a productive use for Twitter, I wanted to see them forced to be concise in their writing, and I wanted to let them discover the pool of journalism resources available through social media. And while we were at it, I wanted to see the staff Twitter account spread increase followers. You’ll see that food served as the motivator for that aspect. The project lasted two weeks, but for most of my staff, the journalism Twitter accounts are still active, and I now hear them quoting advice from some noted journalism programs.Next year I will use this project in the fall and will probably refer back to it intermittently throughout the year.

Download: Here is the handout Coni uses with this assignment.

Lesson Twelve

Lesson topic: SLR Photography, Manual Shooting
Shared by: Mary Prichard
Who are you: CJE; Journalism instructor at North Kansas City High School; adviser of school newspaper “The Hornet’s Buzz” and yearbook “The Purgold”.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Before my beginning Photo students are allowed to physically get their hands on our dSLR yearbook/newspaper staff cameras, I require them to learn the manual shooting concepts of shutter speed, aperture, exposure, etc. Penn State University created a great SLR simulator website last year at http://photo.comm.psu.edu, and I created this straight-forward activity set of questions to go along with it. I personally like to have students work together on it in pairs, so they can explain and teach each other as they try to figure out all the questions. Then I break them into 6 groups and they have to use the website and “present” their answers for a specific section (DoF, focal length, white balance, ss, exposure, ISO) to the entire class. You can use the questions however you like — if you need help answering one, feel free to contact me.
Bonus camera simulator site links that photography teachers might find useful:

Download: Here is the handout Mary uses to go along with the Penn State site she references above.

Lesson Eleven

Lesson topic: Yearbook theme development
Shared by: Mitch Eden
Who are you: Kirkwood H.S. journalism adviser, proud father and husband, Duke basketball enthusiast and just giddy UNC did not make the Final Four.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: On the heels of Valerie’s newspaper redesign lesson (which I have used the past decade–thanks, Valerie), here is a theme development assignment I use when the book is completed and a unit in my Journalism I class to expose the kids to magazine journalism. This was given to me when I began 16 years ago and I have modified it somewhat. Thanks to the person who shared and I apologize for not remembering.
Download: Here is the handout Mitch uses to explain the assignment to his students.

Lesson Ten

Lesson topic: Reporting the news
Shared by: Jack Kennedy
Who are you: After 30 years advising newspaper and yearbook in high schools in Iowa and Colorado, I now torment college students along Colorado’s Front Range.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: I have used this assignment as a sort of boot camp for beginning journalism students for nearly 20 years, and it usually came in the middle of the trimester when I taught at City High in Iowa City. To be asked to write five consecutive short news stories over a week is an eye-opener for the students, and I could quickly identify the “gunners” in the class. I am including a handout I created from the actual results of this assignment, all reported in January, 1997. Lots of things have changed since then, but the stories still read pretty much like they might have happened yesterday.
Download: Here is the handout Jack used to explain the assignment to his reporters. He has also included some sample stories that he received from this assignment.

Lesson Nine

Lesson topic: Redesigning a newspaper lesson plan.
Shared by: Valerie Kibler
Who are you: Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg, VA. (editors’s note: Val was the 2010 Dow Jones News Fund National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year)
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Redesigning the newspaper at the end of each year.
Download: Here is a detailed sheet Valerie uses for the activity. It includes everything from the activity parts and points breakdown to names of useful materials and resources.

Lesson Eight

Lesson topic: Finding Story Ideas Through Observation
Shared by: Brian Wilson
Who are you: I advise the yearbook and newspaper at Waterford (MI) Kettering High School, as well as our newspaper’s website, murmurnews.com. I also teach AP Language and Composition.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: In this one-class-period activity, students have an opportunity to observe what happens in a randomly selected spot somewhere in the school. They are instructed to take notes on what they see, hear, and smell. After 15 minutes, they report back to the room, write the beginning to a story based on their spot, and then share their stories with the class.
Download: Here is the instruction sheet Brian uses for an exercise with his newspaper and yearbook staffs. He says the exercise generates some great story ideas for both staffs.

Lesson Seven

Lesson topic: Organization, Motivation
Shared by: Jonathan Rogers
Who are you: Adviser, Iowa City High School
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Internet Team Challenge – For this assignment the staff divided themselves into teams to compete for prizes based on the most hits, most posts, and creativity. “Sprinkles” of positive reinforcement work better than deadlines or negative grade consequences in my experience. Donuts go out to high hit winners on Monday and a pizza party usually happens at the end. It should be noted that this doesn’t happen every month. I go on the philosophy that everything works and nothing works. This happens probably two months out of the year to really get them jazzed. The rest of the time everyone is required to have one post a month on the internet, while the internet team shoots for ten posts a week with a minimum of five.

Download: Here is a 2-page instruction sheet Brian has shared.

Lesson Six

Lesson topic: Student Press Law
Shared by: Kyle Phillips
Who are you: I’m a second year teacher and journalism adviser at George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I advise the Surveyor (newspaper), www.crwashsurveyor.com (web presence), and the Monument (yearbook).
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This is just a basic lesson that covers all the basics kids need to know about the First Amendment and student press law before we begin any actual writing. Topics covered are: First Amendment, Tinker, Hazelwood, and student free expression laws- in my case Iowa’s. Information about these cases is built into the Prezi as well as ‘what would you do’ situations for the students to consider. I borrowed parts of this activity from my adviser, Jeff Morris, who got a lot of his materials from Jack Kennedy.
Download: Here is the link to the Prezi that Kyle uses for this lesson.

Lesson Five

Lesson topic: Video/Non Linear Editing
Shared by: Matt Rasgorshek
Who are you: I am the video and online adviser at Westside High School in Omaha, NE.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Why using video and audio layers is like making a pizza. Your base layer is the dough, the 2nd layer is the sauce, etc.
Download: Here you can download a handout that describes what Matt does.

Lesson Four

Lesson topic: Short News Package
Shared by: Don Goble
Who are you: Don is in his 7th year teaching full-time at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis, MO. Don serves as the Broadcast Technology Instructor, Co-Director of LHS-TV, and the Ladue School District Video Producer.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: The Short News Package Directions: Plan, research, write, shoot and edit a :45 – :60 second short video news story focusing on and interviewing a C.O.O.L Character (Colorful. Outgoing. Lively. – “Everybody has a story to tell.
Download: Here you can download a .zip file with everything from instructions to a scoring guide.

Lesson Three

Lesson topic: Feature Writing
Shared by: Joe Humphrey
Who are you: I teach journalism at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla. I’m president of the Florida Scholastic Press Association, a member of the JEA Certification Commission and a former reporter.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: This single-period lecture uses detail-rich feature writing to help students understand how intense reporting can create more memorable stories. There’s a PowerPoint with about a dozen hyperlinked stories. The big “idea” out of this is to help students think beyond simply writing “the football story” and instead fleshing out a more intense focus.
Download: Here you can download a .zip file with a Powerpoint and referenced stories.

Lesson Two

Lesson topic: Interviewing
Shared by: H. L. Hall
Who are you: I advised yearbook and newspaper at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, MO, before retiring in 1999. Since that time I served as executive director of the Tennessee High School Press Association for six years. Currently I am an adjunct instructor for Kent State University in its online master’s degree program, and I serve as chair of JEA’s Yearbook Adviser of the Year award.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: Dig! Dig! Dig! (This handout has a great explanation of what HL is talking about and two exercises at the end to use this week in your class.
Download:Download the Dig! Dig! Dig! handout here.

Lesson One

Lesson topic: Interviewing
Shared by: Aaron Manfull
Who are you: I’m Aaron. This is my site. I’m generally overly-caffeinated. You can find out more than you want to know about me on Twitter @manfull.
Briefly describe the lesson you are sharing: If you went through the journalism program at Washington High School during Donna Manfull’s tenure (yep, that’s my mom) you knew this handout and lesson better than about any other one at the school. She created a great lesson for generating questions for for interviews. The concept is based off a 21-question format whereby questions are asked in an order that put the interviewer into the best possible position to get good information. Questions begin easy and become more difficult and open-ended as the interview goes on and the interviewee becomes more comfortable. I’ve done some very minor tweaking over the years to her handout so when you see this, assume 95% of it is hers and 5% of it is mine. Whatever the percentage is, she used it for years with her students (me included) and I’ve used it for 14 years with mine. This is definitely the money lesson in my arsenal and pays dividends long after it’s taught.
Download: Feel free to download the handout here.


This is an introductory course in component-based software design and development.  The goal is to introduce you to software development techniques applicable in a component-based, integrated software development environment in which the focus is on windows-based and embedded software products.  You will learn about (and practice using) object-oriented software design techniques, event-driven programming, the C# .NET language, and approaches to good forms design.  You will also learn how to navigate about and take full advantage of an integrated development environment and how to build good quality user interfaces with databases and sequential files.

I will work hard to help make learning happen.  This is a course design task for me.  Most of us learn much of what we know by doing, not by just by listening or reading, although listening, reading, and taking good notes can also be very helpful.  A corollary is that the careful design of exercises, assignments, projects, even quizzes, should have a greater impact on your learning experience than the construction of lectures.  But this only works well if you get involved and stay involved from today through the end of the semester.

Hattie was a woman who believed that the secret
of success in life was getting the fundamentals right.

Attributed by Thomas Friedman to his high school Journalism teacher, Hattie M. Steinberg (see Thank you for Being Late, p. 388).  You can decide for yourselves whether or not this applies to CIS 3309 as well as all your other courses.  Obviously, I believe it does.  We will need to work together to ensure we get right the fundamentals of object-oriented design and programmming.

The Microsoft .NETIntegrated Software Development Environment (IDE)  will be used in this course.  The programming language we will use for system implementation is C#.NET.  C#.NET (C sharp dot net) is amulti-paradigm programming language developed by Microsoft within its .NET initiative and later approved as an international standard.  The most recent version is C# 6.0, which was released in July, 2015.

The centerpiece in the creation of software applications is an extensive set of larger-scale, generic, and highly adaptable and re-usable software components which are combined to enable us to rapidly build new windows- and web-based software systems.  These components are executable units of code providing a black-box encapsulation of a set of related services.  These services can only be accessed (connected to other components) through a consistent, documented communications interface that includes.  Components range in scope from user-interface icons and controls, such as menu-bars and hypertext navigators, to complete products such as support software for portable computers, and hand-held devices such as cell-phones.  In this course, you will learn how to design and implement software components that form the underlying fabric of software solutions. 

C# is not the only language we could use to practice OOD and OOP.  Languages such as Visual Basic, C++, Python, and Java also provide the same kind of software development support.  In the .NET framework, these languages may be used interchangeably with C#.  All may be used to reference other components to build new software solutions.

•    Develop an appreciation for programming in an object-oriented environment, where our design efforts involve MODELING (using C# class components)  problem domain and fabricated entities, their attributes, and their interactions.  The interactions are achieved through the sending of messages, achieved in C# .NET through the use of methods written as part of your classes.  And so, we will use an object-oriented design paradigm, rather then the largely procedural oriented paradigm used in your first two programming courses, to build new software.

•    Be proficient in the use of C# .NET for developing windows-based applications.

•    Develop an appreciation for the use of a robust Integrated Development Environment (Visual Studio in this case) for software development and an in-depth understanding of how to navigate around this environment use the tools it makes available to get your work done.

•    Understand how to connect to, query, and modify existing databases.  (Although we will focus on  the use of Access databases in this course, what you will learn is transportable to work with other relational databases, such as Oracle and Sequel-Server.)

•   Be familiar with some of the textual and on-line resources to help you understand how to write C# code as well as how to import and reference a myriad of software components.

•   Be familiar with a broad range of written and on-line help tutorials that are available for free, and illustrate how to develop software components to achieve the functionality you or your client requires.   For this class, it is quite likely that your ownly client will be ...ME!  But it will not be long before you will have to deal with real people.

•   Have had a brief introduction to the world of web-based software development and deployment.



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 Frank L. Friedman
Office hours:Tuesday           10:30 AM - 12:00 PM (noon)
Wednesday     10:00 AM - noon
                            (occassionally - when I come for lab)
Thursday         12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Please try to make an appointment as my schedule is ofteninterrupted by meetings and other events.[i]
Phone Number: (215) 204-5559
Office: Room SERC 366
E-mail: frank.friedman@temple.edu
      or:  http://knight.cis.temple.edu/~friedman
WebBoard: Temple's  new Canvas system (canvas.temple.edu)
Lab Instructors:Instructor: Daniel Sebastian    daniel.sebastian@temple.edu
Helper:Kelvin Doo   kelvin.doo@temple.edu
Offices:Serc 383           
Office Hours:Kelvin has no office hour obligations for now.  Daniel's hours are currently set at Fridays 2:00pm to 3:00 pm in SERC 383.
Always confirm before coming to visit

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Class Hours 

3309.001 Tuesday  02:00pm - 03:20pm TL 401A
3309.001 Thursday          02:00pm - 03:20pmTL 401A

Lab Hours 

3309.001 Lab Wednesday   10:00am - 11:50am  SERC 359

CIS 1068: Computer Programming and Higher Level Language
CIS 2168: Data Structures
CIS 2109: Introduction to Database and File Management
MATH 1022 or 1038

If you are registered for this course, but do not meet the pre-requisites, contact the instructor immediately.  Students who have not completed the pre-requisites will not be awarded a grade for this course.
1. Primary Text: To be used primarily in lab with some lab discussion.
Murach's C# 2015, by Joel Murach and Anne Boehm (Mike Murach and Associates, Inc.)


 NOTE: You can buy this book directly from Mike Murach Associates by going to their web page.  I don't think you can beat their price, although you also will not get the book right away.  Another good place to buy books is on line at www.bigwords.com .  Students say the price is right and delivery is prompt.  You might wish to take a look.   You can always look at Amazon.com as well, Half.com, Chegg.com (http://www.chegg.com/ ) or BookRenter.  Also -- take a look at campusbooks4less.  The ISBN Number for the book you need is978-1-890774-94-3.  (If need be, copy this ISBN if you go to this site).  Be patient - it takes a while for the search for the different sites that might be selling this book to be completed.

Yet another approach, one that gives you access the the ebook for this text in Facing Page format, is to go toVitalSource store.  This is a new ebook sales site for Murach's texts.  If you want the ebook, this may be your best bet, as Facing Page format (a text material page facing a page with related examples, as shown next) is the easiest way to read this text.  You will need to set up a VitalSource account first, and you will need the ISBN, author, or title of the book all of which may be found above.

As you can see, this gives you all the instructional benefits of our "paired pages" formatting as used in the paper copy of the book, plus all of the features that VitalSource provides, like searching, highlighting, and note-taking.

With VitalSource, you can also set up offline access on up to 4 devices at a time. If you get a new computer or mobile device, you can easily move your eBooks there; they'll come complete with any annotations you've made. And you can access your eBooks from the online version of Bookshelf, too, though we think you're going to like the offline app better.

2. There are prleny of secondary texts around,  but one does not stand out from any other. So I won't make any suggestions.  I think the lecture notes and the assigned text book should be sufficient for 99.9% of your needs.  

I strongly urge you to buy the Murach book, and to do so as soon as possible.  (If you cannot buy it immediately, the first three chapters are accessible on line through Canvas --> Modules --> Content.  I have also extracted material from other texts which I think you will find helpful. I will make every effort to indicate what lecture notes and textbook material I think is most important.  Note that an ebook version of the text is available on the Murach website.  If you wish to use this version, you may find it helpful to be able to view the text in terms of paira of "facing pages."  To do this:

       -- click on the “View” button  
      -- go to “page layout”
        --  choose “facing”

As far as I know, this option is not available on a Mac.



You will need Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Express Edition, Standard Edition, Professional Edition, or Team System.   We have a University license that permits you to get a copy of this software from the department.  Go to the second floor of SERC (Room 201) to check in with Tom Stauffer to get properly setup with Visual Studio through the Temple/CIS license.  Tom will create a login for you for our “webstore” on the Microsoft Imagine web, and will then give you the correct URL to get to this website.  Be sure to load and use Visual Studio 2015. Information about installing VS 2015 (at home for example, or on your portable computer) may be found in Appendix A of the Murach C#.NET text, beginning on p. 858. 

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***** Percents are to be used only as an approximate guide.  They are subject to changes depending on size and scope of projects, the number of quizzes and the number and total points related to homework assignments.

There are two distinct components to your grade. NOTE CAREFULLY : YOU MUST RECEIVE A C- OR BETTER IN EACH OF THESE TWO COMPONENTS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A C- IN THE COURSE.  Anything less than a C- in either and you will need to retake CIS 3309 before moving along to other IS&T undergraduate courses.  

  • Lab Assignments and Projects -- These all involve use of the Visual Studio IDE for designing and writing code for solving problems all graded by the lab assistant.
  • Everything else (See the table below) -- These are graded by the instructor and usually require written work in the form of 1) answers to questions concerning the reading, course lectures, or on-line materials or 2) design/planning for Lab Assignments you are working on.
Homework Assignments  15%
Student Presentations  7%
Midterm Exam (in class part)  15%
Midterm Exam (in lab part)  15%
Final Exam  25%
Other - attendance, class participation, etc    8%

Homework Assignments, Lab Assignments and Projects (and their due-date schedules) will be available elsewhere on this web site (see the Weekly Schedule). Students are expected to view/download these assignments.  You should make it a point to visit the web site frequently.  Failing to check the course web site is not an acceptable excuse for late submission, or missing exams.  Late submissions, unless permitted, will not be accepted.

The Lab Assignments and Projects are not counted as part of your course grade.  Rather, your course grade is made up of your scores on all other work (as summarized in the above table).  Your Lab work is then used to raise or lower your grade based upon the quality of the lab work you submit.  The 'Other'  portion of the grade is subjective, reflecting class participation, effort, individual contribution to the project and significant improvement during the semester. 

Assignments & Quizzes
There will be a number of Homework Assignments in addition to the normal course Lab Assignments and Projects. There are normally intended to ensure your are keeping up with course reading and lab work and that you understand the key concepts covered in the course.  The assignments have to be submitted at the beginning of class on the due date and will normally be graded by the course instructor.  In addition there will approximately 7 be announced quizzes. 

There is a scheduled lab that runs once a week.  Attendance at this lab is no longer required although attendance will be taken.   Failure to attend lab when you are struggling is not a good idea.  During the lab, you are expected to work on  Labs Assignments and Projects (see below).  There will be a number of such labs and projects assigned -- approximately one per text chapter (one per week) in the begiining.   Your work and progress on the projects will be reviewed and evaluated at designated milestones.

There will be at least three projects, and probably a fourth one --

    1) An introductory project (a simple introduction to C# and object-oriented programming)
    2) A small project involving object-oriented concepts, software layering, and the use of
        sequential files.
    3) An advanced game project involving everything learned to date (and more).
    4) A small business-oriented final project (focused on databases and inheritance). 

The last two projects will be done in groups of size 2.  These projects can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks each. They will involve:

     -- the analysis of a problem of modest complexity;
     -- the design and documentation of a solution (using the object-oriented paradigm), and
     -- the implementation of a C#.NET  program of modest size and complexity. 

I will most likely assign all project specifics, although it is possible that each group of students will have the option of selecting the game project (Project 3 above) they want to do.   Students will provide regular progress reports demonstrating that they are making good use of the material taught in the course.  For the Advanced Game Project (the 3rd Project), one or more (as time permits) presentations of student work will be given to the class.

Grading Scale
Grading for the course is expected to be on the following scale:

95+         A
90-94      A-
87-89     B+
83-86        B
80-82        B-
77-79          C+
73-76       C
70-72       C-
67-69        D+
63-66        D
60-62        D-
0-60           F

This is just a guideline, the final grading may differ somewhat, especially if exam grades are curved.

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Important Dates
Students should regularly visit this CIS 3309 website and the Temple Portal for all announcements related to calendar dates and special events.   Note that you can also go to theTemple Academic Calendar for calendar information (dates for the current semester).  Once on the Temple University homepage,  go to Quick Links and then click on Calendar and then the current semester.  These dates are also in the Fall semester bulletin.  They are important!  Don't forget to look.

In addition, a planned schedule of readings and labs may be found by following the Link to Weekly Schedule.  The Textbook and Lecture Sets readings and the Labs are the key to success in this course, and the readings are critical to your success in the Labs.  So ... do them diligently and keep up with the schedule.

Web Conferencing 
We use a web conferencing tool,  the Temple University Canvas System, for outside class interaction. You will need to get a University AccessNet account and password from Computer Services to log on to this site. 

Canvas Access:


and follow the directions for getting a student account or for doing anything else involving Temple or information about Temple, its activities, courses, etc.  The portal is access port to Temple University computing facilities and lots, lots more.

The Canvas site for CIS 3309 can be used as a message board and also as a discussion forum where you may post comments/questions about the course, assignment, projects or any other relevant matter.

Please note that this forum is strictly for discussion on the course content, assignments and projects. All matters of class policy should be addressed directly to the instructor. I do not expect to moderate the forum, however I will intervene if I feel the need to redirect the focus back on the course.  NOTE: Communication with the instructor (me) should be handled directly through e-mail:


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Exams will be in class and, for the mid-term, in the lab.  They may use application/problem solving questions, short answer and/or a  combination of multiple choice.  You will be notified whether the exam will be open book and open notes.  The content for exams is cumulative, i.e. all material covered up to the day of exam may be included.  Exams will generally be based on material covered in class and lab, but not necessarily restricted to it.  There will be no make up exams except by prior arrangement.  

Tentative Labs Schedule 

To view the tentative lab schedule, click here. 

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Homework Assignment Submission Schedule

To view the homework schedule, click here.

[i]Do not hesitate to make an appointment or send me an e-mail if you cannot meet with me during normal office hours.  Also, feel free to drop in, but it works best if you make an appointment. We can meet online or in person!

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