Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming

Have you ever wished you knew how to program, but had no idea where to start from? This course will teach you how to program in Scratch, an easy to use visual programming language. More importantly, it will introduce you to the fundamental principles of computing and it will help you think like a software engineer.

About The Course

Computer programs are everywhere: from coffee machines and MP3 players, to spaceships and medical robots. But just like astronomy is more than simply using telescopes, Computer Science is more than simply using computers. It’s about programming computers to tell them precisely what to do. Coding is an invaluable skill that helps people think computationally, and hence effectively solve problems within and outside computer science. It is also creative and fun, allowing you, for instance, to build computer games to play with your friends.

This course will introduce you to computer programming with Scratch, one of the easiest to use programming languages. You will create computer programs by plugging graphical coding blocks together, for example to create animations, build games and construct interactive stories.

But this course is much more than an introduction to Scratch. It will teach you how to think like a programmer, a computer scientist, a software engineer! It will introduce you to the fundamental principles of computing, and prompt you to think around topics like algorithm design, user interaction, code reusability and generalisation of solutions.

You will learn all this through in-depth, hands-on examples, interviews with computing experts, fun quizzes and creative projects. By the end of this course you will be equipped with a solid understanding of the foundations of computing, allowing you to move to different programming languages or take a more advanced programming course in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will be offered a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructors.

Do I earn University of Edinburgh / Universidad ORT Uruguay credits upon completion of this class?
The Statement of Accomplishment is not part of a formal qualification from the universities. However, it may be useful to demonstrate prior learning and interest in Computer Science to a higher education institution.

What resources will I need for this class?
All you need is a computer with web access. You can choose to either download the free programming environment Scratch or to use the online Scratch editor.

I know nothing about programming. Can I still take this class?
Yes. This course is intended for people who have never programmed before, and it is a step-by-step, gentle introduction to programming for everyone.

What will I achieve by the end of this course?
This course will allow you to:

  1. Understand and apply fundamental principles and concepts of computer science.
  2. Analyse problems in computational terms.
  3. Understand and follow basic software engineering practices.
  4. Design, create, debug, reuse and re-purpose computer programs in Scratch.
What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?
You will be able to design and build your very own computer game, similar to Flappy Bird.

For what age range is this class appropriate?
This class is perfect for ages around 11-14, but kids of other ages should also find the course worthwhile. For juniors under 11 years old we would recommend that a parent or teacher is available to oversee the student’s learning and help where required.

Is this course only for children and teenagers?
Even though this course is targeted mainly to children and teenagers, it is designed to work equally well with adults.

I am a teacher. Can I reuse these course materials in my own teaching?
Yes, as long as you comply with the Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) for this course.

Recommended Background

No prior computing experience is needed. This course is intended for people who have never programmed before, and it is designed to work equally well for children and adults.