If you are considering taking AP Computer Science Principles in the Fall of 2016, you will help to ensure that you will have a job after you graduate college. Nearly, 70% of computer science majors in college have at least one job offer waiting for the right after they graduate. The new course will emphasize creative ways to solve problems in the larger world and is meant to prepare students for both college and employment situations. In development since 2008, 50 high school and higher education teachers are collaborating to make sure that the course is interactive, current, and relevant.
How will AP Computer Science Principles Differ from the Past Computer Courses?
Instead of simply reviewing a programming language, the course will cover technology and programming as a solution for computer issues. It will focus on computers and their interaction society.
In addition to computer science, the course will build communication and collaboration skills, emphasize problem solving as individuals and as groups, and examine technology in the world. The class will focus on seven big ideas entrenched in the principles of STEM education: creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the Internet, and global impact.
The class is meant to mimic a first semester introduction to college computing course. The course teaches the computational thinking practices necessary for developing the knowledge and skills to analyze data and communicate. Because the course focuses around seven big ideas, each uses questions and concepts to connect every idea to the next. These questions tend to be large-scale questions that rely on information learned in previous sections.
The AP Test
As with many AP classes, the Computer Science Principles course features thorough learning goals and objectives. This course will be creative, iterative, and exploratory, which makes it very useful for a variety of learners. The AP test for this course will consist of two parts. First, the AP exam and then the through-course AP assessment. The AP test will be administered as a multiple choice test filled out with paper and pencil. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of course learning objectives.
In the through-course assessment, students will complete two performance tasks involving programming. They’ll look at student learning in a more comprehensive way than can be achieved on a timed test. Students will perform their knowledge in a real world way.
Overall, the course aims to teach valuable job skills to students that will lead students to future careers in technology.