Is CSC108H the only introductory CS course I can take?
Regardless of your degree program, we think that acquiring some experience with computer programming is useful. CSC108H is taken by students planning to enrol in a Computer Science program and by many students from other programs. CSC108H is not the only introductory course we offer, and we have other courses that are designed for students who plan to study something other than Computer Science. You can find more information about the different CSC first year courses here.
We hope you enjoy whichever CSC course you choose to take!
Should I take the online or on-campus inverted version of CSC108?
There are two versions of CSC108H in the fall term: five inverted on-campus sections, and one online section. Each has a different mode of learning, and you will need to choose which is best for you. They all are roughly the same amount of work, but the delivery mechanisms are quite different.
We encourage you to speak to the CS Undergraduate Office or your college registrar if you still aren't sure what to do.
In both versions, as part of your study time, you will watch roughly an hour of video lectures every week to learn the basics about a topic, and practice programming by doing exercises in an online system called the PCRS.
Both sections will write the same final exam.
- Inverted classroom sections: L0101 (MWF10), L0201 (MWF11), L0301 (MWF1), L0401 (MWF2), and L5101 (W6-9)
These sections are on campus and are delivered through 3 lecture hours a week. During lectures, you will do exercises that help cement your understanding of the material presented in the videos. The instructor and several TAs will be available to answer any questions you have about the material.
The on-campus section is appropriate for people who enjoy working with peers to learn material, and who would like regular, scheduled contact with the teaching staff.
You will complete weekly exercises, 3 assignments, a midterm test, and a final exam.
- Online section: L9901
This section is fully online. You can do everything except the final exam from the comfort of your living room. This will require the same amount of work as the on-campus sections. There are additional online exercises in lieu of the on-campus lectures. You will complete weekly exercises, 3 assignments, a midterm test (online), and the same final exam as the on-campus sections.
You will get most of your help through the course discussion forum, which is checked regularly by course staff.
Here are some things to consider:
- What are the reasons you are considering taking a course online? Some good reasons to take a course online include reducing your commute time, having a course that works better with your work or family schedule, or being able to work at your own pace. However, some students have the misconception that online courses will be easier, or less work, than on-campus courses, but that isn't the case! Although there are no face-to-face lectures, students in the online section are assigned additional work to be done to in place of lectures. The online version of CSC108H has the same exercises, assignments, and exam as the on-campus section.
- Will you be able to set aside time each week to work on the course materials? Unlike CSC108H on-campus, there is no set timeslot in your schedule for CSC108H online. You will need to set aside time in your schedule to complete the CSC108H coursework.
- Is being able to interact with your instructor and classmates face-to-face important to you? Online students can get their questions answered on the online discussion forums or in office hours, and we make efforts to create opportunities for online students to meet their instructor and classmates in person. However, there is less face-to-face interaction in an online course than in an on-campus course. Some students report feeling isolated in online courses.
- What else should I consider? U of T provides some more general guidance for students considering taking any online course. You can find that information here.