INFO 287-01
INFO 287-12
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Introduction to Scratch
Fall 2016 Syllabus

Dr. D. Weissmann
Office location: BbIM
Office Hours: By request

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 24th, 6 am PDT unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

For students interested in enrichment programming for kids in schools and libraries, or for students with a curiosity about coding, this course offers the opportunity to explore an introductory game making platform and learn basic coding structures using the tools of Scratch []. We will begin by exploring the wide variety of Scratch projects. We will spend 6 weeks coding projects. In our last week we will create proposals for introducing Scratch to uninitiated audiences. Students will support each other by identifying and sharing helpful resources and by peer reviewing each other's work. Students will track their own learning with weekly reflections.  

Course Requirements

Students will be asked to:

  1. diagram and create 6 games using the Scratch platform with comments (CLO 1, CLO 2 & CLO 3 & CC H)
  2. identify and share resources that support on-boarding and using Scratch (CLO 2, CC H & CC M)
  3. create a plan to share Scratch with a new audience (CC H & CC M)
  4. provide weekly peer reviews (CLO 4 & CC M)
  5. provide weekly self-reflections (CC M)

Course Calendar

  • Week 1 - Play with Scratch. Identify 3 games that intrigue you.
  • Week 2 - Coding Cartoons. Hello World. Commenting.
  • Week 3 - Coding Etch-a-Sketch. Conditions. 
  • Week 4 - Coding Collecting Game. Variables.
  • Week 5 - Coding Geometric Shapes. Loops.
  • Week 6 - Coding Flash Cards. Operators.
  • Week 7 - Coding Mad Libs. Custom Blocks
  • Week 8 - Present Scratch Your Way. Propose how you can share Scratch with an uninitiated audience. Support your proposal with on-boarding resources and an example project. 


  • Diagraming and Creating Games =  40% of the course grade
  • Identifying Supporting Resources = 10% of the course grade
  • Presenting Scratch Your Way = 10% of the course grade
  • Peer Reviews = 25% of the course grade
  • Self Reflections = 15 % of the course grade

Other Relevant Information
This is an 8-week project based course supported with weekly lectures, readings, and videos. There are no tests or quizzes; rather assessments focus on evidence of skill building. Our process is iterative, each week’s tasks build up to Presenting Scratch Your Way. Please bring your keen sense of adventure. Projects subject to change with fair notice to reflect skills range and interest of students.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 287 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Use the Scratch coding platform to make a variety of simple games.
  2. Explain the purpose, line by line, of simple coding scripts.
  3. Diagram game play sequences using basic coding concepts.
  4. Critique the scripts of Scratch games for improved playability.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  2. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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