INFO 287-14
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Scratch [2 units]
Semester 2017 Syllabus

Dr. Debbie Weissmann
Office location: online Collaborate or WebEx
Office Hours: by request  

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 23, 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

This is a course for students with a curiosity about coding and for students interested in enrichment programming. Students will explore Scratch - an introductory coding platform - and learn coding fundamentals to put together basic coding scripts. With the support of academic theory, practical strategies, and space to experiment, students will investigate the Scratch platform and code 6 Scratch projects. 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 quick-check quizzes and reflections. In the last week of the course, students will highlight their projects, the resources they found, incorporate the peer review suggestions on their projects, and use their reflections to create proposals for Scratch clubs. 

Course Requirements


Find and Share Helpful Resources for using the Scratch platform - (CLO 2 & CC H, CC M) - 15% of final grade

Use the Scratch Platform for exploring and making projects - (CLO 1, CLO 3 & CC H) - 38% of final grade

Peer Review classmates' projects - (CLO 1, CLO 3, CLO 4 & CC H, CC M) - 24% of final grade

Reflect on your process learning to use Scratch - (CLO 1, CLO 3 & CC M) - 8% of final grade

Quick-Check-Quiz your understandings - (CLO 1, CLO 3 & CC H) - 7% of final grade

Propose creating a Scratch Club - (CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO 3, CLO 4, & CC H, CC M) - 8% of final grade






Explore Scratch. Introduce Yourself Posts. Identify 3 games that intrigue you. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Quick-Check Quiz



Coding Cartoons. Hello World. Commenting. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Statements



Coding Maze Trail or Sketch Box. Conditions. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Conditions



Coding Collecting Game. Variables. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Variables



Coding Geometric Patterns. Loops. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Loops



Coding Math Games. Operators. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Operators



Showing Off Scratch. Custom Blocks. Find Helpful Resources. Peer Review. Reflection. Quick-Check Scratch Blocks



Propose a Scratch Club. Peer Review. Reflection. Reflection on Course.



*subject to change with fair notice


  • The grading value is for effort and engagement, for process and not perfection.
  • As this class depends upon the discussion forum and peer reviews of student work, late work may not be accepted. 
  • Peer reviewer comments will not determine reviewed student's grade.

Other Relevant Information

  • Course Structure. This course has been iteratively structured for students to Plan-Do-Reflect over an arc of 8 weeks beginning with Finding 3 Intriguing Projects in week 1, then Making Projects in weeks 2 through 7, and in the last week Proposing a Scratch Club. The tasks within each week are similarly structured for students to Plan-Do-Reflect in finding helpful resources, then using the Scratch platform, then peer reviewing each other's projects and self-reflecting on process, followed-up with a quick-check of the concepts.
  • Course Workload. This is an 8-week project-based course supported with weekly lectures, readings, and videos. Assessments focus on evidence of skill building. Our process is iterative, each week’s tasks build up to Proposing a Scratch Club. Please bring your keen sense of adventure.
  • Minimum Skills. You do not need experience (competency) in programming to take this course or to demonstrate impressive effort and inspired engagement. Newbie Scratchers create fabulous projects.
  • Course Materials. Instructor will provide readings accessible from King Library. Instructor will provide lectures and recorded office hours via MP3, MP4 or YouTube links to support each week's tasks. Instructor will provide excerpts from a text that explains coding concepts and how to code Scratch projects. Instructor will provide links to example games on Scratch. Students will be asked to find additional materials to share Scratch coding strategies with classmates.
  • Course Technologies. We will use Scratch for making projects and viewing projects. We will use Piazza for our discussions. We will use Canvas for submitting peer reviews. We will use Blackboard Collaborate and/or WebEx for Office Hours. Students may use a platform of their choice for their proposal to start a Scratch club.

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 platform to explore, code, and share projects.
  2. Identify helpful Scratch resources on the Scratch site, the Scratch Wiki, the ScratchEd Wiki, YouTube, and in the King Library to support on-boarding and making projects in Scratch.
  3. Explain how to make projects using diagrams, comments on the Scratch blocks, and reflections on process.
  4. Critique classmates' Scratch projects and share their understandings of Scratch.

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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