Learn Flowcharting and Pseudocode. Be a better programmer!
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........If you are fairly new to programming, or........If you can program, but are not familiar with flowcharting and pseudocode techniques.
This is a generic course, meaning you will not write source code in any specific programming language. You will learn to use pseudocode and flow charts, two major tools that all programmers can use in any programming language. Pseudocode is simple. You just write out the steps to be taken to perform any task, no matter how big or small. Flow charts do essentially the same thing using software that creates a visual chart showing accurately the flow of the process and the specific steps needed to accomplish your goal. Specific shapes are used to represent the type of action to be taken. It won’t be long before you become proficient at using both of these great programmer’s tools. (Flowcharting software is NOT required for this class. If you have Microsoft PowerPoint or Visio, you can use either of those. If not, your instructor will recommend a number of FREE and affordable software applications.)
Teaching methods: Expect to see mostly 10 to 20 minute video sessions where the instructor presents the topic in a slide show format. Later in the course, there will be Exercises for you to do, with answers supplied. Several handouts will be provided to supplement the lectures. The instructor will answer all of your questions promptly (usually within 24 hours.)
This course is taught by Richard Vannoy, a professional programmer and college programming instructor for over 25 years.
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|Section 1: Introduction: Course Objectives, definition of Flow Charts, Pseudocode, Algorithms, Computer Operations and Data Types|
|This video explains the content of this course. A brief definition and description of flow charts and pseudocode is given.|
Provides the course objectives with some examples to give the student a preview of the course content. The course will teach the fundamentals of flowcharting and pseudocode.
Answers the questions: "What is a flow chart?" and "What is pseudocode?" These are explained by showing samples of pseudocode and flow charts, emphasizing the simplicity of pseudocode and that the shapes of flow chart symbols have a specific meaning.
|Pseudocode is a way of writing steps to solve a problem in a way that clearly shows how the computer works through the problem.|
The term algorithm is defined as it relates to computer programming.
Creating a computer program is a very structured activity. This lecture describes one of several ways this can be achieved by identifying and organizing the process.
|All computers have a very limited set of operations they perform. These steps are explained to give the student a fundamental view at the inside of a computer and how it functions. Knowing these operations allows the programmer to have a clear understanding of what the computer expects to see.
All information stored by a computer program has a specific data type. The simplest two data types are character information and numeric information. A list of data types in several languages is provided to acquaint the student with many of the specific ways a computer stores information.
|Section 2: Introduction to Flow Chart Symbols|
|Flow charts use many symbols. This lecture walks through the main symbols used in flowcharting and explains the shapes and the purpose of each shape.
|Quiz 1||5 questions|
|The On-Page and Off-Page Connectors are the means to direct the program flow from one part of a page to another, or from one page to another in a flow chart. This lecture shows specific examples so the student can correctly use these connectors in their flow charts.
|Section 3: Introduction to Control Structures|
All computer programs are put together using only three structures; Sequence, Decision (or Selection) and Repetition (or Loops). This lecture defines all three and gives examples so the student can identify and later create computer programs using these three structures.
|Quiz 2||3 questions|
This quiz tests your knowledge of the three main constructs in computer programming.
|Twenty Three Hundred years ago, Euclid created the oldest algorithm that is still in use today in computers. The Greatest Common Divisor (GCD) algorithm is discussed in detail because of its historical significance and because it uses all three of the main control structures described in the previous lecture.
Algorithm and Control Structure Quiz
|Section 4: Sequential Operations|
The most common control structure is Sequential Operations, where actions take place one after the other. This lecture describes this structure and gives examples of how to flow chart and write pseudocode for sequential operations. After the lecture, open the Lab below to practice the concepts of the lecture.
|Section 5: Decisions or Selection Structure|
|Comparison operators are the universal means by which computer programs can make comparisons and ask True/False questions to decide what action to take next. These operators will be covered in this lecture: =, ==, <, <=, >, >=, <> and !=.
Single Selection means: Ask a True/False question - - Take one action if the answer to the question is True, take no action if it is False. This lecture shows how to identify single selection situations and how to create accurate pseudocode and flow charts for these situations.
|The control structure Dual Selection refers to locations in a computer program where one of two possible actions must be taken. Pseudocode and flow chart examples are given to show the student how to recognize and create this structure. After the lecture, open the Lab below to practice what you have learned.
|In computer programming, there are often questions that can be answered in three or more ways, depending on the answers to a number of True/False questions. This lecture shows you how to recognize these occasions and how to create correct pseudocode and flow charts. Open the Lab below after the lecture to practice the skills learned here.
|Many times a question needs to be asked inside another question. This lecture shows how this is a nested statement, how to recognize it, and how to accurately produce accurate pseudocode and flow charts in these situations. Open the Lab below after the lecture to practice creating nested if structures.
The Boolean Operators AND, OR, NOT are explained in detail. How to use these operators to correctly ask true/false questions is shown by example.
|Quiz 4||4 questions|
|This quiz tests your knowledge of the three Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT.
Do you understand how these operators are used in computer programming?
|Section 6: Repetition or Loops|
Loops are the structures in computer programming that allow the computer to process one or many steps over and over until some condition is met.
This lecture covers the main types of loops (while, do...while, for...next), how to recognize the situation where a loop is needed and how to create loops.
|Quiz 5||3 questions|
|This quiz covers the basics of loop construction, or how the computer sets up the parameters for operations that need to be repeated a number of times.|
|The information on loops is continued here in more detail.|
|Quiz 6||4 questions|
This quiz test your knowledge of the control structure called the loop in computer programming.
|Section 7: Examples and Practice Exercises|
|Section 8: Summary and Close|
College teacher for computer programming (C, C++, Visual Basic, Python, Java), database (SQL, Access), microcontrollers, Programmable Logic Controllers, basic and intermediate electronics for seventeen years. Teaching awards include Instructor of the Quarter (Four Awards), Regional Instructor of the Quarter, Employee of the Year, Employee of the Month (Two Awards)
Ten years employed as computer programmer.
Degrees: Computer Programming, Electronics, Information Technology.
Interests: Arduino, 8051 Assembly Programming, robotics, electronics
Founder and past president of San Diego Robotics Society. Member and guest lecturer Riverside and Long Beach Robotics Societies.