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Academy BASIC: Syllabus
By chronodev (Ron)
Published on 10/30/2008
The syllabus serves as an introduction to our courses and explains the learning methods, goals and outcomes of our online BASIC course.

Welcome to Academy BASIC where you will learn to program in the BASIC programming language. There are many variants of BASIC, but we will focus on the Commodore BASIC since it was the language of the Commodore 64 which is very popular among collectors and old school video gamers. Learning Commodore 64 BASIC will help you understand and familiarize yourself better with the Commodore 64 systems. We will also touch other flavors of BASIC, but these will be included in electives and will not be part of our core program

By providing this course, we wish to re-introduce the fun passion for programming that was at the heart of the 80's kids who got their first computer system, the Commodore 64, and went on an adventure to explore the world of programming using Commodore BASIC.

All materials in this course are free, but can not be distributed without written permission from RarityGuide.com . You may download or print a copy for your own personal use. You may also syndicate them on your website using our feeds. 

We offer a special section in our forums in which you can discuss the materials, share your BASIC programs and discuss other BASIC achievements with the author of this course, and the community.

This course can be taken by both Beginners (even with no programming experience what-so-ever) and experts alike. The only requirement is that you feel comfortable using a computer and can perform standard computer functions. If you are reading this, then you probably meet this requirement!

About the courses:
These courses are written for both beginners with no programming experience at all and experts with a lifetime of experience. The first modules provide a good introduction to beginners as they step into the world of programming. The more experienced programmers can skim through those parts and focus on the advanced modules. New modules will be released frequently as they are reviewed and edited by the author. These courses are intended to be easy to follow, with lots of practical and fun applications.

The objective of these courses is to get you to learn the BASIC programming language (with focus on Commodore BASIC) and introduce you to programming concepts.

Courses are designed to slowly introduce the student to the world of BASIC. You can read each module at your own pace. Modules are numbered in increasing order, for example 101 which is the introduction to BASIC, 102 in which you will set up your programming environment, 103 in which you will write your first BASIC program and so on. As the number increases, the difficulty increases as well and you will find higher level modules to be more challenging. The first modules might seem easy, maybe too easy, even if you have no programming experience. This is intentional, to ease your way into the programming world. As you advance from one module to another, expect the material to be more extensive and challenging. In the early modules, courses are designed to be taken sequentially (i.e. do not take 103 until you have finished 101 and 102) but the more advanced courses will be more flexible in a sense that you can take them in any order you want. There will also be lots of electives that will deviate from the core program and in which you will explore many other facets of BASIC.

Difficulty Levels:
We have divided the modules into 5 difficulty levels. Generally you will start by completing all modules in the lower levels before moving on to the more advanced levels. Those who have more experience with BASIC can start at higher difficulty levels. The difficulty levels are:

Freshman: These modules are intended for those with little or no experience with programming or BASIC.
Sophomore: These are intermediate level courses for those who understand the basic concepts of programming languages and can write simple programs in BASIC.
Junior: These modules are intended for more advanced users who understand programming languages better and can write more sophisticated BASIC programs.
Senior: These courses are for expert users who are well versed in programming languages or BASIC.
Post Grad: These modules will challenge even the most experienced BASIC programmers.

Prerequisites: Most courses will have one or more prequesites listed, which will usually consist of completing previous modules. You should not attempt the module until you have met the prequesite requirements or you might miss out on important foundations or have a harder time completing the module.

Suggested time to complete: Each module will have a suggested time in which you should complete that module. This includes time spent doing the homework. As a rule of thumb, the more advanced the module is, the more time it will take you to complete it. Beginner modules should take you minutes to complete, while more advanced modules can take hours or even days to finish. You can set your own pace however when doing the module; Some will go through them faster while others will spend more time on certain modules. Still, if you are having difficulties with the materials and find yourself spending way over the suggested time on a certain module, visit the forums so that you can get assistance from the community.

At the end of each module, a homework assignment will be given, from research to writing a new program. These exercises will give you a chance to explore new concepts and to get more experience writing BASIC programs. In the beginning modules, the exercises will be very simple, but in the more advanced modules you can expect challenging problems. If you are ever stuck, you can always go to the forum and get help from the rest of the community. While we won't post the solutions to the exercises (since that wouldn't count as learning, would it?), we will point you to the right way and give additional explanations when necessary. In the forums you can also discuss your programming ideas, get tips, talk about Commodore 64 related stuff with other C64 fans, and more.

I am an experienced programmer, why should I take this course?
For fun! Basic was one of the earlier programming language. Take it from one programmer to another, this is a fun language to learn. You probably won't use it in your professional world (don't bother putting it on your resume), but you might still learn a few new things about programming, especially in the more advanced modules.

I am not a programmer, why should I take this course?
Also, for fun! Learn something new. Ever wondered what it is like to write a program? Then this course is perfect for you. You will get to write many fun programs including games, and when you are done you can write some BASIC programs of your own. This course is also great for students who are considering taking Computer Science or Engineering in college and want to get a first taste of what it is like to program. While the Commodore BASIC is not really used anywhere anymore, it is still a programming language and many of the fundamental concepts you will learn here will apply to any programming language you learn.

Course List
This section will alway list the updated course list. As courses are added, they will show up in this list.

Academy BASIC: Syllabus
Academy BASIC: 101 - Introduction to Commodore BASIC and Programming Languages
Academy BASIC: 102 - Setting Up Your Programming Environment
Academy BASIC: 103 - Writing Your First BASIC Program
Academy BASIC: 104 - An Interactive BASIC Program
Academy BASIC: 110 - The Missing President
Academy BASIC: 120 - Loading and Saving

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