Teaching Methods in Computer Science (for credit) | UC San Diego Online
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Teaching Methods in Computer Science (for credit)


Learn what students most struggle with for specific programming concepts, how to support student debugging, and get advice from practicing teachers on classroom practicalities and activities.

More sessions coming soon

About This Course

Expand and adapt your prior teaching and pedagogy approaches with best practices specific to teaching computing and programming.

Deepen your knowledge of common mistakes students make with specific programming concepts by guided debugging experiences. Develop scaffolded and differentiated assignments to help students learn to apply concepts for problem solving. In our "Teacher Talk" series, learn from practicing teachers about their goals for their courses and how they set up their classes to help students succeed, and modify resources from them to support your classroom.

Course cost: $850 This course confers 4 graduate quarter units of credit. These credits can be use to apply to the California Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science.

What you will learn

At the end of this course, teachers-as-students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe common student misconceptions (syntax and conceptual) and engage students in debugging to understand those misconceptions

  • Critique and create assignments using the Use, Modify, Create pedagogy (using PRIMM for older students and TIPP&SEE for Scratch/younger students)

  • Explore ideas to support equitable classrooms via classroom design, support students code explanations skills, pair programming, paraphrase passport, supporting creative coding, using unplugged approaches, leveraging intersectionality

  • Learn about techniques to support continued growth as a CS teacher including time management, choosing appropriate programming languages/environments, developing programming projects, teaching impacts of technology, use of daily warmups, finding and joining a CS teacher community


It is recommended to complete the other three courses in the Computer Science for K-12 Educators program OR have some prior experience teaching computing in K-12.


  • Does this course help me fulfill the California CTC Supplementary Authorization to teach Computer Science?
    • Yes, this course covers required content for both the introductory and the subject-specific supplementary authorizations. For a course-by-course listing of coverage of CTC requirements, see here. Note: the CTC does not authorize specific programs for fulfilling supplementary authorizations. Instead you must complete coursework and submit documentation for their review.
    • Looking for the training, but don't need the credit? Take this course instead.
  • Why is the class so long? What if I want to complete it sooner?
    • This course is offered with flexibility for busy teachers in mind. You can complete the course at your own pace, you just need to complete before the "Classes End" date. When you finish your grade will be submitted and you will receive your transcript within 1 month. The course contains ~100 hours of learning materials and activities which you can complete as fast or slowly as you want. We also want you to have access to the course WHILE you are teaching, which is why you have access until summer.
  • What session should I sign up for?
    • You have until the session end date to complete each course - the session end date is August 31st, the year after the course started. In general, select the session that has already started, unless you know you won't complete by August of next year, then select an upcoming session.
  • Can I pay by purchase order?
    • Yes! Please follow the instructions here to start the process.
  • Who will help me if I get stuck in the course?
    • The course is continuously monitored by the professor and designated staff. You are encouraged to ask questions on the course discussion forum and we (and possibly others in the class) will get back to you.
    • However, this course is designed for you to learn with materials you can turn around and use with your students. We hope you will find the course materials and activities interesting and enjoyable, not dry and onerous.
  • Can I get more detail on what EXACTLY, I will learn and do in this course?
    • Yes, as this course was designed specifically with teachers in mind, it differs a bit from courses for computing majors. Check out details about this course here (be sure to scroll to the relevant course).