CSCI 379 Elementary Virtual Worlds Syllabus

Instructor and meeting times

The instructor for CSCI 379 is Dean Brock. This is the first time he has taught an LSIC course. Class meetings will be 2:45 PM to 4:00 PM in Carmichael 133. We may need to modify the meeting times some during the semester because the instructor is supposed to attend UNCA's chairs meetings.

Requirements satisfied

This course is an UNCA Liberal Studies Introductory Colloquium and, as such, satisfies one-half of the graduation requirement of two 3-hour liberal studies colloquia.

As an LSIC 379 course, it also serves as a Writing Intensive and Information Literacy Intensive for graduation requirements. As a Writing Intensive, this course must require "a minimum of 15 pages of writing, in no fewer than three assignments" according to the LSIC guidelines. These guidelines also state that: "Information Literacy Intensive experiences will require assignments, course work or tutorials on finding information using advanced, discipline-specific research methods and resources (both print and electronic)."

Requirements unsatisfied

This course cannot be used to satisfy any major requirement!

Course Description

Recently developed software packages allow pre-college students to make elementary virtual worlds. The best known of these is Alice, developed at Carnegie-Mellon under the leadership of Randy Pausch. In this course, we will compare a few programs for developing elementary virtual worlds and see if this really is an effective way to teach K12 students about the real world.

Grading components

Final 10%
Essays 30%
Projects 30%
Homework 30%


Score ≥ 97A
Score ≥ 90 & Score < 92A-
Score ≥ 87 & Score < 90B+
Score ≥ 82 & Score < 87B
Score ≥ 80 & Score < 82B-
Score ≥ 77 & Score < 80C+
Score ≥ 72 & Score < 77C
Score ≥ 69 & Score < 72C-
Score ≥ 65 & Score < 69D+
Score ≥ 60 & Score < 65D
Score ≥ 57 & Score < 60D-
Score < 57F

Email Communication

Academic administrators at UNCA have told instructors that information protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should only be sent to official university email addresses. Information related to recorded grades is clearly protected, as is any discussion that would allow a reader to draw conclusions about your performance or attendance in class.

For more information

The best way to get in touch with me is to send email to If you need to see me, send me email to arrange an appointment.