Computer Science (COMP) 268

Introduction to Computer Programming (Java) (Revision 11)

COMP 268 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: You are expected to have a basic knowledge of computers in general and to be able to set up and use the Java or other programming language(s) in a relevant programming environment. You are expected to be a proficient user of the Internet and to be able to use word processors, text editors, and file manipulation tools (including zip compression) effectively. You should have completed high school algebra. If you do not have these skills, you are less likely to succeed, and we highly recommend that you take COMP 200 or equivalent course(s) before starting this one.

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

CCIS Software and Hardware Requirements

COMP 268 has a Challenge for Credit option.

**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


COMP 268 builds on the concepts introduced in COMP 200 and/or COMP 210, and shows how to use various Java language constructs to develop code and solve problems using a hands-on approach. That is, for each topic, students are expected to design, write, and analyze Java code corresponding to that topic.

The course covers seven chapters from the textbook. Course material is a mix of text, video clips, discussion opportunities, and coding activities. While reading the text and coding in Java remain the main activities, students are also asked to reflect on their programming efforts as a way to increase their problem-solving and critical analysis skills.

Each student will be assigned a tutor to consult; students are also welcome to consult with the course coordinator, if needed.

Students should not skip studying any chapter, since concepts learned in one unit will play a role in understanding a higher-level concept in following units.

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing this course will be able to

  • demonstrate the principles of object-oriented programming.
  • associate the features and elements of the Java programming language with problems and solutions.
  • apply and analyse the concepts of program fundamentals, statement, control flow, and recursion.
  • apply, explain, and compare the concepts of class, object, method, constructor data abstraction, function abstraction, inheritance, overriding, overloading, and polymorphism.
  • write code, test, and analyse input/output, program with basic data structures using array, dynamic
  • develop and publish applets with the functionality of exception handling.
  • apply, analyze, write, debug, and test programs in Java.
  • write code and test graphical user interfaces in Java.


The course consists of the following study guide units based on seven chapters of the textbook:

  • Unit 0: Orientation
  • Unit 1: The Mental Landscape
  • Unit 2: Names and Things
  • Unit 3: Control
  • Unit 4: Subroutines
  • Unit 5: Objects and Classes
  • Unit 6: Introduction to GUI Programming
  • Unit 7: Arrays


There are two assignments, contributing 30% each to the final grade. There is a final closed book, written invigilated exam that contributes to 40% to the final grade. To receive credit for COMP 268, students must score at least 50% (“D”) in each of these assessment activities.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 30%
Assignment 2 30%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Eck, D. J. (2013). Introduction to programming using Java (6th ed.). [Online or print on demand from]. Available from

Other Materials

Cook, C. Blue Pelican Java. Available from

The material on this website will be used as a reference.

Special Course Features

The course work in COMP 268 requires students to have a Java 6 compiler and virtual machine installed on their computer. In addition, students are required to use the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) along with a special extension to develop programs.

See for general computer equipment information.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the COMP 268 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least B (75 percent) on the examination and B (75 percent) on EACH assignment.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 11, March 24, 2014.

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