Computer Science I User Guide

Computer Science I is a very special class at Outlier. While general tips and tricks for navigating our platform can be found here—this article will go over some of what makes Computer Science unique.

Coding Alongside Your Lectures:

Starting in Chapter 1.1, you can toggle between your Lecture notes and the code editor on the right side of your screen (see the screenshot below). In the Lecture Notes tab, you will find:

  • A blank and a key file for bulleted, written notes (Guided Notes)
  • A blank and a key file for each example covered in the lecture video (Code Examples)



Remember, Outlier courses should always be completed on a desktop computer, using Google Chrome. The code editor will not be visible and may create bugs on a mobile device, such as an iPad.

During the lecture, you should move between notes and examples as prompted by the notes and the videos. This kind of ‘learning-by-doing’ approach will help you excel on quizzes and exams!


Quizzes and midterm exams will include a variety of question styles including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and code submissions.

You will be able to run code in lectures, active learning, and practice, but code editors on quizzes and exams will NOT run. Practice writing well-functioning code before exams and always double-check your work!

Most chapters will include three quizzes. Chapters that do not include quizzes will be assessed in the following chapter's quizzes. You can attempt all three quizzes in a chapter if you want—only your highest score will be counted.

Some quiz and exam questions are nested, so shuffling through questions and answering out of order should be avoided.

Grading Code

On questions that ask for code, the code you submit must compile to receive a score. Code that does not compile will receive a 0. (You will learn more about what compilation means in Chapter 1.)

Most code submission questions will begin with some pre-written code. To earn full credit for a code submission question, you will need to revise or add to the code to make sure the program behavior matches the specifications in the question. Going through the practice code problem sets is an excellent way to prepare for these questions.

While quiz questions in other courses are graded immediately, the system will need 15-30 seconds to grade your submitted code. Do not navigate or refresh the page during this time.

The Capstone Assignment

Throughout the course, you will work on a capstone project using the programming and design skills you accumulate. The capstone assignment is divided into three separate parts. These parts will build on each other to create one finished product, so make sure you understand and correct your work for a given part before moving on to the next!

Most examples in this course are short, isolated problems, but it can take weeks, months, or even years for professionals to design and code exciting and intricate systems. The capstone assignment is an opportunity to use your skills in a more elaborate program!

Working on the Capstone Assignment

You will write your code for each part of the capstone assignment using a tool called and upload your work as a file on the corresponding capstone assignment page. We will explain more about how to do this before you start your work on the first part, which will be due after Chapter 3.

Make sure to start early to give yourself plenty of time to troubleshoot and ask for help while you learn how to use and work on your project!

Getting Help

Any time you find a question or possible bug around your grading, don't hesitate to reach out using the green question mark button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. This will help us locate you in the course and provide you with the most efficient service. We know your time is valuable, so please make sure to use this important tool!

Simply navigate to the question you would like reviewed and follow these steps:

  1. Click the green question mark in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Student Success” to send your question directly to a tutor for review or a grade adjustment request.
  3. You will be prompted to take a screenshot of the question
  4. Include the title of the chapter, question number, and your question in the comments. We'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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