Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Course Administration and Policies

ENGR0011: Course Administration and Policies

There will be two 2-hour active learning sessions each week. A detailed list of course topics can be found in the course syllabus . All of the instruction will take place on-line, in the Freshman Engineering  computing lab BEH229 or in GSCC138. This class uses Group Learning as it basic teaching method.

Each class will consist of a brief informal lectures, followed by an active-learning session in which you will be required to answer problems from the text book or inclass programming problems. The lecture setting is designed to introduce the material and provide the students with time for questions and answers. The group work will involve your Formal Groups organized in class. Thus, make sure you are sitting with your group.


The majority of the course will include weekly homework assignments. The goal is to assign the homework on Tuesday and collect it the following Tuesday. It is possible that during the weeks of exams that the homework schedule may change. A detailed list of course topics can be found in the course syllabus. The assignments/projects are to introduce the following topics:

  1. Use of the internet to maintain your university account,
  2. Begin learning the concept of computer programming with HTML and Java Scripting,
  3. Use of spreadsheets (EXCEL) in problem solving,
  4. Use of software packages (WORD, POWERPOINT) in communications,
  5. Use of the library to research technical presentations, and
  6. Complete a series of writing assignments.

Each of the above topics will have a number of assignments and/or design projects. These assignments are ill structured in nature (you will have to decide exactly what to do).  They are intended to tax your judgment and creativity as well as your problem solving skills.

The first two topics will be included in the first design project. Each person will design their own web page and then teams will be made and each team will design a company web page. The EXCEL topics will include the solution of a number of engineering applications. The problems will also be integrated with your calculus, physics or chemistry courses as much as possible.

Finally there is also a Writing Assignment Project. The writing assignments in ENGR0011 and ENGR0012 are designed to meet the University General Writing Requirements. Any student that does not complete ENGR0011 and ENGR0012 will be required to take the university 3 credit general writing course. Details on all of these topics will be posted on the various course web pages, such as the Assignments and Course Announcements page of the ENGR0011 web page.


The following is the break down of points associated with the above course topics. Note, you must complete the Writing Assignments and each of the web pages of this class to pass the course. You must complete all 6 topic areas listed above to get a grade in the course.

Each student will take a midterm and final exam, must design their own web page, complete the Writing Assignments and complete the homework assignments and take the quizzes. The exams will consist of two parts : a computer component that will be taken on the classroom computers during the class period and an evening written component.  The Homework, the team web page and some of the quizzes will be completed as a group project. When something is done as a group assignment, each team member will get the same score on the assignment, assuming the team members feel each student does their part of the project. The nature of each quiz will be stated before the quiz is given.

Course Component Percentage
Test 1 - Excel & Unix, (Computer and Written components Chapters 1 and 2) 28%
Test 2 - Computer component HTML Chapter 3 10%
Test 2 - Written component Chapters 1 - 3) 10%
Homework 10%
Quizzes 14%
Writing Assignments:     20%
Individual Web page   4%
Team Web page   4%

Grade Calculation:  

The final course grades will be based on the following percentage breakdown. Note, the instructor has the right to lower this final grade percentages, but not raise them.

As noted above 52% of the course grade is based on non-test evaluations. For example the writing assignments are 20% of the grade, the team web page is 4%, etc. These non-test components are very important in the field of engineering. You must learn to work as a team and you must have good communication skills, that is why we put them into the course requirements. However, the main purpose of this course is to develop your a problem solving and logic development skills, as such you must get a minimum score of 60% on the tests to pass the course.  


Percentage Course
100, 99 A+
98 - 93
92 - 89 A-
88 - 85 B+
84 - 79
78 - 75 B-
74 - 71 C+
70 - 65
64 - 61 C-
59 and below

* These Grades are only calculated if your average grade on the tests is 60% or higher. A average score of less than 60% on the exams will result in a course grade of F, regardless of your other grades.   Thus, if you only get 50% on the midterm, you must get a 70% on the HTML section to pass the class. If you decide to drop the course, remember that means you will not complete your writing requirements and you will be required to take the University General Writing Course.

University Policies:

School of Engineering Statement on Students with Disabilities:
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability Resources and Services, 140 William Pitt Union, (412) 648-7890(412) 648-7890 / (412) 383-7355(412) 383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

Student Conduct:
We suggest you take the time to read the university policies on University Student Judicial System Code of Conduct . We assume every student has read these policies and understand the impact these policies have on each student.

Teaching Assistants:  

There are a number of teaching assistants (TAs) associated with the class.  The TA assists with the interactive work, fields questions, and helps grade the homework, quizzes and exams.  If you need help with anything, you should begin by directing your questions to your your fellow students, the TA, and the course instructor. Do not just sit around if you do not understand something. We designed this course so you must ask questions, remember it is very easy for us to ask you to do something you do not know how to do, so ask.

Office Hours:

Your professor will tell you when they are available for individual consultations.  The schedule for the TA is posted on the Tutoring Schedule button on the left. Remember that they all have other responsibilities and are not always available, particularly at times other than their announced office hours.


The course text book "Introduction to Engineering Software Tools" 2nd Edition by Software Education and Support, is available at the book store. We suggest you bring it to class every day.

Required Supplies:

A flash drive.


You are expected to attend all classes and participate actively in the interactive sessions.