AP Computer Science Principles: Create Task Practice

A significant component of the AP Computer Science Principles course is the Create Task. This is a small programming project that must fulfill certain requirements, and the students must also be able to answer questions about their code in a specific, detailed way.

The College Board provides some resources and examples that students can refer to and learn from, but the best way for students to really understand what they need to do is to have them complete a couple of “practice” assignments before they tackle the real thing.

In identifying what students struggled with the most when it came to the Create Task, I landed on two major things:

  1. Students often struggled with paying close attention to the rubric and ensuring that what they were programming met those very specific requirements.
  2. Students struggled with the writing portion. They were not accustomed to thinking about or describing their code in this higher level way.

I took these two pain points and created two practice assignments intended to make students more confident in these areas.

Practice Task 1: To-Do List

The goal for this assignment was to get students to think about meeting requirements for the Create Task.

Practice Task 2: Clothing Inventory App

The goal for this assignment was to get them to practice only the writing portion (they didn’t do any coding at all!).