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The new CPCS 214 now contains proper practical part.

3 reasons were identified in recognizing the need to deliver the practical activity for KAU CS 212 as a distance learning experience:

  • Practical activity is essential to learning course material
  • No contact hours are allocated for practical activity
  • CS 212 is taught to female students in a remote campus via closed circuit TV

The Learners

The learners are expected to be enrolled CPCS 214 (formerly CS 212) students. However, the following is sufficient for successful completion of this unit:

  1. Some programming background (one introductory programming course).
  2. Reading Section A.1 and A.2 from Appendix A of course textbook.
  3. Completion (or concurrent coverage) of Chapters 2 and 3 of course textbook.

Dial-up connections (typically at 35-50 Kbits/s) are enough, although most students are expected to access the material via higher speed connection.

Goal Statement

To support the textbook material on instruction sets by providing practical exposure to assembly language.

Learners will be able to write simple assembly programs and run them in the SPIM simulator environment. Upon completion of this unit, learners will be assessed through a small capstone programming assignment to be completed in-lab or at home.


After completing the unit, the learner is expected to:

  1. Install the Windows version of SPIM and configure it to run assembly programs.
  2. Run small assembly programs in the SPIM environment.
  3. Debug small assembly programs (step through, watch registers) in the SPIM environment.
  4. Properly format assembly programs.
  5. Distinguish real (bare) and pseudo (assembler) instructions.
  6. Write a simple 50-100 instruction assembly program with 1-2 nested procedures, 2-3 leaf procedures, and utilizing MIPS assembler directives and pseudo-instructions.

Some learners are hoped to achieve the following non-measurable objectives:

  1. Appreciate the low-level (detailed) nature of machine instructions.
  2. Appreciate the programming burden of assembly language.

Technology and Access

The following are assumed in order to access and complete the learning unit:

  1. Personal computer with Internet access.
  2. Web browser with free Flash and Quicktime plug-ins.
  3. Media player capable of playing WMA audio such as Windows Media Player or RealPlayer.
  4. Free Acrobat reader software.
  5. Other software will be available via course website and/or textbook companion CD.

Evaluating Learning

Learners can track their progress and evaluate their learning experience using the following indicators:

  1. Progress through the exercise sets and meeting the objectives associated with each set.
  2. Success in completing the capstone assignment.
  3. Performance in Test 1 and Test 2 which will be heavily dependent on the skills developed by this unit.