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BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC 2015 is a semester long self-study "beginning"  programming tutorial consisting of 10 Chapters <Table of Contents> explaining (in simple, easy-to-follow terms) how to build a Visual Basic Express Windows application. Students learn about project design, the Visual Basic Express toolbox, and many elements of the Visual Basic language.  Numerous examples are used to demonstrate every step in the building process.  The tutorial also includes several detailed computer projects for students to build and try.​

These projects include a number guessing game, card game, allowance calculator, drawing program, state capitals game, and a couple of video games like Pong.  We now include several college prep bonus projects including a  loan calculator,   portfolio manager,  and checkbook balancer <Project Screen Shots>.  

BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC  is presented using a combination of over 400 pages  of color course notes and actual Visual Basic examples.   No prior programming experience is necessary, but familiarity with doing common tasks using Microsoft Windows is expected.​

The course requires either Windows 7, 8, or 10, ability to view and print documents saved in Microsoft Word format, and the free Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition.   Click here for our older Visual Basic Express 2012 Edition.



This tutorial is currently delivered in a Microsoft Word and Acrobat PDF E-Book format. The PDF version of this book is downloadable to any portable device that can view the Acrobat PDF format.   The entire E-Book and/or selected chapters can be printed on your local printer and/or viewed on your computer screen. The E-Books can be downloaded from our website immediately after purchase.   We compress the download files using a .zip format to help reduce the size of files for faster downloading.  

We also sell this unique E-Book Tutorial in a Unlimited User Annual Site License Teacher Edition. Our Teacher Edition allows you to distribute the tutorial and source code to any of the students who attend your computer science class.You can customize and personalize the tutorial and the associated source code to fit your unique teaching style whether the class is self study or instructor led. Since this Tutorial is distributed in an editable Microsoft Word format you can add your own teaching text and/or notes around our teaching text.You can add your own diagrams and/or personalize the E-Book tutorial to fit your specific teaching needs. Unlike other Tutorials that are paper or PDF based, you can modify our teaching narrative and source code inside the tutorial and reprint as needed. This unique flexibility sets us apart from all other tutorials on the market. 



"I have had plenty of fun reading your books about programming for hours. They were clearly written and very understandable. I think y​our books are worth distributing in classes at schools to inspire kids, teachers and other people in their leisure, too. Your Small Basic and Visual Basic books are easily able to enthuse our kids during their lessons at school. Programming lessons can be so interesting, including those important aha moments, too."   - Gregor Burghardt, Teacher, Germany​

 "I was looking for some Visual Basic Express ideas and these books appeared to be just what I needed.  I bought both Visual Basic books...great ideas and easy to read."- Andrew Zwelling, Math Teacher
"I want to thank you for your superb BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC EXPRESS. The course itself is fantastic. I am new to Visual Basic but I can very easily understand what it is all about. The way you explain things is very clear. "- HW, Netherlands.
"I have lots of books about Visual Basic but your course [BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC EXPRESS] is the one where I can understand every step. Thank you for writing such a wonderful course for those new at programming."
-VO, Germany.
"I want to congratulate the writer of BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC EXPRESS. The notes are clear, concise and easy to understand." - AK, Hempshire, United Kingdom.
"I have to tell you I really love your tutorials. An awesome quick start to the Visual Basic language. I recommend them to others." - BD, State College, Pennsylvania.
I purchased BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC and I LOVE your teaching style. It is very very good and comforting!! Keep up the good work!" - WA, Zanesville, Ohio.
"[BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC] is thorough, easy to read, and has an adequate number of support exercises. " - SM, Reno, Nevada.

I did the first five chapters of BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC .NET and simply had to continue. Congrats on an excellent curriculum!!!"- DH, San Antonio, Texas.

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"Thanks for a great course [BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC]. Your writing and teaching approach is so reassuring! " - GK, San Diego, California.

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"BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC is the most user-friendly tutorial I've ever encountered. It's clearly been road-tested; every possible glitch seems to have been anticipated. " - FK, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

"I find BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC very helpful, more than the books that I got with the software." - TVS, South Africa.

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What is "Beginning Visual Basic 2015" and how it works - By Alan Payne, Computer Science Teacher

These lessons are a highly organized and well-indexed set of lessons in the Visual Basic  programming environment. Visual Basic is a programming environment which allows the user to drag and drop buttons, text boxes, scroll bars, timers and dozens of other visual "controls" to make programs which look like "Windows" programs. They provide a graphical user interface to the user.

The tutorials provide the benefit of completed real-world applications - fully documented projects from the teacher's point of view. That is, while full solutions are provided for the teacher's (and learner's) benefit, the projects are presented in an easy-to-follow set of lessons explaining the rational for the form layout, coding design and conventions, and specific code related to the problem. The learner may follow the tutorials at their own pace while focusing upon context relevant information. Every bit of the lesson is remembered as it contributes to the final solution to a real-life application. The finished product is the reward, but the student is fully engaged and enriched by the process. This kind of learning is often the focus of teacher training. Every computer science teacher knows what a great deal of work is required for projects to work in this manner, and with these tutorials, the work is done by an author who understands the classroom experience. That is extremely rare!

Graduated Lessons for Every Project ... Lessons, examples, problems and projects. Graduated learning. Increasing and appropriate difficulty... Great results.

With these projects, there are lessons providing a comprehensive background on the programming topics to be covered. Once understood, concepts are easily applicable to a variety of applications. Then, specific examples are drawn out so that a learner can practice with the Visual Basic form designer. Conventions relating to naming controls and the scope of variables are explained. Then specific coding for the example is provided so that the user can see all the parts of the project come together for the finished product.

After the example is completed, then short problems challenge the user to repeat the process on their own, and finally, Projects provide a "summative" for the unit.

By presenting lessons in this graduated manner, students are fully engaged and appropriately challenged to become independent thinkers who can come up with their own project ideas and design their own forms and do their own coding. Once the process is learned, then student engagement is unlimited! I have seen student literacy improve dramatically as they cannot get enough of what is being presented.

Indeed, lessons encourage accelerated learning - in the sense that they provide an enriched environment to learn computer science, but they also encourage accelerating learning because students cannot put the lessons away once they start! Computer Science provides this unique opportunity to challenge students, and it is a great testament to the authors that they are successful in achieving such levels of engagement with consistency.

My history with the Kidware Software products.

I have used single license or shareware versions for over a decade to keep up my own learning. By using these lessons, I am able to spend time on things which will pay off in the classroom. I do not waste valuable time ensconced in language reference libraries for programming environments and help screens which can never be fully remembered! These projects are examples of how student projects should be as final products - thus, the pathway to learning is clear and immediate in every project.

By following these lessons, I was able to come up with my own projects - An Equation Solver which allows a student to solve any equation that they are likely to encounter in high school, a dice game of Craps, a Financial Calculator covering all grade 12 Financial Math applications, and finally, the game of Mastermind - where I presently have a "Mastermind Hall of Fame" for the best solutions by students over the years. I have made several applications for hardware interfacing in Computer Technology class. I could do all of this only because of these lessons by Kidware Software!

The exciting thing is that all of the above could also be done in other Visual Studio languages - such as Visual C# or Visual C++, though I first learned to do the programming using Kidware Software's "Learn Visual Basic". For me to go from one language to another is now an inevitable outcome! With these lessons, I am able to concentrate on the higher order thinking skills presented by the problem, and not be chained to a language reference in order to get things done!

If I want to use or expand upon some of the projects for student use, then I take advantage of site-license options. I have found it very straight forward to emphasize the fundamental computer science topics that form the basis of these projects when using them in the classroom. I can list some computer science topics which everyone will recognize, regardless of where they teach - topics which are covered expertly by these tutorials:

* Data Types and Ranges
* Scope of Variables
* Naming Conventions
* Decision Making
* Looping
* Language Functions - String, Date, Numerical
* Arrays, Control Arrays
* Writing Your own Methods and Classes and more... it's all integrated into the tutorials.

Any further topics found in secondary school topics (recursive functions, sorting algorithms, advanced data structures such as Lists and Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Binary Trees, etc...) derive directly from those listed above. Nothing is forgotten. All can be integrated with the lessons provided.

Quick learning curve for teachers! How teachers can use the product:

Having projects completed ahead of time can allow the teacher to present the design aspect of the project FIRST, and then have students do all of their learning in the context of what is required in the finished product. This is a much faster learning curve than if students designed all of their own projects from scratch. Lessons concentrating on a unified outcome for all makes for much more streamlined engagement for students (and that is what they need, especially in grades 9 and 10), as they complete more projects within a short period of time and there is a context for everything that is learned.

After the process of form-design, naming controls and coding has been mastered for a given set of Visual Basic controls, then it is much more likely that students can create their own problems and solutions from scratch. Students are ready to create their own summative projects for your computer science course!

Meet Different State and Provincial Curriculum Expectations and More

Different states and provinces have their own curriculum requirements for computer science. With the Kidware Software products, you have at your disposal a series of projects which will allow you to pick and choose from among those which best suit your curriculum needs. Students focus upon design stages and sound problem-solving techniques from a computer-science perspective. In doing so, they become independent problem-solvers, and will exceed the curricular requirements of secondary schools everywhere.

Computer Science topics not explicitly covered in tutorials can be added at the teacher's discretion. For example, recursive functions could be dealt with in a project which calculates factorials, permutations and combinations with a few text boxes and buttons on a form. Students learn to process information by collecting it in text boxes, and they learn to code command buttons. That is all that is required for this one example of a project-extension. The language, whether it is Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual C++, or Console Java, Java GUI, etc... is really up to the teacher!

Useable projects - out of the box!

The specific projects covered in the Beginning Visual Basic 2012 tutorials are suitable for grade 9 and above:

Savings Account Calculator
Guess the Number Game
Sandwich Maker (using radio buttons and check boxes)
Blackboard Fun (simulating a blackboard using graphics controls)
Card Wars
Beach Balls
Stop Watch
Times Tables
Dice Rolling Technique (with picture boxes)
State Capitals
Memory Game
Units Conversion
Frown Dice Game
Loan Calculator
Checkbook Balancer
Portfolio Manager
Bonus Game of Pong

And Classic Computer Games such as...
Acey Deucey
Even Wins
Lunar Lander

As you can see, there is a high degree of care taken so that projects are age-appropriate.

You can begin teaching the projects on the first day. It's easy for the teacher to have done their own learning by starting with the solution files. Then, they will see how all of the parts of the lesson fall into place. Even a novice teacher could make use of the accompanying lessons. The lessons will provide more than just the coding of the solution - they will provide the correct context for the coding decisions which were made, and provide help in the investigation of related functions. Students then experiment with projects of their own making.

How to teach students to use the materials.

Teachers can introduce the style of presentation (lesson, examples, problem, projects) to the students in such a way that they quickly grasp how to use the lessons on their own. The lessons are provided so that students may trust the order of presentation in order to have sufficient background information for every project. But the lessons are also highly indexed, so that students may pick and choose projects if limited by time.

Highly organized reference materials for student self-study!

Materials already condense what is available from MSDN (which tends to be written for adults) and in a context and age-appropriate manner, so that students remember what they learn. The time savings for teachers and students is enormous as they need not sift through pages and pages of on-line help to find what they need.

How to mark the projects.

In a classroom environment, it is possible for teachers to mark student progress by asking questions during the various design and coding stages. Teachers can make their own written quizzes easily from the reference material provided, but I have found the requirement of completing projects (mastery) sufficient for gathering information about student progress - especially in the later grades.

Lessons encourage your own programming extensions.

Once concepts are learned, it is difficult to NOT know what to do for your own projects.

Once having done my own projects in one language, such as Visual Basic, I know that I could easily adapt them to other languages once I have studied the Kidware Software tutorials. I do not believe there is any other reference material out there which would cause me to make the same claim! In fact, I know there is not as I have spent over a decade looking!

Having used Kidware Software tutorials for the past decade, I have to say that I could not have achieved the level of success which is now applied in the variety of many programming environments which are currently of considerable interest to kids! I thank Kidware Software and its authors for continuing to stand for what is right in the teaching methodologies which work with kids - even today's kids where competition for their attention is now so much an issue.


Alan Payne
Computer Science Teacher
T.A. Blakelock High School
Oakville, Ontario