We will be engaged in active learning throughout the term. By this, I mean that we will be spending large amounts of time during class doing rather than listening. The Flash widget at Iowa State University's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning helps explain what I mean. Specifically, when I lecture, you are primarily engaged in remembering factual information. However, when we are implementing and designing programming languages, we are analyzing, evaluating, and creating in the conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive domains. Hence why we will be engaging in fundamentally interactive and discursive modes of learning throughout the term.
Put another way: I can't teach you programming language implementation and design, but I can give you the opportunity to learn it. And, then, I can attempt to determine if you are learning more than facts.
To assess whether you are learning, a variety of exams, quizzes, assignments, and lab reports will be assigned and collected. I do not yet have the breakdown of how points will be distributed throughout the semester. When I have a sense for how this semester "works," this section will be updated.