Syllabus for CIS-107



Computer Concepts and Applications provides an overview of computers, focusing on historical development; hardware; application software; communications; Internet use; how to purchase, install, and maintain a computer; information systems; system analysis and design; programming; careers in the computer field; security, ethics, and privacy issues; and multimedia. The "laboratory" portion of the course features the use of Microsoft Office and Windows.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic competency using Microsoft Office 2013 applications and Windows 8.
  2. Evaluate how computers are used.
  3. Distinguish between application and system software.
  4. Evaluate communication networks and databases.
  5. Appraise the uses of the Internet.
  6. Differentiate between system development and program development.
  7. Judge security, privacy and ethical issues related to information technology.
  8. Contrast input and output devices.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

Misty E. Vermaat, Discovering Computers, Enhanced 1st Edition (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2015).                                  

ISBN-13: 978-1285845500

Gary B. Shelly and Misty E. Vermaat, Microsoft Office 2013: Essential,1st Edition (Boston: Cengage Learning, 2014).  

ISBN-13: 978-1285166117


Microsoft Office 2013, with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


Computer Concepts and Applications is a three-credit online course consisting of six modules. It relies on both reading and practical applications for its content. Modules include objectives, study materials, and activities.

Study materials include studying chapters in the textbook Discovering Computers, Enhanced and completing "In the Lab" exercises from the text Microsoft Office 2013. The course also has six class discussion forums, a proctored midterm, and a final project.

*Please Note: Microsoft Access 2013 is not a requirement for this course.



For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete laboratory assignments, take a proctored online midterm examination, and produce a Final Project. See below for more details. Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1, Computer Concepts and Applications has six graded online discussion forums. The discussion topics cover a wide range of issues concerning computers in contemporary society.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Laboratory Assignments

The laboratory assignments in this course draw on chapters and "In the Lab" exercises from the text Microsoft Office 2013. These chapters and "In the Lab" exercises correspond to the four computer applications covered in the course:

Final Project

At the end of the semester you are required to submit a Final Project designed to test your ability to apply the knowledge you have gained by doing your coursework. Your Final Project will be in the form of a written recommendation to a medium-sized manufacturing company for a complete information system and will count for 30% of your final grade for the course.

For full details and requirements regarding this project, please consult the Final Project section of the course website.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored a midterm which is delivered online. For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is two hours long and covers all reading and assignments from Modules 1–3 of the course. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions based directly on the reading assignments and laboratory material. A good way to review and prepare for the exam is to go over your assignments and use the "Chapter Review" and "Key Terms" sections at the end of each chapter of Discovering Computers, Enhanced.

Online exams are administered through the course website. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a non-area of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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