Syllabus for CMP-202



Foundations of Information Technology provides an overview of the fundamental ideas and principles behind information systems. The course approaches traditional computer concepts from a managerial perspective geared to the requirements of businesses and organizations. Within this context students use case studies to analyze and discuss design concepts and approaches to managing information and implementing technology solutions. The course introduces students to the role of information systems in business, society, and private life, to the role of critical decision makers, and to important decision support tools. It further addresses core ethical issues, principles, and procedures. Students are expected to develop critical thinking as well as analytical and problem-solving skills.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Describe the different types of information systems and structures.
  2. Explain the requirements for systems development and methods.
  3. Evaluate the basic functions and attributes of an information system.
  4. Identify the functions of various types of information systems.
  5. Articulate and discuss the role and responsibilities of all levels of staff and professionals within an information systems function.
  6. Apply traditional and nontraditional management techniques and applications to both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations.
  7. Analyze the management structures, principles, concepts, ethics, and techniques required to implement an effective information system.


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

Required Textbook

  1. Stair, R., & Reynolds, G. (2012). Fundamentals of information systems (6th ed.) Boston: Thomson Course Technology.

    ISBN-13: 978-0-8400-6218-5


Foundations of Information Technology is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules. Modules include an overview, list of topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Principles of Information Systems
  2. Module 2: Survey of Information Systems
  3. Module 3: Business Information Systems
  4. Module 4: Systems Development
  5. Module 5: Business, Society, and Private Life


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, complete case studies, take module quizzes, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Foundations of Information Technology requires you to participate in five (5) graded discussion forums (worth 15% of your course grade). There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1.

Discussion questions—for which you will have a choice in each module—are drawn from end-of-chapter discussion questions in the textbook. Communication and collaboration 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 discussion question and 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, including your use of relevant course information and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Writing Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) case study assignments (worth 20% of your course grade) and five (5) written assignments (also worth 20% of your course grade). The case study assignments are based on the running Web site case about Whitmann Price Consulting and include written discussion questions and critical thinking questions. The written assignments consist of short-answer essay questions and a choice of projects.

Take the time to read through the case study and written assignment questions before you begin each module. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials. Formulate responses in your own words (do not merely copy answers from your reading materials), citing text materials and outside sources where appropriate and in an appropriate manner.

Prepare your case study and written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


At the conclusion of each module, following the written assignment, is an online module quiz. The quizzes for Modules 1, 4, and 5 consist of 30 true-or-false and multiple-choice questions and are 30 minutes long. The quizzes for Modules 2 and 3 consist of 60 true-or false and multiple-choice questions and are 60 minutes long.

Module quizzes (together worth 15% of your course grade) may be taken only once. Consult the course Calendar for quiz deadlines. A good way to prepare for the module quizzes is to take the chapter practice quizzes designated in each module.

Final Project

In lieu of a final exam, you are required to complete a final project (worth 30% of your course grade).

The Final Project asks you to write an 8–10 page research report (typed, double-spaced) or a 4–5 page research report with accompanying PowerPoint presentation (15–20 slides) in which you describe a company of your choice, the nature of its business, a specific product or service, and how that product or service is produced and distributed by the company and then recommend the information technology system you think should be in place and why. The project entails two stages:

  1. Stage 1: Submit a 1–2 page project plan (worth 5% of your course grade) in which you identify and briefly describe the company, business sector, and product you wish to investigate and provide a preliminary bibliography (using APA style) of the sources (articles and Web sites) you intend to use in gathering information about the company.

  1. Stage 2: Complete and submit the final project (worth 25% of your course grade).


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Discussion forums (5)—15%
  2. Case study assignments (5)—20%
  3. Written assignments (5)—20%
  4. Module quizzes (5)—15%
  5. Final project—30%
  1. Stage 1: project plan—5%
  2. Stage 2: final paper—25%

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 nonarea 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:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


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 takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. 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, 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.

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