Syllabus for COS-101
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS
Introduction to Computers provides you with a broad, general introduction to hardware and software fundamentals, productivity software, graphics, digital media, multimedia, database applications, networking, the Internet, and security and privacy issues, as well as an introduction to object-oriented programming using the Visual Basic programming language.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The course texts are available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
Note: Visual Basic 2010 comes in different editions. For this course we recommend Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition, which comes packaged with the text An Introduction to Programming Using Visual Basic 2010 when purchased from the textbook supplier. All of the book's examples, however, run with both Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition and other editions of Visual Basic 2010. You may download Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition for free directly from Microsoft.
To run Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition, your computer should meet the following system requirements:
Supported Operating Systems
Introduction to Computers is a three-credit online course. It consists of eight (8) modules, five of which are devoted to programming with Visual Basic. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
Learning activities include studying chapters from the course textbooks, completing self-check exercises, participating in class discussions, and preparing written and programming assignments to be submitted to your mentor for grading.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in five (5) graded class discussions, complete three (3) written assignments based on the Digital Planet: Tomorrow's Technology and You text, prepare five (5) programming activities based on the Visual Basic text, and take two (2) examinations—a proctored midterm and a proctored final examination. See below for more details.
Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.
Introduction to Computers has five (5) graded online discussions. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in module 1. Participation in class discussions is required and counts 10 percent toward your final grade in the course.
Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on a classmate's response. 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.
You are required to submit three (3) written assignments. The three written assignments are based on the Digital Planet: Tomorrow's Technology and You textbook.
Prepare your written activities 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 activity, 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 activity as a rich-text format (.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.
You are required to submit five (5) programming assignments to your mentor for grading. The five programming assignments are based on the Visual Basic textbook.
Each application that you develop using Visual Basic (VB) will be associated with a root or parent folder that contains all the files and subfolders associated with that application.
Because each VB program is saved in multiple files and subfolders, the preferred way to submit each programming exercise or project is to zip (compress) the application folder and attach it as a ZIP file. For example, if your application folder is named Assignment_1a, you can zip that folder to a folder called Assignment_1a.zip or Assignment_1a.rar and submit that Zip file (compressed folder) through the assignment link.
Alternatively, if you are unable to zip the application folder or your mentor asks you not to, you can submit three (3) required files for each programming exercise or project (for a total of six files per activity). These files are the (1) executable file, (2) form1.designer.vb, and (3) form1.vb. Consult the VB directory structure (click link) to find out where these files reside on your hard drive.
Each programming assignment includes two exercises or projects. Because you can submit an assignment only once, you must submit both exercises or projects together as a single assignment.
You are required to take two proctored, online examinations: a midterm and a final. See the Calendar for the official dates of your midterm and final exam weeks.
For the both of these online examinations 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.
Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.
The proctored online midterm exam covers all material assigned from the Digital Planet: Tomorrow's Technology and You text (modules 1–3 of the course) and is two hours long. The exam is closed book and consists of twenty (20) short-answer, essay-type questions.
The final exam covers all material assigned from the Visual Basic text (modules 4-8 of the course) and is two hours long. Like the midterm, the final exam is closed book and consists of twenty (20) short-answer, essay-type questions, including Visual Basic programming questions. The final exam de-emphasizes program syntax and stresses fundamental programming concepts.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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 activity, 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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