Syllabus for COS-101

INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS


COURSE DESCRIPTION

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.

COURSE TOPICS

Computer Fundamentals

Computer Fundamentals

Programming (Visual Basic)

  • technology's role in our life
  • brief history of computing
  • computing devices
  • Internet revolution
  • technology and society
  • Information Age
  • future impact of computing
  • technology concepts
  • hardware components
  • input devices
  • output devices
  • storage devices
  • computer peripherals
  • computer networks
  • cloud technology
  • computer programming
  • software applications
  • hardware vs software
  • user interface
  • file management
  • software piracy
  • intellectual property laws
  • word processing
  • speech recognition
  • handwriting recognition
  • desktop publishing
  • e-books and e-readers
  • spreadsheets
  • business software
  • modeling and simulation
  • security, privacy, and ethics
  • databases
  • file managers
  • relational databases
  • database storage
  • database queries
  • telecommunications
  • wide area networks
  • local area networks
  • wireless technology
  • ethical issues on the Web
  • computer crime
  • computer security
  • security, privacy, and ethics
  • political issues on the Web
  • computer graphics
  • dynamic media
  • hypertext and hypermedia
  • interactive multimedia
  • multimedia authoring
  • Internet
  • Web protocols
  • Web publishing
  • multimedia on the Web

  • computing and programming
  • programming development life cycle
  • programming tools
  • introduction to Visual Basic
  • Visual Basic events
  • variables acting as numbers
  • variables acting as strings
  • input and output
  • decision making:
  • relational and logical operators
  • If-block statement
  • Select Case block statement
  • User input
  • functions
  • sub procedures
  • arguments
  • scope of a variable
  • structured programming
  • Do loop
  • For . . . Next loop
  • list box
  • Boolean flags
  • variable declaration

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the basic nomenclature of a computer and the many input and output devices available today.
  2. Explain software fundamentals and describe a variety of productivity applications.
  3. Describe database applications and enumerate privacy concerns.
  4. Identify networking and telecommunication fundamentals.
  5. Explain computer security and the various means by which the risks of security may be minimized.
  6. Compare and contrast graphics, digital media, and multimedia applications.
  7. Distinguish between the Internet and the World Wide Web.
  8. Write several application programs using the Visual Basic programming language.

COURSE MATERIALS

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

Required Textbooks

  • Digital Planet: Tomorrow’s Technology and You, 10th ed. (Introductory), by George Beekman and Ben Beekman (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2012)

    ISBN-13: 978-0-13-209125-1

  • An Introduction to Programming Using Visual Basic 2012, 9th ed., by David I. Schneider (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2014), packaged with Visual Studio 2012 Express Edition DVD

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-337850-4

Required Software

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

To run Visual Studio Express 2012, your computer should meet the following system requirements:

Supported Operating Systems

Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012

Hardware Requirements

COURSE STRUCTURE

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

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments and programming assignments, take chapter quizzes based on the assigned reading from the Digital Planet textbook, and complete two projects: a Computer Fundamentals Project and a Programming Project. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

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.

Chapter Quizzes

Each module includes two short online chapter quizzes based on the assigned reading from the Digital Planet textbook. Each chapter quiz is 20 minutes long and consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. These quizzes are intended as diagnostic assessments that test your knowledge of computer fundamentals and the topics and items covered in the text. For that reason, you may take the quizzes as often as you want until the due date, at which time your mentor will “lock in” your last recorded score as your grade on the quiz. The launch link for the quiz is available within the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to submit five (5) written assignments. The five written assignments are based on the Digital Planet: Tomorrow's Technology and You textbook.

Prepare your 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 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.

Programming Assignments

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.

Most programming assignments include two exercises or projects. You must submit all exercises or projects together as a single assignment.

Projects

Introduction to Computers has two (2) comprehensive projects in lieu of a midterm and final exam, respectively. Please see the Projects section of the course Web site for details, and consult the Course Calendar for the due dates.

Computer Fundamentals Project

The first project, worth 10 percent of your course grade, focuses on computer fundamentals. It provides you with a chance to apply what you have learned about computer fundamentals to a real-life scenario in which you automate a medical office by replacing old, outdated technology with all new computer technology and equipment given a fixed budget.

Programming Project

The second project, worth 20 percent of your course grade, focuses on the development of several Visual Basic applications to be used by the same medical office you helped to automate in the previous project. In this Programming Project you put computer fundamental concepts into a real-life situation by developing several small applications that create a modern data flow process within a small organization.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

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:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

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.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

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 www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

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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