Syllabus for COS-241



Data Structures is a course in which you will discuss and experiment with many ways to manipulate data in the structures that exist in the programming language C++. Data structures are an important way of organizing information in a computer. Each data structure has unique properties that make it well suited to give a certain view of the data.

Please be aware that Data Structures is a challenging course. No basic C++ language is taught in this course, so you must know C++ programming language before you begin.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Describe the activities in the software life cycle.
  2. Explain what is meant by abstract data types (ADTs) and data encapsulation.
  3. Describe the abstract data type List at a logical level.
  4. Explain the use of Big-O notation to describe the amount of work done by an algorithm.
  5. Describe stacks and queues and their operations at a logical level.
  6. Implement stack, queue, unsorted list and sorted list ADT as a linked list structure.
  7. Distinguish between shallow and deep copying.
  8. Discuss recursion as another form of repetition.
  9. Define a binary search tree at the logical level.
  10. Show how an arithmetic expression can be stored in a binary tree.
  11. Design and implement sorting algorithms.


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 Textbook

  1. C++ Plus Data Structures, 5th ed., by Nell Dale (Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2013)

ISBN-13: 978-1-4496-4675-2

Web Resources

Web resources are provided in each Module as a supplement to the reading assignments. They were selected because they provide more detail on the individual topics presented in the text. (Because someone will surely ask: No, information from these sites won't be on the exam!)

Feel free to explore these Web sites as time permits. If you get stuck on an assignment or need further clarification, check out the Web to see if these pages answer your question.

Finally, be sure to post any questions, comments on your readings, or additional helpful Web sites to the Class Lounge on the Discussion Board.

Happy surfing!

System Requirements

  1. Regular access to a computer with C++ compiler software.
  2. Windows 98 or higher or equivalent operating system.
  3. Personal internet access.
  4. A full-featured Internet browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 1.X or higher.


Data Structures is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Overview of Principles, Design, and Implementation
  2. Module 2: Lists, Stacks, and Queues
  3. Module 3: Linked Lists
  4. Module 4: Recursion
  5. Module 5: Binary Trees and Other Branched Structures
  6. Module 6: Sorting and Searching Algorithms

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written activities, take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in seven (7) graded online discussions, each focusing on a different subject.

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 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.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six (6) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Prepare written assignments that do not require code to be written 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, course code, and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Most assignments in this course require that you write code. Submit these files directly from the C++ compiler in .cpp and .h source code file format.

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.

You are required to take two (2) proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you 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.


You are required to take two proctored 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. Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see the 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 make your scheduling arrangements for both exams within the first week of the semester.

Midterm Examination

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored exam. It is two hours long and consists of short essay, short answer, and objective questions. It covers Chapters 1–6 in the textbook (material from modules 1 through 3). To prepare for the exam you may want to complete items not assigned within the exercises at the ends of the chapters. You will find answers to approximately one-third of the exercises in the back of the textbook.

Final Examination

The final is a closed-book, proctored exam. It is two hours long and consists of short essay, short answer, and objective questions. It covers Chapters 7–10 in the textbook (material from modules 4 through 6). To prepare for the exam you may want to complete items not assigned within the exercises at the ends of the chapters. You will find answers to approximately one-third of the exercises in the back of the textbook.

Statement about Cheating

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

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find the answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your online test. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take the exam.
  5. Copying any part of the exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at the exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

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

Final Project

In addition to the written assignments, you are required to complete a programming project. You may work on the project throughout this semester, at your own pace. Because this program is large, it will be due near the end of the course.

Consult the course Calendar for the project due date.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (7)—10 percent
  2. Written assignments including final project (6)—30 percent
  3. Final Project - Programming assignment (1)—10 percent
  4. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–3)—25 percent 
  5. Final exam (proctored online, modules 4–6)—25 percent

All assignments 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 D or higher 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  2. 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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