Syllabus for CTR-212



Programmable Logic Controllers studies the development of the PLC, its components and operation, common methods of programming the PLC, and its applications in industry. The course is designed for students in a technical curriculum or occupation who have not had previous knowledge of or experience with PLCs and who need to develop the requisite background and skills in PLC programming to further their education and careers.


On successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify the main components of PLCs, their functions, and classification.
  2. Compare the use of PLCs versus computers in automation industry.
  3. Explain the BCD, Gray Scale, and ASCII code systems.
  4. Solve Boolean logic expressions and construct circuits from them.
  5. Explain the operation of sensors and output devices commonly used in PLC installations.
  6. Convert fundamental relay ladder diagrams to PLC ladder logic programs.
  7. Interpret and apply logical addressing schemes to PLC rack configurations.
  8. Analyze and interpret typical logic programs.
  9. Analyze and interpret typical PLC timer and counter ladder logic programs.
  10. Design ladder programs based on logic gate functions.
  11. Analyze a functional work cell by writing a narrative description of how the system works and by using that description to develop a logic gate diagram, a relay logic diagram, a ladder program diagram, and an I/O list and addressing scheme for the system.
  12. Explain the functions of the major components of a process control system.
  13. Recognize and explain the functions of the control elements of a closed-loop control system.
  14. Analyze the architecture of the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix family of programmable automation controllers (PACs).


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

  • Programmable Logic Controllers, 4th ed., by Frank D. Petruzella (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011)

ISBN-13: 978-0073510880


Programmable Logic Controllers is a 3-credit online course, consisting of seven modules.  Each module comprises learning objectives, study materials, one or more discussion forums (except for module 7), and a module-ending written assignment.  The module titles are as follows:

Textbook: chapters 1 and 2

Textbook: chapter 3

Textbook: chapter 4

Textbook: chapter 5

Textbook: chapter 6

Textbook: chapters 7 and 8

Textbook: chapters 14 and 15


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in eight graded online discussion forums, complete seven written assignments, and take a proctored midterm examination. At the conclusion of the course, you will also complete a final, capstone project in which you apply your knowledge to a real-life PLC programming task. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum in module 1, Programmable Logic Controllers requires you to participate in eight graded online discussion forums—in some modules there are two topics and in others just one.

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 posted question and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussions 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.

Deadlines for posting responses to the discussion questions are given in the Course Calendar.

Specific directions for these activities, and the questions to be discussed, are given in their respective modules.

For help regarding preparing and submitting activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete seven written assignments. The seven written assignments draw primarily on end-of-chapter review questions and problems from the textbook. Written assignments 1 and 2 also include an essay question (minimum 300 words).

A Note about Writing and Designing Programs and Drawing Symbols

Assignments in this course include questions and problems that ask you to write and design programs and to draw symbols, diagrams, circuits, and so on. In a traditional face-to-face classroom, you could readily do all this by hand and turn in your "hard copy" to the instructor. But in our electronic classroom, we must submit assignments electronically, and this poses technological challenges that require ingenuity and forbearance on everyone's part in using the tools available to us.

Our course does not require you to purchase, learn, and use any specific software for doing the written assignments and final project. Rather, in preparing your assignments, you have a range of options. For example:

And so on. In short, you will need to find a suitable solution for the task at hand. That is your responsibility as an adult learner. Feel free to ask your classmates for suggestions and advice in the Class Lounge and to consult with your mentor.

For help regarding preparing and submitting activities, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam covers all material assigned in modules 1, 2, and 3 and is two hours long. The exam is closed-book and consists of true-or-false and multiple-choice questions like those on the module self-check review quizzes; short-answer questions and problems like those on the written assignments; and a short essay.

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.

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

Statement about Cheating

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

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 lieu of a final exam, you are required to complete a final, capstone project for this course. The final project ties together everything covered in the course and offers you the opportunity to apply what you have learned to a real-life PLC programming task. The project is due by the last day of class (see the course Calendar).

A full description of the project and instructions for completing it are in the Final Project area of the course Web site.


All students in CTR-212, Programmable Logic Controllers, are required to take the Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS) as a component for course completion. Project SAILS is the result of a Kent State University initiative to develop an instrument for standardized assessment of information literacy skills. Thomas Edison State College has adopted it as an institutional measure of information literacy for all undergraduate students.

The SAILS test is administered online. It consists of 45 multiple-choice questions, targeting a variety of information literacy skills. Most students need 35–45 minutes to complete the assessment.

The confidentiality of your responses and scores will be protected, and data from the assessment will be reported in aggregate form. Your individual score will not be recorded, but you will receive 2 percentage points toward your overall grade for completing the assessment. For further details and directions, see the SAILS Test area of the course Web site. Please consult the course Calendar for the due date for taking the SAILS test.


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 course not in your area of study), 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:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

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.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

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:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

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 for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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