Syllabus for COS-101



Introduction to Computers provides students 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. Using Visual Basic programming language, this course introduces students to object-oriented programming concepts and techniques such as variable declaration and usage, input and output, graphical user interface (GUI) design, event handling, conditional statements, loops, sub procedures and functions.


Computer Fundamentals

Programming (Visual Basic)


After completing this course, students should be able to:

CO1        Explain hardware and software fundamentals and describe a variety of hardware and software.

CO2        Describe database applications, graphics, digital media, and multimedia applications.

CO3        Identify networking and telecommunication fundamentals including the Internet and World Wide Web.

CO4        Explain computer security and enumerate privacy concerns.

CO5        Declare and use Visual Basic (VB) variables.

CO6        Use VB form controls to implement graphical user interface (GUI) designs and implement VB event handlers to respond to user interactions.

CO7        Write VB applications to accept user inputs and display outputs.

CO8        Use VB conditional statements, loops, sub procedures, and functions.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required TextbookstextbookCover14e.jpg

Packaged with Visual Studio Community 2015.

ISBN-13: 978-0134542782

Required Software

Note: Visual Studio 2015 is a Windows-based product and will not run on Macs. You can run this software and other Windows software on your Mac using Apple's Boot Camp technology or third-party virtualization tools like Parallels or VMWare Fusion. These tools make it possible to run Mac OSX and a Windows operating system side by side. This solution will require a Windows license.

Visual Studio 2015 comes in different editions. For this course we recommend Visual Studio Community 2015, which comes packaged with the text,
An Introduction to Programming Using Visual Basic, when purchased from the textbook supplier. (See “Attention Students” on p. iii in your textbook.) All of the book's examples, however, run with both Visual Basic 2015 Community Edition and other editions of Visual Basic 2015. You may download Visual Studio Community 2015 for free directly from Microsoft.


To run Visual Studio Community 2015, your computer should meet the following system requirements:

Supported Operating Systems

Hardware Requirements


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


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

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in About SafeAssign.

Discussion Forums

Introduction to Computers has five 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.

Module Quizzes

Each module (1 through 5) includes one formative quiz consisting of multiple-choice and matching questions. The quizzes are untimed, unproctored, and worth 10 percent of your final grade. You will receive feedback at the end of each quiz.

You are encouraged to take each quiz multiple times for additional practice; you will see some different questions each time. The result of your most recent attempt will appear in your gradebook.

Written Assignments

You are required to submit five written assignments. The five written assignments are based on the Technology in Action textbook and web resources.

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 programming assignments to your mentor for grading. The five programming assignments are based on the textbook, An Introduction to Programming Using Visual Basic.

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 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 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.


Introduction to Computers has two comprehensive projects in lieu of a midterm and final exam, respectively. Please see the Projects section of the course website 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.


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).


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 University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University 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 University 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 University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at Thomas Edison State University.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University 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 University 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 University 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 University 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, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

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:

Copyright © 2019 by Thomas Edison State University. All rights reserved.