Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

CISS 301: Operating Systems For Business Computing

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  Course Description

This course is an introduction to computer operating systems functions and management. Topics include: memory, process, device, file, and network function management, concurrent processes, security and ethics.

Prerequisite: CISS 170 or 176; junior standing

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final



  • McHoes and Flynn. Understanding Operating Systems. 7th. Course Technology. 
    • ISBN-978-1-285-09655-1

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

Upon completion of this course, the student should have a working knowledge of, and greater appreciation for, functions handled by operating systems.
Students should gain an understanding of memory, device and file management in general and specifically the different implementations and challenges of each across various operating systems.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of operating systems.
  2. Compare and contrast different operating systems.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 160 16%
Dropbox Assignments 140 14%
Midterm Exam 275 28%
Research Paper 150 15%
Final Exam 275 28%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Thursday
Discussion 2 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 1 20

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Thursday
Discussion 4 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 2 20
Proctor Information N/A Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Thursday
Discussion 6 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 3 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thursday
Discussion 8 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 4 20
Midterm Exam (proctored) 275 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday
Discussion 10 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 5 20

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Thursday
Discussion 12 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 6 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 10 Thursday
Discussion 14 10 Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 7 20

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 10 Thursday
Discussion 16 10 Saturday
Research Paper 150
Final Exam (proctored) 275
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Reading should be completed prior to submitting assignments for the week.


Discussion postings for the first weekly discussion topic should be completed by Wednesday to allow interaction with other students by Thursday, and postings for the second weekly discussion topic should be completed by Friday to allow interaction with other students by Saturday. Each discussion assignment—the initial posting and response(s) to other students’ posts—is worth 10 points. Discussion postings and responses are due by 11:59 p.m. CT of the day due.
Discussion topics are based on the chapter material defined in the weekly course schedule. Interaction between students is encouraged, with the instructor acting as the facilitator when needed. Students are especially encouraged to introduce relevant discussion points of view and engage in the discussion dialogue. 
Participation in all discussions will improve performance on exams. The total points possible for discussions during the session are 160 points, 20 points per week. Students will be expected to address each topic by posting at least twice—once with an original posting and at least once with a response to another student’s posting.

Dropbox Assignments

Dropbox (Homework) Assignments will each be graded according to the point system presented in the Grading Criteria section of the syllabus. Each homework assignment will be worth 20 points, assigned on the basis of percent of completeness, clarity, and accuracy/neatness. Homework assignments should be at least 2 full pages (1-inch margins on all sides, double-spaced). Students should provide additional supporting material or examples as necessary to achieve the needed assignment length. Assignments submitted with less than the minimum number of pages may receive less than full credit. Remember, this is a Junior/Senior level course and that your homework assignments should rise to that level. Please include your name and course number. Microsoft WORD is the format expected for any documents.   


There will be a midterm and a final exam, each worth 275 points. Each exam will consist of 50 to 60 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The midterm and final exams are proctored. The midterm will be open from Tuesday through Sunday of week 4 and the final will be open from Tuesday through Saturday of week 8.  

Research Paper

The research paper will be your opportunity to take a more in-depth look at operating systems.  In the paper, you will compare and contrast two major operating systems in terms of design goals, memory, process, device, file, security, and network management.  
Additional details on the project can be found in the “Week 4” section of the Course Schedule below. 

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Chapter 1

Discussion 1
Introduce yourself in the “Introductions” thread, under Week 1 topics.  Include some information about yourself such as profession or job, hobbies, interest in IT and any other information that can help us get to know you.
Discussion 2
Describe an occupation that could benefit from desktop virtualization.  Explain how persons in this field would benefit.
Dropbox Assignment 1
Respond to Exercises/Advanced Exercises 3, 8, 10, 11, 15 (pp. 26-27).  

Chapters 2 and 3

Discussion 3
Describe the three specific deallocation scenarios that must be taken into consideration. What would happen if these scenarios weren’t taken into consideration in the operating system’s memory deallocation algorithm? 
Discussion 4
Is there a “perfect” memory page size? If so, what would it be and why? If not, discuss why, including examples.
Dropbox Assignment 2
Respond to Research Topic B (p. 52), Exercises/Advanced Exercises 2 (p. 53) and 5 (p. 96).
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.

Chapter 4

Discussion 5
Read about processor scheduling on pages 116-128. Select two scheduling algorithms and compare them to real world scheduling tasks not involving computers. Why do you think these algorithms were selected for these scheduling tasks?
Discussion 6
When do preemptive scheduling policies excel? When do non-preemptive scheduling policies excel? Provide examples of each not noted in the text (cite sources as appropriate). 
Dropbox Assignment 3
Respond to Exercises/Advanced Exercises 6, 7, 13 (pp. 135-137).  

Chapter 5

Discussion 7
What are the four conditions necessary for deadlock? Which one would be easiest for the operating system to foresee? Would it be sufficient for the operating system to focus on only one of the conditions to avoid deadlock? 
Discussion 8
Discuss the impact of deadlocks in database processes. What solutions exist to avoid impacting the integrity of the data in the database? 
Dropbox Assignment 4
Respond to Exercises/Advanced Exercises 1, 4, 5, 19 (pp. 165-170).
Midterm Exam (proctored)
Each question is designed to evaluate your ability to synthesize and apply materials covered in chapters 1 through 5. The midterm is worth 275 points toward your course grade. It is a closed-book proctored exam.
Research Paper Assignment

A research paper is due on Saturday of Week 8.

Your paper will:

  • Compare and contrast two major operating systems in terms of design goals, memory, process, device, file, security, and network management.
  • Be at least 10 pages double-spaced (excluding title and references cited pages).
    Use at least 5 sources (not including the course text).

Chapter 7

Discussion 9
Describe three types of physical storage currently used. What usage scenarios would be ideal for each?
Discussion 10
Describe which level of RAID you might use to store data on your home computer. What are the benefits of your choice?
Dropbox Assignment 5
Respond to Exercises/Advanced Exercises 1, 8, 10, 16 (pp. 250-254). 

Chapter 8

Discussion 11
Describe at least one real world example showing benefit from “lossy” compression. How does “lossy” compression help in this example? What would be the impact if “lossy” compression were not used?
Discussion 12
When would it be better to use relative filenames over absolute filenames and vice-versa?
Dropbox Assignment 6
Respond to Exercises/Advanced Exercises 1, 9, 13 (pp. 287-288).  ** Note, the table referenced in exercise 13 should be Table 8.7 (p. 283) rather than Table 8.6. **
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Chapter 9

Discussion 13

Review the OSI and TCP/IP Models described on pages 312-319. Discuss the differences between the two models. Use outside sources to support your response (cite your sources where appropriate).

TCP/IP is very widely used – discuss the complexity of replacing TCP/IP with a new and improved model.

Discussion 14
Respond to Exercise 18 on page 322. Additionally, for each environment identify a poor network topology choice and justify your response.
Dropbox Assignment 7
Respond to Research Topic A (p. 321) and Exercises/Advanced Exercises 1, 11, 23 (pp. 322-323).

Chapter 11

Discussion 15

Research a DoS attack in a current online media source. Provide a link to the source article(s). Describe the attack and its impact on the victim and/or its customers.  What changes could the victim of the attack make to prevent similar issues in the future?

Discussion 16
Review the section on Password Alternatives on pages 370-372. What issues might arise from the use of “graphical passwords”?
Research Paper
Submit your completed research paper to the Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
Final Exam (proctored)
Each question is designed to evaluate your ability to synthesize and apply materials covered in chapters 7-9 & 11. The final is worth 275 points. It is a closed-book proctored exam.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late homework assignments will not receive credit.  It is recommended that you plan ahead and do not wait until the last minute as you may encounter technical problems that could result in not getting the assignment in on time.  If you encounter a technical problem in sending in your assignment you will need to overcome it within the time frame that the assignment is due.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.