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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


16 / 36 - Late Summer Session
June - August 2017

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
16 / 36 - Late Summer Session
June - August 2017
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: CISS 420 A
Course Title: Computer Architecture
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Class Day and Time: Thu 
Additional Notes:

This course is web-enhanced, taught entirely in a classroom setting using D2L course management software to supplement in-seat content.


Catalog Description

Introduces fundamental concepts of computer architecture including data representation, computer arithmetic, Boolean algebra, combinational logic design, sequential circuits, registers and counters, memory and programmable logic devices, instruction set architecture, CPU design, input-output, memory systems. Prerequisite: CISS 360.


CISS 360.


The Principles of Computer Hardware 4th edition
Author: Clements, Alan (Oxford)
ISBN: 9780199273133

Course Objectives

· To conceptualize the underlying technology of modern electronic digital computers.
· To utilize design methods to create combinatorial and sequential circuits.
· To design a microprocessor.
· To learn methods of implementing I/O.
· To learn techniques and methods of implementing memory systems.

Additional Instructor Objectives

By the end of this course students will have a foundational understanding of the hardware/software interface and how programs written by users are able to operate and drive computer hardware. Additionally, students will also develop a greater understanding of how computers represent and store data internally, including: exact numeric types (integers), approximate numeric types (floating point), and non-numeric types (characters). Finally, students will learn about the internal workings of CPUs, and the differences in the ways various technologies address computational problems.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

· Design combinational circuits using AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR, XOR, and XNOR gates, as well as tri-state gates.
· Create combinatorial circuits using Karnaugh maps and Boolean algebra, including multiplexers, decoders, encoders, comparators and adders.
· Create sequential circuits using flip-flops, counters, registers and memory.
· Create complex sequential circuits using a finite state machine.
· Create a microprocessor based upon a finite state machine.
· Describe methods of communication between components of a computer system.
· Describe methods of implementing memory systems, including virtual memory.

Special Course Requirements

Students will need access to a computer to run electronic design software that comes on a CD in the textbook.
Alternative design software:  Logisim -
Students may use any design software they desire, as long as it meets the course requirements.

Instructional Methods

In-class activities include lectures and discussion of computer design techniques as well as in-class exercises.

Out of Class Activities

Students are to read the text and review any online materials prior to class. Students will be prepared to discuss the material and to ask relevant questions.
During the course there are a variety of assignments that you are expected to complete. Design assignments will usually have a due date from 1 to 2 weeks after the day they are assigned, homework will usually be due the next class meeting. Assignments turned in late will receive a percentage deduction for each class period that it is late. Your work must be neat and professional. Your designs must be well-documented with notations that are intended to explain them to someone who is unfamiliar with the design.

Graded Activities

Homework and Designs50% of grade
Description -

It is recommended that students work through the problems at the end of chapter sections of the text. Problems at the end of the chapter may be assigned as homework.
There will be approximately one design assignment every week. The designs will emphasize the concepts discussed in class and provide a way to see those concepts in action.

Method of Evaluation -

Designs are graded using a graduated rubric distributed as follows:
50% Functionality
20% Design
15% Compliance
15% Readability
Schematics that do not compile are worth, at most, 50%. The design will be tested using instructor provided data. It will be the student's responsibility to test the design sufficiently with the guidelines provided to give confidence that the design conforms to the specifications. You are expected to hand in:
- a schematic
- a complete project in a project folder to be named with your last name and a project identifier that will be specified in the assignment guidelines. The student should be prepared to transfer the project via thumb drive to an instructor designated location.
When working on the assignments, students are strongly encouraged to e-mail the instructor for help if you get stuck on something. A significant problem for many students is not starting projects soon enough. Not successfully completing your projects will very likely result in a lower-than-expected grade for the course.

Midterm Exam25% of grade
Description -

Covers the material studied in the first 4 weeks of class. This includes the first 7 chapters of the text.

Method of Evaluation -

Examination consists of questions similar to the exercises in the text. Some questions will require drawing small schematics to demonstrate the understanding of various concepts.

Final Exam25% of grade
Description - Covers all material studied in class but focuses mainly on the material covered in the last 4 weeks. This includes the entire text.
Method of Evaluation -

Examination consists of questions similar to the exercises in the text. Some questions will require drawing small schematics to demonstrate the understanding of various concepts.


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Additional Information / Instructions

You are expected to attend class regularly and to arrive on time. Chapters to be covered will be specified for each week. You are expected to come to class prepared - that is, having read and made an attempt to understand the material. You should be ready to discuss the material covered in the lectures and reading. Good class participation can "bump up" a borderline grade. All work on projects and homework must be done individually. You may work together on projects, but each student is expected to turn in his/her own work. If you can't get a project completed, turn in what you have for partial credit. Don't copy a friend's project, change a few variable names and move a few statements around. The best way to learn is to try things for yourself. Additional course materials will be provided by the instructor prior to or during the first week of class.

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Week 1
Intro to PC hardware, gates, circuits, and combinational logic
Activities:Study logic gates and circuits, electronic design software, boolean algebra, Karnaugh maps.

Reading:Ch. 1 & 2


Lab 1

Week 2
Sequential logic and computer arithmetic
Activities:Study flip-flops, sequential circuits, finite state machines, data coding, and binary arithmetic.

Reading:Ch. 3 & 4

Assignments:Lab 2
Week 3
Instruction set and assembly language
Activities:Introduction to the structure of a CPU using 68K processor and instruction set.


Ch. 5 & 6


Lab 3

Week 4
CPU structure and improvement
Activities:Continue exploring the CPU, and look at methods of improving CPU performance.
Reading:Ch. 7 & 8
Assignments:Lab 4

Midterm Exam

Week 5
Processor architectures , buses, and I/O
Activities:Look at various processor architectures, micrcontrollers, and RISC. Examine bus architectures and I/O methods.
Reading:Ch. 9 & 10

Lab 5

Week 6
Peripherals and memory
Activities:Examine I/O devices, protocols, and signal processing. Explore volatile and persistent storage, as well as data transfer.
Reading:Ch. 11 & 12

Lab 6

Week 7
Operating systems and networking
Activities:Look into the role of the operating system's management of hardware. Study computer communications and networking.
Reading:Ch. 13 & 14

Lab 7

Week 8
Wrap-up and review
Activities:Wrap-up class discussions, review for final exam, and perform final demos of designs.
Reading:Review all chapters of the book, any notes, and online materials. Come to class prepared to discuss.
Examinations:Final exam
Additional Notes:

All materials due by end of last class.


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - 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.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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