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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: CISS 170
Course Title: Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Overview of computer hardware, software, programming and information systems as applied in the modern business environment. Hands on applications of word processing, spreadsheet, and data management software are used to explore use of microcomputers in business. G.E.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:


- The first text listed below is required for all IN-SEAT CLASSES.
-- This is just an access code.  All materials are web-based. 

- The second text listed below is required for ONLINE CLASSES ONLY.
-- This is a Columbia College custom edition which includes two textbooks and the access code.

Instant Access for Baldauf/Amer's Emerge with Computers v. 6.0
By MindTap® Computing (Cengage)
Category/Comments - FOR IN-SEAT CLASSES ONLY
Complete Technology in Action - and- MS Office 2013 Introductory
By Gaskin (Pearson)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe in some detail the various technical components of computers. 
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the fundamental systems model as it relates to information systems. 
  3. Explain the role that computers play in contemporary society, including limits and uses, and critically evaluate the effect of computers on society. 
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of application software and their appropriate uses and productively use application software for word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and Internet applications. 
  5. Produce and analyze various forms of computer output.
  6. Apply information literacy skills when researching digital literacy concepts and trends.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Identify and describe the components of a computer, the purpose of a network, categories of computers and their characteristics, and the elements of an information system.
  • Identify and describe the components of the Internet and types of e-commerce and their audiences.
  • Search for information on the Web.
  • Identify the categories of application software, give examples of each, and explain the ways software is distributed.
  • Identify and describe the purpose of each component of the system unit including the processor, chips, adapter cards and motherboard.
  • Identify chips, adapter cards and other components of a motherboard.
  • Identify and describe various input devices including optical scanners, reading devices, and biometric input devices.
  • Identify different types of storage media, explain how each works, and compare their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Identify and compare types of system software and network operating systems and describe the functions of an operating system.
  • Identify and describe the components required for successful digital transfer of data and communications.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using a network and of various types of physical transmission media.
  • Describe the advantages of databases over flat file structures.
  • Explain the functions common to most database management systems and compare the advantages and disadvantages of different types of databases.
  • Describe the major types of computer security risks and identify safeguards for each.
  • Describe the major security risks and privacy issues that arise in a computer society.
  • Explain the primary issues and threats associated with internet crime.
  • Explain how freedom of expression and first amendment rights are potentially impacted by computers and the internet.
  • Define intellectual property and the methods that individuals and companies are taking to protect themselves from "infringement" and "theft."
  • Describe ethical issues software manufacturers face in producing software for sale.
  • Explain the ethical and legal issues involved in employer/employee relations, employee monitoring, and use of contingent workers as they relate to information technology.
  • Describe the digital divide, its impact of standards of living and worker productivity, and what is being done to eliminate these influences.
  • Demonstrate mastery in using productivity software such as MS Office.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Suzanne Tourville Date: August 17, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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