Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

CISS 234: Visual Basic

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  Course Description

An introduction to programming using Visual Basic. Emphasis is on Visual Basic syntax and creating user interfaces in Visual Basic. Topics include application design, using variables and constants, the selection and repetition structures, sequential access files, menus, dialog boxes and error trapping, random access files, database access and arrays.

Prerequisite: CISS 170 or CISS 176; MATH 150

Proctored Exams: Midterm and Final


Required Textbook

  • Gaddis and irvine. Starting Out with Visual Basic 2012. Addison-Wesley Longman, Inc.. 
    • ISBN-978-0133128086

Required Software

You will need the Visual Basic 2012 Express Edition software (there is a link to download the software in the course content area).  You will also need to use a computer running Windows 7 or 8.

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

This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles and implementation of programming with Visual Basic. It surveys both the programming concepts relevant to business and the development of applications used in a business environment. Specifically, it covers interface design, sequential, repetition, and decision structures, writing object-oriented programming, and working with databases.

In this course, students learn Visual Basic through three approaches. First, students read the textbook and participate in the weekly discussions. Then students will work on a weekly programming assignment that reflects the knowledge learned. Finally, at the end of the semester, students will integrate all the Visual Basic programming skills learned and apply them in a comprehensive case study.

This course is intended for students in management information systems. However, motivated non-majors are welcome. We assume that students have met prerequisites for this course and that students have Microsoft Visual Basic 2012 Express Edition installed in their computers. The remaining sections of the syllabus explain the computer requirements and weekly summaries.

  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 programming.
  2. Demonstrate principles of object-oriented programming.
  3. Differentiate various data types and control structures in a programming language.
  4. Write and Debug moderately complex computer programs.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 630-700 90-100%
B 560-629 80-89%
C 490-559 70-79%
D 420-489 60-69%
F 0-419 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (11) 110 16%
Dropbox Assignments (10) 200 29%
Project 150 21%
Midterm Exam 120 17%
Final Exam 120 17%
Total 700 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 10 Thursday
Dropbox Assignment 1 20 Sunday

Week 2

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

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 Thursday
Discussion 5 10
Dropbox Assignment 4 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 5 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Thursday
Dropbox Assignment 6 20 Sunday
Midterm Exam 120

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Thursday
Discussion 8 10
Dropbox Assignment 7 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 8 20

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Thursday
Discussion 10 10
Dropbox Assignment 9 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 10 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 10 Thursday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Project 150 Thursday
Final Exam 120 Saturday
Total Points: 700

  Assignment Overview


Readings should be completed prior to submitting assignments or participating in online discussions.


Discussion postings should be completed by Thursday of the week.  You are expected to address all questions posed with comprehensive and original answers.  You are encouraged to participate by replying to others’ post. However, discussion postings will be graded according to the quality, not the number of postings. More information is available in the rubric found at the end of the syllabus. 

Dropbox Assignments

Dropbox Assignments are programming exercises.  You will complete a series of programming exercises from the textbook and submit your final product as a zip folder file to the correct Dropbox folder (see instructions for uploading the zip files in “Course Schedule, Week 1”).  Each assignment will be graded according to the point system presented in the rubric found in the course Content area.


The Project assignment is to test your ability to apply Visual Basic knowledge in a real world case. It will be announced during the Week 5 of the session. It will be graded according to the point system presented in the rubric found at the end of the syllabus. 


There will be a proctored midterm and a proctored final exam.  Each exam will consist of 60 multiple choice questions. The multiple choice questions will come from readings of the textbook. Each exam will be closed-book and computer-based. You will need an Internet connected computer when taking the exam, but the only window that can be opened is the exam webpage. The use of cell phones, pagers and flash drives in taking your proctored exams is prohibited. Each exam can take up to 120 minutes. This information is often useful to you when scheduling your proctored exams.

  Course Outline

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


Chapter 1


Please introduce yourself in the Introduction topic (Discussions area).

Discussion 1

Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 3 on Page 40.

Dropbox Assignment 1

Complete Tutorial 1-4 on Pages 21-25 [Make sure all your dropbox assignments have the “option strict” set to on) and Tutorial 1-5 on Pages 25-27. On Step 5, change the project name to “Dropbox01” (without quotation marks). Write down the location of the folder with the name “Dropbox01” as shown in Figure 1-21 so that you can find the folder. Next, find the folder with the name of “Dropbox01”. Create a zip folder (right click on the outmost folder named “Dropbox01,” select “send to” and then “compressed (zipped) folder). Upload the zipped folder to the Dropbox. NOTE: You should zip the whole folder, not a single file. The zip process applies to all Dropbox and project assignments.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 2-3

Discussion 2

a. Complete “Checkpoint” Question 2.16 on Page 81.

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 2 on Page 106. 

Discussion 3

a. Complete "What Do You Think?" Question 4 on Page 200.

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 5 on Page 200.

c. Errors cannot be completely avoided in a program. Explain how you can write codes to recover gracefully from errors.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Complete “Programming Challenges” 2, Name and Address, on Page 107. Make sure you follow the “Grading Criteria” located in the course Content area.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 3

Complete “Programming Challenges” 1, Miles per Gallon Calculator, on Page 202. Make sure you follow the “Grading Criteria” located in the course Content area.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

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.

Chapters 4-5

Discussion 4

a. What VB statements are available for decision structure? Explain each with an example.

b. What is input validation? Why is it important? Explain with examples.

Discussion 5

a. What loops are available in VB? Explain each with an example.

b. What are the three Combo Box styles? What property of the combo box will set each? Which one is the default? Which one won’t accept input from the user?

Dropbox Assignment 4

Complete “Programming Challenges” 2, Roman Numeral Converter, on Pages 277-278.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 5

Complete “Programming Challenges” 1, Sum of Numbers, on Page 346.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.


Chapter 6

Discussion 6

Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 1 on Page 395.

Dropbox Assignment 6

Complete “Programming Challenges” 1, Retail Price Calculator, on Pages 396-397.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

Midterm Exam

You must take the midterm exam (with an approved proctor) between Tuesday and Sunday of this week.  The exam questions are all multiple choice. It is a closed-book exam. You will have two hours to complete it. Each Columbia College site has its own hours and methods for handling proctoring. Please be informed of their hours so that you can get your exam done between Tuesday and Sunday of this week.


Chapters 7-8

Discussion 7

a. Complete “Short Answer” Question 11 on Page 459

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 5 on Page 460

Discussion 8

a. Complete “CheckPoint” 8.3 on Page 484.

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 1 on Page 534 - 535

Dropbox Assignment 7

Complete “Programming Challenges” 7, Astronomy Helper, on Pages 466-467.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 8

Complete “Programming Challenges” 10, Lottery Application, on Page 539 -540.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 9 and 12

Discussion 9

a. Complete “Short Answer” Question 1 on Page 590

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 5 on Page 590.

Discussion 10

a. Complete “Short Answer” Question 3 on Page 787

b. Complete “What Do You Think?” Question 2 on Page 787.

Dropbox Assignment 9

Complete “Programming Challenges” 5, Random Number File Generator, on Page 594.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 10

Complete “Programming Challenges” 4, Motor Class, on Pages 791-792.

​Please submit to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Sunday.

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 10

Discussion 11

Complete “Short Answer” Question 3 on Page 670.


Submit your Project to the correct Dropbox folder by midnight Thursday.

Final Exam

You must take the proctored final exam by midnight Saturday. The proctor must have been approved by me by Week 2 of the course; unless you communicate otherwise, it will be assumed that you will be using the same proctor as you did for your midterm. Exams need to be taken between Tuesday and Saturday of this week. 

  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.

No late assignments will be accepted without extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student and with instructor notification prior to the due date (Columbia College Catalog).

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.