This course introduces computer concepts, including fundamental functions and operations of the computer. Topics include identification of hardware components, basic computer operations, security issues, and use of software applications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of computers and use the computer to solve problems.


Computers have permeated every aspect of our modern society. If the past is a predictor of the future, we can be assured that the trend toward increased computer usage will continue. This makes it important to learn all we can about computers – their components, operations, communications, and usage as well as related security and other societal issues. This course provides a basic introduction to computers that addresses how they work and how to use them as effective productivity tools. The class uses a combination of assigned readings, lectures, practice exercies, and online discussions to deliver course content.

There are no Prerequisites or Corequisites for this course.

English, Janth B.

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Information Systems
Part Time
B.S. (1972), Tennessee State University-Nashville; M.S. (1996), Clark Atlanta University.
Subject Matter: 
Information Systems

Janth English received a B.S. in Mathematics from Tennessee State University and a M.S. in Computer Science from Clark Atlanta University.  After a career as a Systems Analyst, she taught Computer Science at Clark Atlanta University for more than 16 years.  She is now actively retired working with the Clayton County Public Schools in the Homeless Education Department.

Prof. English has presented papers at the Southeast Conference of the ACM and the Georgia Technology Conference.  She is a member of the Living Church of God serving as a deaconess in the Atlanta Congregation.

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

A student who successfully completes this course must demonstrate that he or she is able to:

1. Describe the role Information Technology and computers within our technological society.
2. Explain the Internet and World Wide Web including concepts and components.
3. Identify the basic hardware components of a computer and state the purpose of each.
4. Explain the purpose of application and system software and identify examples of each.
5. Discuss computer communication concepts including wired and wireless networks.
6. Identify privacy and security issues associated with computer usage and state ways to reduce risk.
7. Discuss the convergence of technology and how it impacts society.
8. Discuss the pros and cons of societal and ethical issues involved in future technological developments.
9. Demonstrate proficiency in using productivity software including word processor, spread sheet, and database applications.

Required Texts: 

There is no required textbook for this course. Reading assignments are provided through links to free online texts and articles. 

Required Software

Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2013 (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications). ASIN: B00B1TGUMG. (This download to your PC can be purchased from Amazon according to their current price list.)

OR you may use Google® Docs, Spread Sheets, and Slides applications for FREE.

Additional Readings: 

The following are optional if you would like to have textbooks for your personal reference library:

Williams, Brian K, and Stacey C. Sawyer. Using Information Technology: A Practical Introduction to Computers & Communications. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2011. ISBN 9780077331085.

Gasking, Shelley, Nancy Graviett, and Debra Geoghan. Go! All in One: Computer Concepts and Applications. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2014. ISBN: 9780133427295.

If purchasing a text, cost saving may be realized by buying them from online used bookstores or renting texts from sites such as,, or


This course includes lectures which may be written, audio, and/or video. Links to lectures are placed within lessons. Each lesson also includes a vocabulary of terms the student should know. In general, students should complete the reading assignment prior to studying the lectures.

Course Calendar: 
Lesson Topic
Lesson 1 Overview of Computers & IT
Topic 1 Information Technology in our Society
Topic 2 Computer Basics
Lesson 2 The Internet & the World Wide Web
Topic 1 Internet Basics
Topic 2 The World Wide Web (WWW)
Topic 3 Communicating over the Net
Topic 4 Online Goldmine
Lesson 3 Software
Topic 1 Systems Software
Topic 2 User Interface
Topic 3 Applications Software
Lesson 4 Hardware
Topic 1 Hardware Fundamentals
Topic 2 The Microprocessor
Topic 3 Data Representation and Memory Management
Topic 4 The System Unit
Topic 5 Secondary Storage
Lesson 5 Hardware: Input and Output
Topic 1 Input
Topic 2 Output
Topic 3 Input and Output (I/O) Issues
Lesson 6 Computer Communications
Topic 1 Network Basics
Topic 2 Wired Communications
Topic 3 Wireless Communications
Topic 4 The Future of Communications
Lesson 7 Computer Security
Topic 1 Threats to Computer Systems
Topic 2 Safeguarding Computers & Communications
Lesson 8 Applications Software Productivity Tools
Topic 1 Wood Processors
Topic 2 Spread Sheets
Topic 3 Presentation Software
Topic 4 Database Overview
Lesson 9 Technology & You
Topic 1 Convergence, Portability, Personalization
Topic 2 High-Tech Devices
Topic 3 Mobile Computing
Topic 4 Social Media
Lesson 10 Ethical & Societal Issues
Topic 1 Ethical Issues
Topic 2 Quality of Life Issues
Course Requirements: 

Computer Practice Assignment for Beginners:
For students who are not familiar with Microsoft® Office products or who need review, there is a non-credit introductory hands-on assignment. The purpose of the assignment is to familiarize the student with basic computer concepts and skills and the "look and feel" of Microsoft® applications. This assignment will have the best effect if completed during the first week of class before the first practice exercise is due.

Due Dates and Extensions:
Students must complete all assignments by the due dates stated in the syllabus. While extension may be granted for excused absences, in no case can any assignment submitted after the last official day of instruction be considered for a grade. The last official day of instruction can be found in the academic calendar.

Icebreaker Assignment:
Students will officially begin the course by completing an icebreaker assignment in which they introduce themselves to their classmates through posting a short autobiography on the course Forum. Students post their biographies as a reply to the “Icebreaker” topic on the course forum. Students from all over the world may be enrolled in this course and each autobiography will help students to know, understand and appreciate each other. Please be sensitive to other students’ perspectives with respect to the type of personal information you choose to share. A student can earn 25 bonus points in this course by completing the assignment within the first seven days of class. Students are to read and comment on each other’s bios throughout the first week of class.

Reading and Writing Exercises:
Reading and writing assignments can be found within the lesson content. Reading assignments are made from free online texts and articles. Written assignments can include hands-on computer practice exercises.

Filing Writing Assignments:
Assignments are submitted via the Assignments tab of the course site.

Quizzes and Examinations:
Each of the ten lessons has an associated online quiz. All quizzes are open book, but under no circumstances are students to print the quiz. An open book quiz is not a workbook exercise. It is a test where the student can consult his or her notes and books. Students are allowed sixty (60) minutes to complete each quiz. Quizzes are objective tests which may include true/false, matching, and multiple choice questions. Students may be asked to answer objective questions covering lectures, readings, handouts, vocabulary words, hands-on computer exercises, and discussion topics. Students can also use the Lesson Objectives as a tool to assess their knowledge and skill levels prior to taking lesson quizzes. The final exam is closed book and the only proctored exam for this course.

Online Discussions:
Discussion questions will be posted at the beginning of each lesson on the course’s homepage. Please make one or at most two points when you post your comments on the discussion. Students are expected to participate in the discussion by commenting on the questions and fellow students’ comments. It is also expected that students will answer follow-up comments when directed to them. Comments are open for the duration of the lesson; when the lesson is over comments will be closed. Students who make comments within the prescribed timeframe will receive credit for participating in that discussion based on the Discussion Rubric provided.

Final Project Portfolio:
Each student will create a portfolio for a millennial business venture. The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate competencies in using productivity software including Microsoft® or Google® Word/Docs, Excell/Sheets, and PowerPoint/Slides applications. The portfolio must include the following:

1. An advertisement brochure for the business. The student should demonstrate the ability to use tables, color, and graphics including pictures within a Word document. The document should be two pages and include varying fonts. Feel free to use your creativity!
2. A slide presentation to introduce your business. The presentation should include a title slide, a slide for references, and 5 – 6 additional slides of data. Your slide presentation should demonstrate that you have conducted biblical research to substantiate the validity of your ideas. They should also contain slide transitions and multi-media components.
3. A budget for your business. The budget must be a spread sheet that shows your proposed expenditures for the first year of operation. The budget should reflect your assets – the amount of money you have on hand and how you plan to spend the money. The spread sheet should include categories of spending such as rent, utilities, equipment, transportation, etc. Expenditures should be totaled by category by month and year. A separate worksheet within the document should graphically display the percent of yearly expenditures by category using a chart of the student’s choosing. This deliverable should demonstrate the ability to use column headings and formulas as well as visual aids.

We recommend that students complete each portion of the project as he or she learns the tool needed to do the work. For example, a student should complete the Excel/Sheets assignment upon completion of the Excel/Sheets excercies. Trying to complete the entire project at the end of the semester may result in a less than favorable grade because of the time and effort required to successfully complete each project component. All project components must be posted by the last day of class instruction. 

A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:

Practice Exercies (twelve exercies at 30 points each for a total of 360 Points)
Online Discussions (nine assignments at 20 points each for a total of 180 Points)
Quizzes / Tests (ten quizzes at 20 points each for a total of 200 Points)
Project Portfolio (160 Points)
Final Exam (100 Points)

Grades are assigned by points as follows:
A 900 – 1000 points
B 800 – 899 points
C 700 – 799 points
D 600 – 699 points
F Below 600 points

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.