CIS 102 Intro to Microcomputer Hardware and Software Systems

Online Section -- Class #20674

About This Course and Getting Started Online

Instructor -- Wes Nance

Introduction & Orientation

The enclosed information is required reading by the end of the first day of class. Hopefully it will answer your questions and get you on the right track for successfully completing the course. After reading this document you will need to take the Orientation Quiz in Canvas. The quiz must be taken by the end of the first day of class. The first day of class/deadline is:

  • August 14, 2017,  by 11:45 PM Pacific Standard Time

Important Note: The quiz will be available in Canvas one week before the above deadline. But, sometimes the Information Technology department applies updates to Canvas right before the term starts. So if you cannot access Canvas or the quiz before the first day of the term, then please wait until 08/09/2017 sometime after 10:00 am. If you cannot access the quiz after 10:00 am on 01/14/2017, then please email me at

Other introduction items to note:This class is full. Students that do not take the orientation quiz by the above date may be marked as a "No Show" and dropped, allowing students on the waiting list to be moved onto the roster.

Students on the wait list must also take the quiz by the due date. If you are a new student or not a continuing student from the previous term, then you may have to wait until I add you to the class on 08/14/2017  before you can log in to Canvas and take the quiz. Please try to log in. If you can't log in, then please wait until I add you on 08/14/2017.

If you click the links in this document or on the class website and get a logon screen: log in screen

Just click the Cancel button. The document or Web page will open up on your screen. Sometimes you may have to click the Cancel button more than once.

Also, if you have problems with the links in this document you can access the links to the documents and Web pages directly from the class website.

Class Website: the class website is located on Canvas. Follow these steps to log in to Canvas and find the course.

  • Go to and click on the Canvas link located under the Students heading on the left side of the page.
  • Log in using your student number and birth date. The birth date should be in the MMDDYYYY format. For example, if your birth date is July 7, 1979, then you would enter 07071979.
  • Once logged in, you should see the Canvas home page.
  • The opening screen gives you an option to go through the Canvas tutorials. You may want to do that.
  • You should see the Canvas home page with your courses to the right of the vertical selection bar. If not, click on the Dashboard icon, and they should appear.
  • Click on this course, and the options appear. Right now, you will only need to work with the Assignments and the Quizzes sections.
  • Please note that while viewing pages on the Canvas website, your display resolution should be set to 1024 X 768, or higher, which all of you should have at least that by now.

On the class website you will find important information, resources and links for completing the class. The first thing you should review is the course syllabus which is located on the Syllabus page. Click the Syllabus link to view this important information. You can also access the syllabus from my homepage,, by clicking on the word "Online" in the CIS 102 group.

If this is the first time using Canvas, then you will want to go through the Student Tutorials that are located on the initial screen.

  • Prerequisites and RecommendationsPrerequisites: technically none
  • Be self-disciplined:  you need to read and do your assignments weekly and read the announcements and your email everyday
  • Be proactive --- it is your job to check the class website on a weekly basis for the class work due each week. Don't rely on me to remind/tell you each week what to do. I will send out reminders to get you started and for the exams. But it is your job to get in to the class website and do the work.

What you should know:

  • Windows 8.1How to name and save files;
  • File Explorer: file management: find, save, copy, rename, and delete files, etc.
  • Email: Compose a simple email;
  • Attach a file to the email
  • Internet: I.E. or FireFox or other browserUsed to access the class website on Canvas;

Hardware and Software:

  • You need a computer that has:An Internet connection: high speed is preferred such as DSL or Cable
  • Windows 8.1 operating system
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2016, or Enterprise Edition. The user interface/navigation is very different in the 2016 version from the 2013, 2010, or the 2007 versions. There have, also, been changes made to the 2016 version.
  • A web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox or some other browser;

Data Files:

  • The required data files are included with each assignment in Canvas.
  • An email account:Preferably a Hotmail or Gmail account, or, you may use your current email account;
  • Suggestion: create a new account just for this class;
  • Make certain that my emails do not go to your spam folder.

If you don't have any of these things or you are having problems with your computer, that's OK. You can use the computers in:

  • The CIS computer labs in the Math/CIS building;
  • The Learning Center (Library) in the Computer Aided Instruction lab, LC 137;

Plan ahead and work ahead if at all possible. If you have problems with your computer you can come to campus and use the computers here. My response to your computer problems will typically be: Use the computers on campus.

So how's this online class going to work?

Reading the textbook:

  • The theory textbook for the class is Complete CompTIA A+ Guide to IT Hardware and Software, seventh edition, by Cheryl Schmidt, ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5645-9;
  • The course bundle comes with an access code for the publisher's website. However, this course will be conducted entirely through Canvas.

Lab Assignments:

  • The lab textbook is Microsoft Office 2016, Volume 1, by a number of authors, ISBN-13: 978-0-13-432079-3;
  • The instructions and deadlines for each lab assignment will be posted to the class website in Canvas on the Assignments page.
  • You will do your lab assignment and then upload the required file(s) for the specific lab assignment to Canvas.
  • The assignments have strict deadlines. The assignments must be submitted on the due date before 11:45 PM Pacific Standard Time.
  • Late assignments may have points deducted;
  • Assignments may be accepted late, but no later than one week;
  • Note: No assignments will be accepted after the final exam date.

Grading process:

  • After the assignment has been graded please check your score of the specific assignment from the Assignments page. Make sure you scroll down to read any Instructor's Comments I may have written to give you feedback.
  • Near the end of the course please be sure to check all of the scores in the Gradebook. I try to do the grading at least once a day, but I too have meetings, other classes and family obligations. So, don't panic if I have not graded your assignment right away. Please give it a couple of days before you email me about a missing grade.

Important Note: Please buy the books before the class starts. This is especially important if you are buying the books from an Internet store. The bookstores on the Internet are notorious for promising the books in time and then they arrive late. Also, please buy the software ahead of time as well. It usually takes 2 weeks to get the software. While waiting for the software, you may have to plan on coming to campus to do your work in the computer labs. One good place for students to obtain the full MS Office suite, You will have to provide verification of your student status, but my copy of Office 2013 was $40 for the download version, and $50, if I wanted the installation discs. These are full-blown enterprise versions.


      There will be thirteen (13) 17-question quizzes throughout the semester. The quiz numbers do not match the chapter numbers from the Complete CompTIA A+ Guide to PCs book after chapter 12. The quizzes do not come from the lab book. Each quiz will be open for 30 minutes. The quiz will open on the Saturday after the read date for the chapter (That's on the syllabus.), and will close at 11:55 on the Saturday, five days later. You will have five days to take each quiz. Once you start a quiz, the clock will start, and it will close the quiz at the end of the 30 minutes. You will not have time to look up all the answers. The quizzes  will appear on the Quizzes section of Canvas. It is quite probable that no two students will see the exact same quiz questions for each quiz, as the test generator randomly selects the 17 questions each time a test is launched. There will be no back button on the quizzes. Once you have finished a question, you will not be able to return to it. At the end of the semester, I will toss the lowest quiz score.
   There will be one 41-question, comprehensive, final exam worth 41 points. The final exam will be open for two hours from 12:05 AM, Monday, December 04, 2017, through 11:55 PM Monday December 11, 2017. The final exam will follow the same rules as the quizzes.

Submitting Assignments:

You will be uploading files to most assignments in Canvas. You will NOT be emailing me your assignments. Please go through the Assignments tutorial found on the Welcome page on Canvas to learn how to submit assignments.

Important note:

  • When naming your files be sure to use the filenames in the lab assignment instructionsFor example, don't send me a file named:Project 1 - 2.xlsx, if the filename in the lab book says "Financial AnalysisLastNameFirstName.xlsx."
  • In this example you would name your file "Financial AnalysisLastNameFirstName.xlsx", where LastName is your last name, and FirstName is your first name.
  • You may type the name in uppercase or lowercase
  • Don't include the " " quotation marks
  • Checking Your Lab Assignments:Thoroughly check your lab assignments before submitting them to me.

Academic Honesty/Dishonesty Policy:

Please be sure to read the college's Academic Honesty/Dishonesty Policy found in the catalogue. A copy of the catalogue is located at . How does it apply to this class? Well first off make sure you are taking the tests and not someone else. Secondly, for the homework assignments make sure you create your own files from scratch and do your own typing. I know some of you work together, share books and computers. That's OK. What is not OK is having one person type up the assignment and then submitting that file for multiple students. Trust me I have ways of figuring it out if you are cheating in this manner. Statistically, no two assignments will have the same keystrokes, even if the tutorial instructions in the lab book are followed precisely.

If I determine that you are cheating, then I may take one of the following actions as stated in the college's honesty/dishonesty policy:One or more of the following actions are available to the faculty member who suspects a student has been cheating, or plagiarizing:

  • Review-no action.
  • An oral reprimand with emphasis on counseling toward prevention of further occurrences.
  • A requirement that work be repeated.
  • A reduction of the grade earned on the specific work in question, including the possibility of no credit for the work.
  • A reduction of the course grade as a result of item 4 above, including the possibility of a failing grade for the course.
  • Referral to the Office of Judicial Affairs for further administrative action, such as suspension or expulsion.

Please check the class website everyday for announcements. Recent announcements will show on the right-side of the home page. Announcements are time sensitive. They typically are available for about a week.

Email Communication:

  • Please check your email everyday.
  • I may send you an email that is time sensitive and so you must check your emails daily to be sure you don't miss an important message.
  • It is your responsibility to keep up with the emails.
  • Don't worry;  I don't send out that many emails, but when I do my expectation is that you have read them.
  • When sending an email to me:On the Subject Line be sure to put CIS 102 Online and class number with a brief description of your question.
  • Make sure you put your name as it appears on the class roster your student ID in the email message.
  • If the question is about an assignment please attach your assignment file to the email.
  • Be sure to CC (courtesy copy) yourself on every email.


if you do not receive email from me on a regular basis, then there is a problem. Important messages will also be in the Announcements on the class website. Be sure to read the Announcements daily if you are not getting email from me. Email problems could be due to the following:

  • The email address is incorrect. Verify that the email address is correct in your MyCerritos account and in Canvas.
  • Your email system thinks my email is spam and it is filtering it out.Check your settings and put my email address in your address book as a "safe" address.
  • Check your Junk email folder. Sometimes your email system will think my email is junk mail.

First Day's Homework:

  • Make sure your MyCerritos account and Canvas accounts have your current email address.
  • Go through the Student Tutorials mentioned earlier, especially the Assignments and the Quizzes tutorials.
  • Take the Orientation Quiz via Canvas. Login to Canvas, go to our class site, click the Quizzes link, and then click the Orientation Quiz link to start the quiz.
  • The quiz is due:August 14, 2017, by 11:45 PM Pacific Standard Time.

Questions or need help?

If you are having technical problems or need assistance with Canvas, then please:

Also, I suggest that you put the above email addresses in your list of contacts.
If you are having problems specific to an assignment, then you may email me your questions. Please include the file with the question by attaching it to the email. I read my email daily and will try to get back to you within 24 - 48 hours.

Contact Information:Email me at
Face-to-face is by appointment only
My website is at Notice: the address is web, not www.  It contains information about me,  contact information, and my other classes.