CPT105: Introduction to Computing

Franklin College Switzerland

Dr. Erich Prisner

Summer 2005

MTWTh 6:00-8:00 pm, Electronic Classroom

Final Exam: Thursday, June 30, 2004, 6:00-8:00 pm

Office Hours: M 16:30-18:00, T 11:00-12:30, W 14:00-15:30,  Th 16:30-18:00, and by appointment

Office: Kiosk

Telephone: 293


class website:




Computers: Tools for an Information Age by H.L. Capron and J. Johnson, 7th or 8th edition, Prentice Hall. We will also use internet sources. 


Course Content: This course offers students an overview of modern computer applications, with an emphasis on data processing and information management techniques.  Hands-on experience is used to emphasize the importance of practical computer software packages.  Computing theory and ethics are also discussed.


Learning Objectives:

Nowadays every professional has to be(come) computer literate, and that's what this introduction to computing should make you. The class has a theoretical and a practical component. In the theoretical part you will learn what computers are, how they work, and a little about computer history. Features relevant to computers, like ethics, security, privacy, and more will also be discussed. The knowledge will enable you to understand articles and discussions on technological issues, and should also give you a better understanding what goes on in your computer. In the practical part you will work with several well-known computer applications, as word processing, spreadsheet programs, browsers and email programs, graphics programs, database management programs, as well as programs for creating presentations and web pages. The topics may vary slightly, depending on your background and preferences. With this basic knowledge of different computer programs, you will not only be able to work with them independently, but also be better prepared to get used to different office programs.


Student Responsibilities:

Attend class, ask questions, participate, work on the projects. Ask questions as soon as you have difficulties understanding something. Contact me as soon as problems occur. If you miss a class, you are expected to find out

(by contacting me, for instance) which material was covered and which announcements were made during class.



There will be three to four computer projects assigned, where you are asked to create some useful file (obeying certain requirements) using standard office applications like Word, Excel, Access, Frontpage, Powerpoint, CorelDraw. In each case you have at least one week to finish the project. You are allowed (and encouraged) to discuss these projects and to help each other, but everything submitted must be your own work, see also the section about Cheating and Plagiarism). If you cannot finish a project in time (for any reason), contact me prior to that deadline. Otherwise, one letter grade is subtracted for any day your project is late.



From time to time, a group of two students will prepare a mini-presentation on a given subject and present it in class. The presentation should take 5-10 minutes. Every student is supposed to be part of such a presentation twice. Those who do it three or four times will get some extra credit for it.



At the end of every week I grade your participation in class during the week. Contributing to the class discussion, asking relevant questions, sending me links to internet articles relevant to what we do, preparing something to share, helping your neighbors during hands-on parts will increase your score while violating the class rules may dramatically lower it. At the end, the participation score will be the average of all weekly participation scores.


Test and Final:

There will be a 45 minutes test (probably on June 13) and a final exam. No make-up tests are given, unless there is documented evidence of a medical (or other serious) problem.


Writing Project:

You have to do one writing project during the semester. A list of writing topics can be found at the class homepage. Before starting on a project, you have to talk to me---not all topics are appropriate for everyone. Once you have your assignment, you have two weeks to give me a draft. After that, you have two more weeks to finish the paper and hand it to me.



Regular attendance is required. If you are late or leave early you are regarded as partially non-attendant. You may lose points counting towards your total grade according to the followings scheme:


Grading Scheme:

At the end of the semester, you will receive a score from 0 to 100 $\%$, based on the following:


Final grades will be determined as follows:


Class Schedule:

Here follows the tentative weekly plan:





May 29: Introduction, Syllabus, Getting started, Mouse, Browsing the internet, Search Engines. Overview of a computer system, Software, Extensions and Application Software, Windows, Files and Folders, Office, Word.


May 30: Hardware, Input devices, Mouse, Keyboard

Start with Excel. Finish the Excel College sheet together with me. Dates, date functions, The "if" function, conditional formatting, charts.

June 1:  Operating Systems,

Excel Travel Sheet. This is not the Excel project yet but just practice.  

June 2: CPU,  

Start with the Excel Project.
Advanced Excel users may want to have a look on CPT357 Excel.

June 6: Output devices, Graphics

Work on the Excel Project.

June 7: History of Computing I, Compression, graphics compression

Work on the Excel Project.

June 8:  Internet, HTML,

Start with the Web Page Project,

June 9: Dynamic Web Pages,

Work on the Web Page Project,

Deadline for the Excel Project

June 13: 45-minutes Test

Work on the Web Page Project,

June 14: the Internet in Business

Form Letters and Excel
Form Letters Project

June 15: Networking,

Work on the Web Page Project,

June 16: ... 

Work on the Web Page Project,

Deadline for the Web Page Project, and the optional Form Letters Project, please submit both as email attachment.

June 20: Databases, Access,

Work on the Access Project

June 21: Privacy and Security,

Work on the Access Project

June 22: Secondary Storage: Floppy Disk, Harddrive, CD, DVD,

Work on the Access Project

June 23: ... 

Work on the Access Project

June 27: ...

Work on the Access Project

June 28: Programming Languages, Encryption

Deadline for the writing project, please submit it as email attachment.

June 29:  Randomness, Review

June 30: Final


Final Exam:

Thursday, June 30, 2005, 6:00-8:00 pm.


Cheating and Plagiarism will not be tolerated. See Franklin College’s Statement on Cheating and Plagiarism on page 175 of the Academic Catalog 2004-2005.