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Syllabus for Basic Computer & Information Literacy CTS 1101

Instructor: Richard E. Gordon Last updated: 03/23/2009

Course Description | Texts | Hours | Grades | Attendance | Objectives | Contacting Instructor | Food, Drinking Restrictions | Additional Comments | Links

Course Description

  1. This course is designed to develop computer and information literacy skills to help students become active participants in the Information Age.
  2. It introduces general computer operations using the microcomputer. Emphasis will be placed on using the mouse, disk and file management and overall desktop techniques.
  3. An introduction to a word processing and a spreadsheet program is included.
  4. Further, the course will introduce students to the core concepts of information literacy and essential techniques for locating, analyzing, organizing and presenting information for research purposes.
  5. The course stresses strategies for using a variety of electronic resources emphasizing technological skills and critical thinking abilities as well as coping with the changing nature of information resources, computer and internet ethics and security.

Required Texts, Online Tutorial, and Diskette

Publisher: Course Technology (Link for download student data files)

Tutorials: Outside of class time, you are required to view the SPC Online Tutorials on Information Literacy
Diskette: Be sure to bring to class a diskette for saving your work.

Class Hours


Your final course grade will be based on --

Your 40% grade on your project will not only be determined by (1) the finished product (2) but also by all the class project-preparation exercises done in class to prepare you to complete your project (3) and the results of the four quizzes related to the four sections of the project.

If a student does a perfect job on the finished project, but fails to hand in the preparation exercises and does poorly on the project-related quizzes, the student would only earn 10% out of a possible 40% for the project grade -- so be sure to do in class all the exercises and quizzes assigned by Mr. Gordon. These exercises and quizzes will be included in your work-folder handed in at the end of the course.

You have two grade options explained below:

Grading Option


Letter Grade
(A, B, C, D and F)
Student earns college credit. The grade received will affect overall grade point average positively or negatively. Students must complete all assigned in-class performance exercises, final exam, and assignments. Student will earn a letter grade based on the grade scale identified in the table below.
Pass (P) or
Fail (F)
Student earns college credit with a passing grade. The grade received will not affect grade point average. Students must complete all assigned in-class performance exercises, final exam, and assignments. Student will earn a passing grade ("P") with 60% or greater performance. Student will earn a failing grade ("F") with less than 60% performance
A=90 to 100
B=80 to 89
C=70 to 79
D=60 to 69
F=below 60

The Final Exam will be taken toward the of the last class meeting. The exam will take two hours. It will be composed of four parts, made up of three hands-on lab assessment exercises and a 50 multiple choice test. The three lab assessments will require that you use a computer to show your proficiency in Word, Excel, and Internet research.You will not be able to refer to any notes or textbook during this two hour exam.

  1. Word Assessment Exercise (6 points)
  2. Excel Assessment Exercise (6.5 points)
  3. Internet Assessment Exercise (12.5 points)
  4. Fifty multiple choice questions (25 points)


Students are expected to demonstrate punctual and complete attendance of all class sessions. If part of a class is missed, it is your responsibility to complete all work and assignments. Students missing more than two hours will automatically be withdrawn from the class. Withdrawal action is not a punitive action; rather, it is an action restricting the class roll to those who are involved in active, productive learning. Be sure that you understand, too, that you are not entitled to miss two hours without penalty. You may only miss a maximum of two hours if you present to your instructor a legitimate, written excuse for your absence.


  1. Identify Hardware Components
  2. Computer Hardware and Software Terminology
  3. Windows XP -- What is an Operating System
  4. Managing Folders and Files
  5. Working with Windows Programs
  6. Use Microsoft Word to create, save, open, format, view and print documents.
  7. Using Cut, Copy and Paste
  8. Using spelling, grammar and thesaurus tools
  9. Using Excel to create and print spreadsheets. More Excel tutorials: 1 2 3
  10. Formatting to improve your spreadsheets appearance and readability.
  11. Creating formulas
  12. Creating Charts
  13. Locating periodical articles using online database
  14. Notetaking: Using your computer to take notes from Web Sites
  15. Selecting keywords and applying Boolean search techniques to maximize search results (Recognizing the limitations of Boolean searches with modern search engines). Also see college tutorial on Advance Search Techniques.
  16. Identifying and revising search strategies
  17. Organizing information using critical thinking
  18. Demonstrating the ability to use search engines and search directories by doing the course project
  19. Applying evaluation criteria to determine authority, accuracy, and appropriateness of search results
  20. Using a personal e-mail account, uploading and downloading attachments, and subscribing to a listserv
  21. What is blogging
  22. Keeping your computer safe from viruses and hackers. Advice from Dell. Also from GetnetWise; from Miami University and from USA today. 12/26/2005
  23. Stopping unwanted email and spam
  24. Keeping your personal information private
  25. Using the Internet in an ethical way including avoiding plagiarism and the illegal use of software.
  26. From the SPC online tutorial, learn (1) Internet Ethics and Security, (2) Intellectual Property, (3) Online Privacy and Communication. (Be sure to complete Project E as homework due the beginning of your second Saturday class.)

Contacting your instructor

I will be able to meet with you in our classroom one-half hour before class begins. You may contact me by e-mail at . Include in your message a phone number where I can reach you.

No food or drink in classroom

To maintain our excellent facilities, students are not allowed to bring food or drink into the classroom.

Additional comments from the administration

American Disabilities Act

If you wish to receive special accommodations as a student with a documented disability, please make an appointment with the Learning Specialist on the campus, Stephanie Silvers, Learning Specialist, AD 122, 791-2710.-2710. If you have a documented hearing loss, please contact the Program for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, SS 101, 791-2628. If you will need assistance during an emergency classroom evacuation, it is imperative that you speak with your campus Learning Specialist immediately about arrangements for your safety -- 791-2710.


Student planning to obtain a certificate or degree from St. Petersburg College are required to apply for graduation. This application must be filled out and turned in by the end of the first month of the student's last semester. For example, if you plan on completing the certificate or degree by December, you must apply for graduation by the end of September. The applications are available at the Information Desk in the Administration building.

Sexual Predators

Federal and State law requires a person designated as a "sexual predator or offender" to register with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The FDLE then is required to notify the local law enforcement agency where the registrant resides, attends or is employed by an institution of higher learning. Information regarding sexual predators or offenders attending or employed by an institution of higher learning may be obtained from the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction for the particular campus, by calling the FDLE hotline (1-888-FL-PREDATOR) or (1-888-357-7332), or by visiting the FDLE website at If there are questions or concerns regarding personal safety, please contact the Provost, Associate Provost, Campus Security Officer or Site Administrator on your campus.


Cheating in any form and/or use of indecent graphics or abusive language is a violation of Student Conduct of the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the current SPC catalog. This particularly applies to sharing computer files or viewing inappropriate web sites. Violation may result in disciplinary actions. (See Rule 6Hx23-4.461 -- See Academic Honesty Brochure.)