William M. Pegram
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Revised: August 22, 2007

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale Campus

ITE 115 - Introduction to Computer Applications and Concepts, Fall 2007 (3 credits)

Section 013N: TTh12:30-1:45PM, CT230 (this is a room change)
Section 014N: TTh 2-3:15PM, CT106

Instructor: Dr. William M. Pegram, wpegram@nvcc.edu, (703)-486-0952 (home)

Web Site for Class: www.billpegram.com

Course Description:

This course is a hands-on introduction to Windows and the four primary programs in the Microsoft Office suite - Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheet), Access (database), and PowerPoint (presentations) and an introduction to computer hardware, communications technology, operating systems, history and computer careers, ethics and security, web authoring and publishing, and software development. The goal is to make the Windows/Office portion approximately 50% of the course, with the remaining topics the other 50%.


For some assignments, you will submit a printout. For others, where I need to see your file, I will normally have you email me the file as an attachment. Homework may be completed in a version of Office earlier than 2007 however the in-class quizzes and final must be completed in Office 2007


The software component of the course is Office 2007 which is available in all computer labs on campus. The differences between Office 2007 and Office 2003 are much greater than between previous versions of Office. Should you wish to purchase Office 2007 for academic use, you can purchase Office 2007 Professional Plus for $85 (plus about $10 shipping) at www.journeyed.com/itemDetail.asp?ItmNo=87001473LARS. This is considerably less than the academic price for Office 2007 Professional (available at Patriot Computers at GMU for about $200, or by mail from from www.campustech.com or www.sprysoft.com for about $170) and includes additional programs (such as InfoPath). The only drawback is that the license for the $85 Professional Plus program ends ends when you leave NVCC whereas the latter license is good for academic use generally. You can also find Microsoft Standard for Teachers and Students for $150 or less at computer stores and Costco but this version does not included the Outlook, Access or Publisher programs that are available with both the Professional or Professional Plus versions referred to above.  If you have the Standard version and need Access, please email me and I can get it for you. You can also download a 60 day free trial of Office 2007 at www.microsoft.com


If you miss class, please check the class website for any changes to the schedule, including new assignments.  When class is cancelled due to inclement weather or instructor absence, assignments will be pushed back to the next class date. The content covered in each section on a given day will be the same, so a limited number of students may attend the other section if that is more convenient on a given day.

Office Hour Schedule:

After class or by other arrangement with the instructor.

Communication with Instructor:

In addition to office hours, most class periods will have time for one-on-one questions with the instructor.  Asking questions in this way is generally more efficient than email.  


Required: Computers: Understanding Technology, Comprehensive, Third Edition by Floyd Fuller and Brian Larson, EMC Paradigm Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-0-76382-935-3 (Text and CD).

Recommended: Microsoft Office 2007 Brief Edition by Nita Rutkosky, Denise Seguin, and Audrey Rutkosky Roggenkamp, EMCParadigm Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-0-76382-959-9 (Text and CD)

I have classified the Understanding Technology book as required since tests on that material will sometimes include material not mentioned in class whereas tests on the Office 2007 material will be limited to those features mentioned in class and for which sources might substitute for the text.

I do not yet know whether I will use the Snap Assessment User Guide so I would hold off purchasing this for now (about $17)

Email Address

I will email you at your official email address -- this will be a VCCS email address unless you have changed your address in NovaConnect. The first day of class I will show you how to set up your VCCS email address to forward to an email you check more frequently. Please remember to include your name in all emails to me.

Grading Policy:

There will be 4 quizzes plus a final.  The 4 quizzes are together worth 54% of your grade, the final 26%, and homework worth 20%.  Although this suggests that individual homework assignments are unimportant, quite the opposite is true.  The best way to prepare for the exams is to give your best on each assignment and do it in a timely fashion so that you get feedback from the instructor.  I will throw out the lowest quiz grade. Taking the final exam on another day will be at my sole discretion.

I will also computer your grade excluding homework in which case you will be graded solely on the basis of quizzes (67.5%) and final (32.5%).  Homework grades tend to be somewhat higher than exam grades in my courses and doing homework in my courses is a good preparation for exams, so I do not recommend this option to most students.  I will compute your grade with and without homework, and use the better of the two.


Assignments will receive a 10% grade penalty for each class period they are late.  Assignments that are more than 1 class period late, will either not be accepted (if I have discussed the solution) or will receive an additional 10% off for each additional class period late. 

Academic Integrity

In general, students are expected to follow the Information Technology Student/Policy Ethics Agreement as posted in computer areas and academic integrity standards as set down in the Student Handbook.

In addition, I want to give you specific guidance regarding the following issues: On homework assignments and projects, students may ask for and receive some assistance from others, unless otherwise directed by the instructor.  Yet those helping a student should avoid "doing the work" for the student.  If students receive significant assistance from others, the student should give credit to these individuals.  No assistance is permitted on exams and quizzes.

Dropping and Withdrawal from the Class:

Wednesday, September 5th is the last day to drop the class and get a tuition refund.   Monday, October 29th is the last day to withdraw or to change to audit. Practically all of the people who get an F as a final grade from me are those that stopped coming to class and doing the work but didn't withdraw by this second deadline, even sometimes after email and telephone reminders.

Learning Environment

NVCC is a place for learning and growing.  You should feel safe and comfortable anywhere on this campus.  In order to meet this objective, you should: a) let your instructor, his/her supervisor, the Dean of Students or Provost know if any unsafe, unwelcome or uncomfortable situation arises that interferes with the learning process; (b) inform the instructor within the first two weeks of classes if you have special needs or a disability that may affect your performance in this course.

Fire/Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Students should familiarize themselves with both the primary and secondary routes that are to be used, in case you need to evacuate the building, as well as other evacuation procedures to be followed.