William M. Pegram
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Revised: May 21, 2007

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale Campus

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

Section 001N: TTh10-11:50AM, CT118
Section 002N: TTh 1-2:50PM, CT118

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%.


The software component of the course focuses on Office 2003 which is available in all computer labs on campus.  Because Office is a relatively mature product, the changes from version to version of the programs through Office 2003 were relatively small and these changes often occurred with advanced features that are not covered in an introductory course. For both of these reasons, you can complete all, or almost all aspects of the course and homework using an earlier version of Office such as Office XP (the programs in Office XP are often designated as 2002 -- i.e. Word 2002, Excel 2002, Access 2002, etc.) or Office 2000.

Microsoft released Office 2007 on January 30, 2007 and NVCC Annandale will switch to Office 2007 for fall semester 2007. 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 progams (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. In some stores you can also find Microsoft Standard for Teachers and Students (e.g. Costco for $127) but this version does not included the Access or Publisher programs that are available with the Professional or Professional Plus versions referred to above.  For this reason, I would recommend spending the extra money and getting Access and Publisher. You can also download a 60 day free trial of Office 2007 at www.microsoft.com


For some assignments, you will submit a printout. For others, where I need to see your file, I will indicate whether I would prefer to have homework submitted on a floppy disk or emailed to me as an attachment. If you create the file in Office 2007, please tell me so.


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.

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.  


Computer Understanding Technology Comprehensive, Second Edition by Flody Fuller and Brian Larson, EMC Paradigm Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7638-2092-X (Text and CD).

Microsoft Office 2003 Brief Edition by Nita Rutkosky and Denise Seguin, EMCParadigm Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7638-2078-4 (texts dealing with previous versions of Office are likely to be acceptable)

I do not yet know whether I will use the Snap Assessment User Guide. You may purchase this separately from the Microsoft Office book or bundled with it. The latter saves you $1.85 (based on prices for new books and a new user guide).

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.. I will show you how to change your address in NovaConnect and how to set up your VCCS email address 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 and as a result, will not give makeup quizzes.  Taking the final exam on another day will be at my sole discretion.

Students may choose however to 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:

Monday, June 4th is the last day to drop the class and get a tuition refund.   Tuesday, July 10th 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.