CSC 200 Survey of Computing

James Janossy

Spring 2017-2018
Class number: 33947
Section number: 620
Online Campus
Course homepage:


This course uses the tools of contemporary computer technology including digital sound recording and editing, image editing, and video creation and editing on Mac or PC computers to explore the science behind today's information technology and these applications as well as the internet and basic web site creation. Students learn to use these tools and techniques and accomplish coursework on their own computers using software provided free in the course, and keep these software tools after the course ends. These tools and skills are invaluable to productive work in many career fields including teaching, training, commercial and industrial communication, and information-intensive fields such as accounting, law, sales and marketing, and management. The course also covers issues of "safe" computing, basic ethics of the information age, careers in information technology, and the potential relevance of emerging information technologies to a variety of careers in other fields. This course fulfills a Liberal Studies Program "Scientific Inquiry, Elective" requirement, is geared toward non-computer science majors, and assumes no prior knowledge or experience in computer science. This syllabus was last revised March 21, 2018.


ONE REQUIRED BOOK AND IT'S PROVIDED AS A FREE DOWNLOAD! You can download this 53 Mb. pdf at this link: CSC200-free-workbook. This workbook was developed specifically for this course by DePaul faculty member James Janossy and is entitled Contemporary Computing 4th edition. It contains the course readings, homework and projects. Optional software reference manuals are accessed using the DePaul library "Books 24x7" database which is free for DePaul students access. The course web site provides links to the online course lectures, tutorials, and free, safe software resources that students download and install on their own Macs or PCs and retain after the course ends.


Grades are sent to each student from the dedicated gmail address, Grades and extensive individual feedback are provided on a form; you can download a full example of the way grades and feedback are provided using this link: CSC200-sample-grade-list.

In the individualized "mentoring" manner in which this online course is conducted, students receive an initial grade and extensive detailed feedback on each assignment and can then, if necessary and desired, revise and resubmit the work for re-grading.
This is a form of "mentoring" that experience has shown can contribute to greater learning (as well as a way to improve your grade!).

Each unit 1, 2, and 3 contains readings and videos and these assignments:

* an online exercise which is scored automatically. a few required hands-on projects

Project work is graded by the instructor upon submission and a score and feedback are given, after which the student has the opportunity to revise and resubmit the work for re-grading.

In Unit 4 you focus on capstone projects, each of which helps you learn a technique valuable for the workplace and of continuing benefit. There is no written homework in Unit 4.

The coursework in Units 1 through 4 counts for 75% of the course grade. In Unit 5 you complete a reflective work assignment that accounts for the remaining 25% of the course grade. See Unit 5 of the Contemporary Computing workbook for detailed information about this assignment.

The course grade is based on a course score in a range 0 to 1000. This score is converted to a percentage and the letter grade for the course is assigned from the percentage using this scale:

95 and above = A
90-94.9 = A-
87.5-89.9 = B+
83.5-87.4 = B
80-83.4 = B-
77.5-79.9 = C+
73.5-77.4 = C
70-73.4 = C-
67.5-69.9 = D+
60-67.4 = D
less than 60 = F

The comprehensive grade/feedback listing issued to each student accumulates all grades and feedback during the term and provides detailed information on the way your course grade is computed. The online exercises, project and homework critiques and grading provide much more frequent and timely feedback than would a midterm exam so there is no midterm exam in this course. The ending weeks of the term focus on the assigned reflective work and there is no final exam. A detailed course grade "transcript" with feedback is provided to each student at frequent intervals during the course. Grades are not "curved." Every student can get an "A" or any other grade; you are not competing with anyone else in this course. Your grade results entirely from your own efforts judged objectively.


The only prerequisite for this course is that you can access videos such as that using a desktop, laptop, smart cell phone, iPad, iPod, or other tablet computer, and that you have access to a computer on which you can load the software provided free to each student. Both Mac and Windows/PC computers are supported. No prior background in computer science is required.

Organization and online work submission

This course is divided into four learning segments named "units". Each unit is designed to be accomplished within about two weeks. The specific schedule for the completion of each of the four units of the course is set by each student individually. A fifth unit comprises the take-home final exam. Work within each unit is self-paced and the work of each student does not depend on the work of any other student. All instructor lectures are available at the beginning of the term.

In keeping with the subject matter of the course the course is designed to take advantage of modern electronic technology, communications capabilities, and the web. The course text (workbook) is provided free, electronically, and all work is submitted electronically online. You need to do the reading assignments and video viewing for which web links are provided since the exercises, projects, and homework are based on these. Support is provided for both Windows/PC and Apple Mac computers. Extra credit is possible in the first three units of the course. One of the required capstone projects is the development of a professional portfolio on the web, using either the DePaul's Digication system or other resources provided via the course web site.

The course workbook provides the contents of a simple, repeatable online learning exercise for each of the course learning units 1, 2, and 3. The exercises count significantly towards your course grade. Because they are repeatable, you should be able to score 100% on each of them: that is the goal! These exercises, which are described in the workbook, take the place of written homework; this is an innovation possible with the use of modern online instructional technology!

Unique aspects of this course!

Online courses need not be constrained to have each student proceed at the same pace. In this course each students can decide, within some simple guidelines, on the date they will commit to complete each of the five units of the course. You declare your course schedule using the Confirmation of Participation form you download from the course web site and complete and return. You can use the default due dates already on the form (which match the weekly schedule shown below) or you can change those dates. You can also re-plan your schedule as your own circumstances dictate during the first seven weeks of the term (10-week quarter) or first 3 weeks of the 5-week summer term or first half of the 3-week December intersession term.

If you have a friend who is enrolled in the course you may want to establish a team-of-two and share almost all of the workload! If you're interested in this download this document: Working in a team of two which is also accessible from the course web site. If formed, a team-of-two collaborates on all of the work in Units 1, 2, 3, and 4, makes one submission of work for each assignment, and both team members receive the same grade for each assignment. The only work not included in the team effort is the end-of-term reflective work. The document you can download from the link mentioned describes the details of this arrangement. Working in a team-of-two is entirely optional, and such teams are formed by students themselves with the instructor's concurrence.

Weeks 1-2, Unit 1: Information encoding. Contemporary Computing 4th edition chapter 1. Online exercise and assignments as indicated in Contemporary Computing 4th edition.

Weeks 4-5, Unit 2: The Computer Evolution. Contemporary Computing 4th edition chapter 2. Online exercise and assignments as indicated in Contemporary Computing 3rd edition.

Weeks 6-7, Unit 3: Contemporary Computing. Contemporary Computing 4th edition chapter 3. Online exercise and assignments as indicated in Contemporary Computing 3rd edition.

Weeks 8-9, Unit 4: Capstone Propects. Contemporary Computing 4th edition chapter 4.

Week 10, Unit 5: Reflective work. Contemporary Computing 4th edition chapter 5.

Week 11: There is no final exam in this course. The reflective work performed in Unit 5 takes the place of a final exam.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296