Course Introduction & Directions

Hello and welcome, As a student in this course, you will embark on a comprehensive introductory study of Computer Information Systems (CIS or IS), Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT). No prior computer experience is assumed. You will first be presented with information on computer and network basics to get you up and running followed by a more detailed investigation of computer hardware, software, systems architecture and infrastructure and their application to business and society. The course’s topic list includes the following:

• Information Design • Information Architecture & Infrastructure • Internet and LAN technology • Computer & Network Security • The World Wide Web • Digital media • Professional Ethics • The Computer Industry • Information Systems Analysis and Design • Database Management Systems and Transaction Processing • Programming Languages, Paradigms and Environments

After this you will be introduced to some advanced topics and directed studies to apply what you have learned to date. HVCC BlackBoard (BB) Learning Management System (LMS) 

To locate the HVCC BB LMS goto>student’s tab at top of page=>MyHudsonValley Portal/Blackboard  (This means goto and navigate to the student’s tab followed by the MyHudsonValley Portal/Blackboard icon)

I have recently redesigned the entire HVCC Blackboard (BB) site based on heuristic Web design and I think you will find navigation very straight forward.  The Syllabus is now located on this site in the CISS 100 Home menu structure to assist students when BB is not available.

In thw new BB design, each Module located in the Blackboard (BB) Lecture Modules (LM) is now self contained.  A lecture module typically contains a chapter (i.e. reading) from the primary textbook, supplemental readings not contained in the text, a Linux Lab (LL) whose directions are listed on this site under the Ubuntu Linux menu tab, a discussion board (DB) and a quiz.

You will find that I have included power point slides at the bottom of the Lecture Modules Folder for your convenience as these can serve as a shell for note taking.   If you print out the Power Point slides, please use the outline format in an effort to save a tree. Printing out the slides in advance will allow you to have information readily at hand during discussions and additionally will allow you to annotate the notes with supplemental material.  At the bottom of the LMs you will also find the solutions to the textbook’s practice problems.

HVCC Computer Login and BB Access Assistance

If you are experiencing login or BB problems you may contact the Distance Learning office by emailing or calling their hotline at: (518) 629-7070. You will also find considerable information on their Website located here:

Other computer related support questions can be answered by the Computer Learning Center and they may be reached at 629-7891 or

If you have not received your username and password please contact the Registrar:

Registrar’s Office Guenther Enrollment Services Center, room 136 (518) 629-4574


We will be covering the Stair’s Principles of Information Systems text in its entirety and we will also have Linux components/chapters from the Linux text and Linux texts from the HVCC Library’s Safari Books Online.  These Linux components will be developed throughout the course and while content is listed in the Syllabus, content will evolve and is therefore To Be Determined.

Student Expectations and Recommendations

I am aware many of you have a good technological background however it is imperative to create a solid comprehensive and detailed IT foundation. As an example – If you were to incorrectly use a term when corresponding with other IT/Business professionals you could harm both your company’s and your professional credibility and future. It is critical to use accurate, precise, relevant and professional communications concerning CS/IS/IT from this point on. I will try to keep the course interesting by bringing in outside material about emergent/evolving technology and its impact on business, organization, culture and society in the weekly discussion boards.

I have some strong recommendations for you to follow not only in this course but throughout your academic and professional careers.

1. Computer Science must be learned sequentially. Successive concepts can only be understood if you have knowledge of the basic principles. If you miss a concept it will critically affect your future studies and success. Please stay abreast of your course materials and you will be responsible for all material contained in the readings and covered in class.

2. Computer textbooks are often misread by the uninitiated as they are written in what appears to be plain English, using words you have seen before. Because of this, students often read and erroneously think they understand the material but many of these familiar words have distinct and detailed meanings in Computer Science.

As an example, your Programming and Logic textbook uses the words “Reference”, “Literal”, “Constant”, “Keyword” and “Reserved Word” and your inclination is to read right through this passage as if it were an English or Sociology textbook. Your Networking textbook uses words like “Gateway” and “Bridge” and we all believe we know what these mean – correct? You may not even realize that you are missing critical concepts that will impede your progress if you cannot define or distinguish the difference between these words. Understanding these concepts thoroughly is what will distinguish you from the hackers who pick up “C for Dummies” and call themselves programmers.

My recommendation is to repeatedly look-up any vocabulary you do not know and research the topic further online. If using a source in a discussion board (DB), please cite where you found the information (Example – Beekman states “…”). This is a form of Academic Integrity and prevents the discipline from being watered down with unproven or incorrect information. If it is your opinion you may state – “I believe”, “I suggest”, “It is my opinion”, etc. Also note that Wikipedia is not a valid source for a reviewed term paper however it can be cited in the discussion boards. As an example I would cite Wikipedia in a discussion board as follows: “Wikipedia states that … “.

When in doubt, there is absolutely no shame in seeking assistance and you should seek assistance/clarification as we all build our content knowledge base and communication skills in this manner. Everyone has different learning curves, aptitudes and sets of experiences. Furthermore, asking questions is a requisite skill of consultants and IT/IS professionals. We (the faculty) are here to ensure that you succeed but we also respect you as responsible adults. Please keep me abreast of any circumstances which may impede or promote your accessibility, understanding and learning.

In summary my introductory expectations are as follows:

  • You are responsible for your own work (Academic Integrity)
  • You are responsible for reviewing, understanding and abiding by the Course Syllabus
  • You are responsible for all material contained in the modules. (Lectures, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, etc.)
  • I will send out a new email every Sunday evening or Monday morning to keep everyone on pace and aware or our present Lecture Module.
  • You will be responsible for taking weekly quizzes.  These will be launched every Monday at 8 a.m.and remain open 7 days until Sunday night at 9 p.m.  Please do not wait until the last day to post to a DB or to take the quiz as there are no excuses and late work will not be accepted. (i.e. explaining your Internet connection went down, or you lost power or you had a car accident on Wed is not a valid excuse).  If possible I recommend you take the quizzes on campus or in a place with very a reliable power and Internet connection. I also recommend you take the quizzes using Mozilla Firefox rather than Internet Explorer as IE is challenged when integrating with BB.  The quizzes are timed and will have clear instructions on the time limit.  Also note that the quiz opens in a single window thus do not hit the back button or navigate away from the page.  (Please note BB places these in a strange order  in the grade book)
  • You will be responsible for participating in weekly discussions (Discussion Board Folder) launched every Monday and remaining open 10 days. The 10 day time frame is necessary as this requires that you post an intial DB post in 7 days (by Sunday evening @ 9 p.m. similar to the quiz deadline) and return to the DB in the last 3 days to read everyone’s post and provide necessary follow-up and closure.  (I highly recommend you subscribe to each forum to receive daily email digests)  Please use the text and Resources Folder to support your discussions (i.e. you should supply links or citations for any stated facts). If it is your opinion please state so (e.g.  I believe or It is my opinion or I assert or I posit or I argue, etc.)
  • You will be responsible for the Linux Lab Assignments and it is particularly important that you do not leave these until the last minute.

Contacting the faculty by email

Please see “Contacting your Professors” in this (CISS 100 Home) menu structure.

Thank you and I look forward to working with and assisting everyone, Professor James Looby Chair Computing and Information Sciences

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