CIS125 - Programming and Problem Solving - Spring 2013
Course Syllabus

Course and Instructor Information

Course: CIS125 - Programming and Problem Solving
Instructor: Professor Ken Mead
Office: D395 Phone: 585-343-0055 x 6381
Office Hours: see
Textbook: Programming in Visual Basic 2010, by Bradley & Millspaugh, McGraw-Hill, ISBN-10: 0073517259

Course home page:

Catalog Description

Develops computer skills for problem solving using Visual Basic programming software. Solves a variety of problems by developing a strategy, applying appropriate techniques, and testing results. Students should plan sufficient time to complete the necessary programming projects using the college's computing facilities.
Prerequisite or corequisite: MAT102 or higher or by math placement exam.

Course Outline (approximately one chapter or topic per week)

  1. Introduction to the Course
  2. Introduction to Visual Basic 2010 and .NET
  3. User Interface Design
  4. Variables, Constants, and Calculations
  5. Decisions and Conditions
  6. Menus and Common Dialog Boxes
  7. Sub Procedures and Function Procedures
  8. Multiform Projects
  9. Lists, Loops, and Printing
  10. Arrays and Collections
  11. Data Files
  12. Web Applications (time permitting)
  13. Additional Topics in Visual Basic (time permitting)

Student Performance Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate each of the following skills through computer projects, or tests:
  1. The student must demonstrate, when sitting at his or her individual work station in the presence of the instructor, the ability to solve problems using a programming language approved by the full-time faculty. Flash-Action Script 2.0 (or higher) or "Visual Basic 2005 (or higher)" must be available for the student to use during class time.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with computer hardware, operating systems, and application software as documented by unit tests covering these terms/skills.
  3. Document the process of software development by using a minimum of 3 remarks in a program, using Visual Basic language.
  4. Using a computer, apply problem-solving techniques through the use of flowcharting, program analysis charts, structure charts, interactivity charts, IPO charts, algorithms, and programming in a minimum of one in-class/at-home assignment.
  5. Write at least two programs that identify a minimum of three types of common problems.
  6. Write at least one program that differentiates between basic data types of variables and constants-character, numeric, and logical types.
  7. Write at least one program applying the rules of internal and external documentation in order to illustrate an understanding of the importance of these elements in program design.
  8. Write two modules containing cohesion, coupling, or functions.
  9. Write at least one program that contains one of the four logic structures: sequential, decision, loops, and case.
  10. Write at least one program design applying the use of parameters.
  11. Write at least one program that contains a minimum of two logic structures.
  12. Students will pass (with a grade of 70% or more) a mandatory departmental practical final exam given during the last week of the course. If a student fails this final, s/he fails the course, regardless of his or her other grades in the course. Students have one opportunity to retake the practical within one set period of time, one week to 10 days after the initial offering, as scheduled by the professor. *
* This course objective has been identified as a student learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the College's Comprehensive Assessment Plan. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required date (see Assessing Student Learning Outcomes form) and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Assessment and Special Projects.

Instructional Strategies

The course will consist of lecture, individual self-study, and small group work. Students will be expected to solve complex problems outside of regular class time.


Attendance is required for all lectures and labs. A student's final semester average will be lowered by 4 points for each class they are absent beyond 1 absence. Coming to class late, if it becomes an issue, will count the same as an absence. In a computer lab, you must be ready to take notes and start promptly when the class begins!

Grading and Scale

Your grade in the course will be based on the following: No make-up tests or exams will be given unless you have an unavoidable reason for missing the test AND you notify your instructor in advance (either in person, by sending email, or by phone call and leaving voicemail).

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Departmental policy dictates that a student must earn a grade of 70% or higher on the final exam to get a passing grade for the course. If a student does not attain a grade of 70 on the final exam, he or she may be given an opportunity to retake the exam one time. The instructor of the course is the SOLE decision maker as to whether said student is deserving of this opportunity to retake the final.

Computer Projects

There will be between 4-6 projects and multiple short homework assignments this semester. Due dates will be announced in class. Assignments must be turned in at the beginning of your class period on the due date. An electronic copy of each project will be submitted to the homework server, and a hard-copy of the code will be turned in, along with a cover sheet, to the instructor, before the deadline. If either of these conditions is not satisfied, the project will be considered late.

Late policy: Projects not handed in on time are subject to the following penalties: 10% reduction if submitted within the first 24 hours after the deadline, 25% reduction if submitted between 1-3 days late, 50% reduction if handed in between 3 and 7 days late. No credit will be awarded if the project is turned in more than one week after the deadline. Any late project must include, in digital form, a PDF document containing an exact replica of the printed material to be handed in to the instructor, including cover sheet.

All incoming homework exercises and computer exercises should have a cover sheet stapled to submitted work. The cover sheet should contain the following information:

Joe Schmoe

Spring 2013

Program # 1 part A
Goal: To Compute the ... (you fill in)

Date turned in: 1/29/2013
Due Date: 1/27/2013
Completed for Professor Mead, office D395

Two to three sentence description of the project

Plagiarism, Cheating, Misuse or Resources

Cheating is obtaining or intentionally giving unauthorized information to create an unfair advantage in an examination, assignment, or classroom situation. Plagiarism is the act of presenting and claiming words, ideas, data, programming code or creations of others as one's own. Plagiarism may be intentional - as in a false claim of authorship - or unintentional - as in a failure to document information sources using MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association) or other style sheets or manuals adopted by instructors at the College. Presenting ideas in the exact or near exact wording as found in source material constitutes plagiarism, as does patching together paraphrased statements without in-text citation. Disciplinary action may include a failing grade on an assignment or test, a failing grade for the course, suspension or expulsion from the college, as described in the Code of Conduct.

You only truly learn programming by writing your own code. Do not show your work to others. Each student is required to write his/her own programs/pages. Evidence of cheating or copying will result in a failing grade being given for the assignment at the very least, and in certain cases, for the entire semester. Plagiarism is using others' words, ideas, or programming code, and claiming them as your own. Discussion between classmates should be limited to ideas and concepts, and not details of the code to be submitted on a project. Plagiarism and/or cheating will not be tolerated! DO YOUR OWN WORK!

Our servers are for EDUCATIONAL purposes ONLY! Absolutely no web pages are allowed to be stored on our web servers that would any way generate any interest in collecting revenue, nor should any web page on our server, fake, or simulate any revenue collection.

Check out the link for more information on Genesee Community College Academic Computing Policies.

Class Cancellation

The instructor will make every effort to alert you ahead of time about alterations to the class schedule. Check the college website at for up to the minute information on college closings due to weather and other events.

At the discretion of the instructor, a final exam may be administered to replace one test grade. The instructor reserves the right to make any reasonable and necessary modifications to the statements above. This document is subject to change.