User:Vtaylor/CIS Getting Started

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Welcome to CIS Online Education

Thank you for choosing DeAnza CIS Online Education.

Course format

  • one topic per week (2 in Summer session) - selected media, articles, notes, assignments, activities, discussion
  • all assignments due at 11:30pm on the specified due dates - see Syllabus for dates. Late work will be accepted but late penalty will apply
  • watch for new posting to the News forum for announcements, changes and important information
  • college level writing is required for all discussions and assignments
  • many assignments require web research and citations (APA preferred though MLA citations will be accepted).
  • NO on-campus meeting
  • ask if you have questions or need clarification

Online learning success in this CIS Online Education course requires

  • regularly participating in discussions
  • allocating adequate time to do course work during the week
  • completing all assignments on time
  • taking responsibility for your own learning
  • learning to use technology as an important part of the course work - online discussions, chat, collaborative writing, online tutoring, wikis, web-based supplemental materials
  • understanding the Canvas course management system tools and process
  • appreciating the unconventional course experiences and the opportunity to interact with other students online


Please get started right away. You can start by becoming familiar with the Canvas course structure. There are several assignments for this week. See Assignments for details.

We will be using the DeAnza Canvas learning management system for communication, discussions, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes and grade reporting. It is important that you check into Canvas at least 2-3 times each week.

  • Canvas Help request form


I will be available to answer questions. The best way to reach me is though the Questions discussion forum. Post your question message there. I check for messages 1-2 times most days. I check my other external email less often. If you have any questions, please contact me.

You may also be able to find answers to your questions in the course material. Students in previous classes probably had the same questions, so many frequently asked questions are answered in the course notes. Please spend a few minutes and look for these answers. This is quicker than waiting to hear back from me. If you need personal help, I will be happy to respond to your questions.

This class moves very quickly so please complete assignments on time. If you get behind, it is very difficult to catch up. Some of your grade will be based on your active participation in class discussions, so be sure to contribute to the discussions, as well as turning in the assignments.

In the online Syllabus, the assigned modules are laid out with due dates. Please consult your Syllabus for additional course specific dates.

If you have questions, please contact me. You can leave me an e-mail message anytime. I will get back to you as soon as I can, usually with 24 hours.

  • External Email address :

I hope that you will enjoy this learning experience. I am looking forward to getting to know you through your writing and comments. I encourage everyone to get to know their classmates. Lastly, the two most important elements of this class are that you keep in touch and that you enjoy the class!

I look forward to working with you this quarter.

Best regards,
Valerie Taylor, Instructor

Getting started

  • Read the Syllabus. The Syllabus for the course is online. Please read it and keep a copy for future reference.
  • Begin working on the assignments for this week - Week 1.
  • For each topic there is an Assignments page. Click on the Assignment link in the main CIS course page, and a list of all the assignment activities for the topic are displayed in a separate window.

All these Assignment activities are due by 11:30pm on the topic due day.

I do not grade assignments sent by email. Assignments must be submitted online. Late work will only be accepted by prior arrangement or in the case of some emergency.

  • Be sure to log in at the beginning of the week and check what assignments are due this week. Some group assignments require participation throughout the week.
  • You can work ahead if you want to - all assignments and course notes are visible and can be submitted before they are due. Late work will not be accepted without prior instructor agreement.

Course Format

The course weekly topics follow the sequence of material outlined in the Syllabus and the main course page in Canvas.

There is NO REQUIRED TEXTBOOK for this course. Instead, there is a Media Selection list for each topic. Some selections are excepts from Open Textbooks - these are free online documents that include chapters or articles that are applicable to the course. There is an optional print textbook suggested if you prefer a paper textbook, although this is not required. Read the specified chapter(s) in the book that correspond to the topic. Other media selections include web articles, online videos of lectures and presentations, and audio podcasts.

Work through the assignments for the topic. Review the exercises in the textbook and think about the issues and situations.

In addition to the book readings, there are questions to help you focus your reading in the Study Guide section of each topic page. Here you will find additional information, and notes about important issues. These notes are intended to guide you through your reading and assignments.

Discussions in an online class? Yes, it is important to see other ways to think about the issues and problems that computer technology and the Internet bring to society. Reviewing classmates' observations, making comments, asking and answering questions are great for learning more about the topic.

For Group projects, students work collaboratively to prepare an original web article. The projects are too big to be done by one person. In the real world, people work in teams or groups most of the time, so it is just as important to learn to work in groups as it is to learn facts. More about the final projects later.

Personal learning

Most assignments are structured so that students apply and comment on the information discussed in the media selections and readings. So long as all the requirements are met, including on-time submission, you get full marks for the assignment. Students are encourage to fulfill these requirements in creative and personally interesting, academically appropriate ways. These assignments allow for each student's answer to be different.

Grading and feedback are based on reviewing your work and ensuring that the requirements are met. I may provide a comment, along with updating the assignment grade. If there are any missing elements or requirements, points will be deducted. A comment about the deduction is included.

I check for mail and discussion postings at least once most days. However, I only grade assignments and review quiz results in batches, usually the day after the assignments are due.

If you have questions about your grade, please check for comments first. I use the assignment and quiz comments so you know exactly where a problem occurred. I use comments to bring something to your attention. If the comment does not answer your question, then send me a message about your concern.

DeAnza Policy on Copying and Cheating

Academic integrity is an essential element in education at De Anza College and in the CIS course. Copying, cheating and failure to give appropriate credit when citing the work of others will not be tolerated.

Students who submit the work of others as their own or cheat on exams or other assignments will receive a failing grade on that exam or assignment. Repeated offenses will receive a failing grade in the course and will be reported to college authorities for inclusion on the student's permanent record.

Academic Integrity

It is tempting to just copy and paste information from the web. If you do this you must put it in QUOTES and provide information about the source of the quote (citation).

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic integrity and will not be tolerated. Many students are uncomfortable posting their own words but that is no excuse to copy the words of others and not acknowledging that these are the words of others.

This is a UC transferable credit course. I have a responsibility to ensure that students in this course are working at a level comparable to what would be required to pass an equivalent class at a UC. I do check periodically to see if passages are copied without the appropriate citation. The penalties for plagiarism are severe including but not limited to a failing grade on the assignment.

If you are copying something - say so. The original author has a right to the credit. That is what academic integrity is all about.

Discussion Participation

see Discussion participation

Online Writing Assistance

Online writing assistance is available for Online Education students taking classes that involve writing assignments. This class requires writing, so please contact the Writing Center, if you would like their help.

In order to use the service, students must register by filling out a tutee application, which you can access online from the above URL.

Online Research

Many of the assignments in this course require you to search the web for articles that discuss issues relating to computers and society. These web searching assignments can be overwhelming - 1-5 million websites containing your search criteria.

Here are a few suggestions that may help you get good results. If you have other tricks that work for you, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

  • Google prioritizes the responses by a very complex secret method. In general, the ones that come up at the top of the list are frequently referenced by other sites and people stop searching after they have looked at these sites. If you don't find something appropriate in the top 20-30, think about other words that might be applicable and change your search.
  • It is often quicker to do 3 or 4 different searches than wade through several hundred from your first search. Learning to pick search words that will give "good" results is really important.
  • If you are not familiar with a topic, do a search with one or two words. Scan through the first 2-3 results to find more words that relate to the subject, then add those in your next search. Learning the vocabulary of the subject will help focus the search results.
  • There are other search engines besides Google. Ask and Clusty may provide search results that you like better.
  • DeAnza's library subscribes to a number of very good online services. Instead of getting millions of hits, you may only get 100s but they will be from reliable sources. See next section...

Online Library Access

For a list of online research databases available for off campus students, see the Online Library Access page. The titles followed by a password are databases that the De Anza College Library subscribes to which can be accessed from off campus.

All these resources are password protected. Passwords are case sensitive. Contact the Learning Center (Library) for the passwords.

Begin at the De Anza College Library Website:

  • Proquest Newspaper Index (Magazines & Newspapers Link). Full text newspaper articles.
  • Infotrac Magazine Index (Magazines & Newspapers Link). 1,000 full text magazines.
  • Ebscohost Magazine Index (Magazines & Newspapers Link). Thousands of full text magazine articles.
  • Literature Resource Center (Research Links). Criticism, interpretation, author biographies.

Transfer Credit

The information about transfer credits is in the DeAnza College Schedule of Classes in the tiny print in the box under How to Read Class Listings.

Check out to see the exact transfer agreement.

In general, course numbers 49 or below, are UC transferable. The exact credit equivalent will depend of the UC - you can check that out in Assist as well.

Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

In 1987 Chickering & Gamson published the now famous “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” These principles are based on the perspective that the goal of a proper undergraduate education should be active, cooperative, challenging, and:

  • encourage student-faculty contact;
  • encourage cooperation among students;
  • encourage active/engaged learning;
  • give prompt feedback;
  • emphasize time on task;
  • communicate high expectations; and
  • respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

The course is structure to apply these good practices to online learning. If you have questions or comments about the objectives or the implementation, please let me know. I appreciate your feedback. The course is evolving as we discover more about making online teaching and learning better. Thanks for your interest.