CGS 2100 Microcomputer Applications for Buiness and Economics
Course Director: Randolph Langley
Fall 2013

Course Description

CGS 2100, Microcomputer Applications for Business and Economics, teaches important computer and digital technology concepts and skills necessary to succeed in careers and in life. Course topics range from computer literacy basics, to today's hottest technologies, to the information systems on which today's businesses and organizations depend. This course is designed to provide relevant technology coverage for all degree programs.

Concepts Computer Skills
  • Why Computers Matter to You: Becoming Computer Literate
  • Technology in Focus: History of the Personal Computer
  • Looking at Computers: Understanding the Parts
  • Using the Internet: Making the Most of the Web's Resources
  • Technology in Focus: Information Technology Ethics
  • Application Software: Programs that Let You Work and Play
  • Using System Software: The Operating System, Utility Programs and File Management
  • Technology in Focus: Computing Alternatives
  • Understanding and Assessing Hardware: Evaluating Your System
  • Technology in Focus: Under the Hood
  • Securing Your System: Protecting Your Digital Data and Devices
  • Technology in Focus: Careers in IT
  • Behind the Scenes: Databases and Information Systems
  • Behind the Scenes: Networking and Security in the Business World
  • Microsoft Windows File Management
  • Microsoft Office Applications, Common Features
  • Word Processing with Microsoft Word
  • Numeric Analysis with Microsoft Excel
  • MS Office Application Integration

Course Objectives

By the conclusion of this course, students who earn a passing grade will be able to:

Course Options

Online: Students registered for sections of this course designated as "online" will have no scheduled weekly meetings in a classroom. However, online students are still welcome to attend lectures if they choose. Online students need to be physically present on the FSU campus in Tallahassee to take all exams.

Classroom: Students registered for sections not designated as "online" are enrolled in a classroom section of the course. Classroom students have weekly lecture class meetings on campus where lessons are provided and course topics are discussed. Classroom lectures may also include discussions concerning the homework and review for exams.

Recitation Sections: There are no pre-scheduled recitation or lab meetings for this course.

ALL STUDENTS will have access to instructors at the online Help Desk, and on campus in a classroom Help Desk. ALL students must sign up to take their exams in on-campus exam sessions offered during the semester. All exams are held in the FSU Testing Center.

Conditions for Course Credit for CGS 2100

Students who have taken CGS 2060, Computer Fluency, are not eligible for credit in CGS 2100 and should not sign up for this class.

If both CGS 2060 and CGS 2100 are taken in the same semester, the student will receive credit for only one of the two courses.

Instructional Staff

Course Director:
Randolph Langley
Office Hours: see course website (Teaching Staff Information)
Office: MCH 103

Course Teaching Assistants:
Names and contact information to be announced; see course Blackboard site

Administrative TAs:
Every student will be assigned an Administrative TA who will be their primary contact for administrative situations, such as grading questions and extension requests. Administrative TA assignments will be posted on the course web site.

Online Email Help Desk:
Send mail to: 2100help AT

In Person Help Desk:
Location: MCH 302; hours will be posted on the course web site.

Communicate ALL course questions and concerns to the email helpdesk or to Teaching Assistants in the help desk lab, or in certain cases to your Administrative TA. Teaching assistants will refer cases which they are not authorized to handle to the Course Director.

Course Materials

Required Course Textbooks:

A personal computer is not required, but it is recommended for anyone wishing to do assignment work from home; Windows PC or MAC computer with the latest version of Microsoft Office.


Points Task
50 Syllabus Quiz
100 Assignment 1: MS Word
100 Assignment 2: MS Excel
100 Assignment 3: MS Excel
100 Assignment 4: MS Excel
100 Exam 1: Tech in Action Chapters 1-5 (this includes the first two Tech in Focus sections)
100 Exam 2 : Tech in Action Chapters 6,9,11,12 (includes the last three Tech in Focus sections)
650 Total Points

Use the table below to calculate your letter grade based upon the number of points earned.

Lower Bound Pts Upper Bound Pts Grade
602 650 A
585 601 A-
569 584 B+
537 568 B
520 536 B-
504 519 C+
472 503 C
455 471 C-
439 454 D+
407 438 D
390 406 D-
0 389 F

Final Letter Grade: The points you earn over the duration of the semester determine your final letter grade. No additional point earning activities will be provided for students who, at the end of the semester, realize that they have fallen short of their desired grade. This is university policy. Students in any course must have exactly the same opportunities to earn points towards a final grade. Grades will reflect how well students read and follow course directions and meet course deadlines. Grades are final unless an error was made in grading or point calculations.


All grade questions involving all course work must first be discussed with your Administrative TA. If the questions involve a re-grading request, you must attach a cover page to the printed work, where the latter describes your concerns and is specific about just what you are contesting and why you think it deserves re-grading. Your Administrative TA will consider your request, make changes if deserved, note these on the cover page, and then record a grade change (if it differs). If you remain unsatisfied, your Administrative TA must bring up the issue with the Course Director. Note that if you ask to have any part of an assignment re-graded, the entire assignment may be re-graded, and your score may go up or down.

Any request to your Administrative TA to review the grade for a particular item must be made within 7 days after the date that the given assignment/exam grade is posted, or it will not be considered. You must notify your Administrative TA that you wish to make a grade inquiry via email in order to meet this deadline. Note that in all of the above discussion, email to and from your Administrative TA is a valid substitute for the printed materials. All grade inquiries must then be resolved and the grade finalized within 7 days of the grade inquiry being initiated.


The successful completion of this course satisfies the FSU Computer Competency Requirement for many majors. Students must check with their academic advisor to confirm that this course will meet the requirement for their specific major. The first MS Word assignment functions as the computer competency capstone activity of this course. The following policy is a university requirement: In order to fulfill FSU's Computer Competency Requirement, the student must earn a "C-" or better in the course.

General Policies

To insure successful completion of this course, students must understand and comply with the following:


Where to Work

On Your Own PC

If you have a Windows PC with MS Office 2010 and a high speed Internet connection, or if you have Office applications that can save in the latest verion compatible with MS Office 2010, you can do much of your class work on your own PC. Assignments will be graded with Microsoft Office 2010 on a Windows PC, so make sure that the files you submit work the way they are required to, in MS Office 2010 on a Windows PC.

In the 315 MCH Computing Site (or similar campus sites)

Students who don't have a Windows PC, or the latest version of MS Office, can do some or all of their coursework on a PC in the 315 MCH computer lab which has all the software. When working in the lab, students must save all their work on a portable flash drive.

All students are responsible for properly maintaining multiple, backup copies of their files and work for this course.

Microsoft Office

In this class we teach the latest and most commonly used software. Students who do their work on older versions of Microsoft Office run the risk of losing points on their assignments, or even getting a zero score in some cases. Submitted homework files that are not submitted in accordance with the assignment directions will typically receive a zero.

The current versions of Microsoft Office are Office 2010 for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac.

Again, all assignments are graded using MS Office 2010 on Windows so all files must work correctly on that specific platform to receive full points. Generally speaking you can do most of your work on the Mac system, but be sure and verify that your files work correctly on a Windows platform before you turn them in for grading.

Students can also find all the software necessary for this class installed on computers in any of the three general purpose labs on campus: MCH 315, the Student Union, or the basement of Strozier Library.

Students that opt to do their work on their own computer accept the responsibility for their computer's proper functioning. "Computer problems" will not be accepted as an excuse for late assignment submissions. If problems occur at home, students will need to complete their work in any of the three general purpose labs on campus mentioned above.

Exams (Concepts Assessment)

Administering exams to very large numbers of students each semester is no small task. We have a testing staff that attends to this task and several procedures and policies to help the testing procedure run as smoothly as possible. It is imperative that students follow the following procedures and policies regarding the examination process. All exams are Concepts exams.

Exam Penalties

You will incur a 20 point penalty if you:

Assignments (Skills Assessment)

Late Policy for Assignments

Any late assignment is automatically assessed a 50 point penalty.

No late assignment will be accepted after the date indicated in the class calendar.

No late assignment will be accepted more than 3 days after its due date.

Other Assignment Policies

Assignment Extension Policy

The staggered late deadlines are designed to cover normal expected and unexpected delays. Deadline extension requests will only be considered if you contact your Administrative TA via email before the assignment's on-time due deadline. Extensions will only be considered in case of medical or other emergency situations. In all cases, you must substantiate any request with written proof consisting of original and verifiable documents, for example, a letter from a physician or hospital emergency room documents, or written funeral home documentation.

Extensions are NEVER granted for reasons such as the following: the university computing sites were crowded, Blackboard was slow, you lost your file and you didn't have a backup copy, your computer stopped working, you lost the internet connection at your home, or you had other courses or job commitments that interfered with your work in this course.

For serious emergency or medical situations (hospitalization, death in the family, etc), it is advisable to seek assistance at the Dean of Students office. Often, if you provide the appropriate documentation there, they will send out official notice to all of your instructors at once as to your situation.

You can avoid all problems by starting work on the assignments early, working on them incrementally, and by getting help early when you need it. Also make sure you have completed all of the assigned readings and worked through relevant exercises in the required course textbooks.

Academic Honor Policy

The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to ". . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University." (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at


Always begin your assignments from a new, blank document file. We consider it cheating when a student starts an assignment from some other student's assignment file, or copies a portion of another student's file. All cases of cheating in this course will be dealt with using standard university policies and processes.

There are no innocent participants in cheating incidents. Students who give someone else their assignment, or leave their assignment work available for others to access either on a private or public computer, intentionally or accidentally, are considered accomplices to cheating should someone else use their work and submit it as their own.

Many assignments are designed in a manner that requires every student's files to contain unique and different data. If two or more students submit work with the same, or portions of the same data, and/or if file properties are the same, it is evidence that cheating has taken place.

Two or more students working together on an assignment is considered cheating. An assignment submission is intended to be a measure of one student's ability.

Be warned! Special software will be used that compares every electronically submitted assignment file to all other submitted files to determine if the file was copied from another student. Sometimes cheating is not detected until after students have submitted several copied assignments. In such cases the first copied assignment is considered the first offense, the second copied assignment, the second offense, and so on.

Students caught communicating during exams will be required to leave and will forfeit that exam.


Success in the course depends heavily on students reading all course related emails and all announcements posted on the course web site. Most communication between instructors and students occurs online. Students are expected to read their FSU emails and announcements on the class web site at least daily Monday through Friday. The course calendar and grade book must be checked at least once a week to stay current on what needs to be done and what has been graded. Failure to do so may result in missed opportunities and poor grades. The student is fully responsible for reading all emails, Blackboard announcements and other Blackboard communications in a timely manner and is also responsible for any grade-related consequences relating to not doing so.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:

(1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and

(2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact:

FSU Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC)
874 Traditions Way
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

University Attendance Policy

Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities.

These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

Syllabus Modifications

Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change without advance notice.

Last Update: 2013-08-26