|Instructor:||Stephen D. Burd|
|Phone:||277-7121 (messages, 0800-1700), 277-7108 (FAX)|
|Office:||UNM Information Assurance Center, Room 108, Building 149, 1921 Las Lomas NE (across from GSM)|
|Office Hours:||Not yet determined|
|Class Meetings:||None - online class|
|Classroom:||None - online class|
|Prerequisites:||None required. Recommended prerequisites include the following ASM preadmission courses: CS 150 (or equivalent), MATH 180, ECON 105, ECON 106, and ENGL 219. One semester of programming (e.g., CS 152L or MGMT 330) is helpful but not required.|
|Textbook:||Burd, Stephen D., Systems Architecture, Seventh Edition, Course Technology (Cengage Learning), 2016, ISBNs: 9781305080195 (printed), 9781337001007 (e-book).|
Textbook chapters are the foundation reading for the course. Other online reading assignments will also be posted on the course web site to update content and to provide supporting materials for specific assignments.
Though I am the textbook author, it isn't my intention to make money from textbook sales to UNM students completing this or other courses. I earn approximately $5 for every printed copy of the textbook sold in the US or Canada. If you purchase a printed copy of any of my textbooks (new or used) that hasn't been previously signed by me I'll be happy to refund the $5 directly to you. Simply bring the book to me during office hours or by appointment. I'll sign it and give you $5.
This primary objective of this course is to provide you with a detailed understanding of computer hardware and system software. The material covered in this course forms a technical knowledge foundation for systems analysis, design, development, configuration, procurement, and management. Although some of these application areas will be addressed in this course, the primary emphasis is expanding your basic technical knowledge. Detailed application of that knowledge is addressed in other concentration courses. Quizzes, exams, and written assignments will be the primary ways in which your understanding of computer hardware and system software is assessed.
Though application of technical knowledge isn't the primary course objective, retention of any learned material is significantly improved by application exercises. Thus, secondary course objectives include improving your ability to find and absorb information on computer hardware and system software and improving your writing ability with respect to technical topics. There will multiple writing assignments in support of these secondary objectives. Most of the writing assignments will require you to analyze and/or compare technical alternatives and make specific and well-supported recommendations.
This is the fifth semester that I've taught this course online and my earlier experiences have taught me some hard lessons. I have and will continue to make changes in response to those lessons - primarily to increase the interactivity of the course and to even out the workload across the semester.
An important implication of participating in this course is that you should not assume that anything in this syllabus or schedule is set in stone. You should also ensure that you keep up with the class through regular preparation and prompt completion of assignments. Students who "disappear" for an extended period may find the course substantially altered when they return.
We will cover approximately 10 chapters worth of material during the semester. Each week will be devoted to an entire chapter or portion of a chapter and will include activities that test your preparation level and your ability to apply concepts learned in the chapter. Activities that test preparation will primarily be quizzes and other online assessments. Activities that test application abilities will be more open-ended assignments that are designed to "stretch" you by applying chapter material in practical or expansive ways. Exams will cover both chapter and application-oriented material though they'll be weighted more heavily toward the former.
Successfully completing application-oriented assignments will require you to have mastered related chapter material. In addition, some of the material is inherently cumulative across chapters. As such, it is very important that you keep up with the material and that you act quickly to remedy and deficiencies in your understanding. To do so, you'll need to complete readings, assessments, and assignments in a timely fashion and interact with me promptly when there are things that you don't understand. Though this is an online class, I will be available by email and telephone, during office hours, and by appointment. Take advantage of these opportunities as needed ... you're paying good money for access to my time so use it!
|Exams||Three online exams will be given. Exams are not intended to
be cumulative though some of the material is inherently cumulative. Previous semesters' exams are available on the class web
page. Each exam will be open for only a two-hour window and all
students will take the exam at the same time. Scheduled exam
dates/times are as follows:
|Exam reviews||An exam review will be due in the middle of the week before each exam. Those review massignments will require you to answer review questions or solve review problems. Grades for those assignments will be based primarily on the completeness and timeliness of your answers - not on whether those answers are completely correct. Feedback will be provided in time for you to fill knowledge gaps prior to the exam. The assignments are valuable both for raising your course grade directly (they're easy A's) and for improving your exam performance.|
|Quizzes||Online quizzes will be administered most weeks to test your comprehension of assigned reading materials. Quizzes will be opened early in the week and due on Saturday at noon. Students may attempt each quiz twice with the highest grade counted toward your final grade. I suggest that you do the assigned readings early in the week and take the quiz for the first time no later than Thursday. That will give you day or three to identify and resolve any gaps in your understanding of the week's material and to retake the quiz.|
|Assignments||Four assignments will require you to synthesize material covered during the previous 1-3 weeks to answer one or more in-depth questions. These assignments require written answers - usually a maximum of two or three single-spaced pages. You may submit a draft of any assignment for my review which will usually be returned with comments the next day. Assignment answers will be posted shortly after the assignment due date and the content of those answers may form the basis of exam questions.|
|Projects||Two larger projects will be assigned. The projects will be relatively complex choice or design scenarios that require you to synthesize and apply material from multiple chapters and course topics. Each project will include detailed instructions and additional reading materials. I will also provide samples of similar projects and answers from previous semesters to guide you. As with assignments, you're encouraged to start them early and to submit one or more drafts for my review. Project "answers" will be posted shortly after the project due date and the content of those answers may form the basis of later exam questions.|
|Grading:||42% Exams (3 @ 14% each)
6% Exam reviews (3 @ 2% each)
16% Quizzes (highest 8 quiz scores @ 2% each)
20% Assignments (4 @ 5% each)
16% Projects (2 @ 8% each)
Final letter grades will be determined on either a straight 90%-80%-70%-60% scale or a downward shifted curve. Plus and/or minus grades will be used only in borderline cases.
A grade of incomplete will be given only when circumstances beyond the student's control cause a substantial amount of course work to be unfinished by the end of the semester. Whenever possible, the student is expected to make extra efforts to prevent that situation. The instructor will be the sole judge of whether an incomplete is warranted.
|Due Dates:||Make-up exams will be given and late assignments and projects will be accepted
only in unusual circumstances (e.g., severe or prolonged illness, death in
family, etc.). Arrangements for make-up exams or late assignments or projects must be
made in advance. At the instructor's option, an exam, assignment, or project may be
waived with the student's other grades given higher weights to compensate.
There are no make-ups or deadline extensions for quizzes and exam reviews.
UNM Learn will be your primary gateway to this course though much of the detailed material will be stored on my own web site. The UNM Learn site will be highly structured using weekly modules - please follow that structure to prepare and to complete assignments.
All class materials will be distributed only via UNm Learn. Important announcements and other time-sensitive information will sometimes be distributed by email. Do not send me messages via UNM Learn - I do not monitor those accounts and will not respond to messages sent there. Instead, use my UNM email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
The outline and schedule is available on the class web site. The schedule is subject to change as the semester progresses (periodically check the course web page for changes).
If you are a qualified person with disabilities who might need appropriate academic adjustments, please communicate with me as soon as possible so that we may make appropriate arrangements to meet your needs in a timely manner. Frequently, we will need to coordinate accommodating activities with other offices on campus. Course materials can be made available in alternative formats.
A policy on academic honesty is available on the class web site. This policy applies to all exams and assignments. Acts of academic dishonesty will be punished.
This page was last updated on 08/13/17