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CIT 303
Intermediate Survey of Computing

Revised: February, 2014 (under development)
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: please use the WebCampus inbox
Class Web Page:
Textbook & Equipment: although there is no textbook required for this class a number of readings and assignments will be provided in class or via WebCampus. In addition, you will need to acquire a Raspberry Pi computing system with appropriate I/O peripherals to configure and operate this device. At the time this syllabus was posted, such a device could be purchased for between $40 and $80 depending on the peripherals and accessories packaged with it. The required minimum specifications for the Raspberry Pi will be covered during the first lesson and you will be expected to have it by the fifth week of class.


Course Description: This course surveys essential concepts in a wide range of computing fields including database management, GIS, graphic communications, networking, and programming required by managers of computing systems and departments. This class assumes students understand at least one area of computing well then builds on that understanding to provide them with a survey of additional computing technologies that IT managers could reasonably be expected to facilitate and supervise. (Prerequisite: an AAS degree with an emphasis in a computing field.)

Welcome to CIT 303, Intermediate Survey of Computing. This course provides an essential foundation for digital information technology management students with a strong but specialize background in some area of IT but who do not have much background in database management, geographical information systems, graphic communications, networking, and programming. A GBC AAS in some area of computing technology such as CADD, Graphic Communications, Information Specialist, Network Specialist, Office Technology, or Web Specialist; or an equivalent degree from another college is the prerequisite for this class. Various principles, best practices, and tools for understanding, facilitating, and managing a diverse IT department will be introduced in this class. You will need time each week to complete readings and labs. Some of the computers available at the GBC open labs have the software used in class for you to complete assigned exercises. In many cases you can obtain open source software or commercial evaluation copies of the software required to complete the assignments at home if you have an adequate computer system. To successfully complete this class you are required to complete all lessons and activities specified in the schedule below. Successful completion of these lessons and labs as well as your participation in the weekly discussions will demonstrate your understanding of the computing concepts covered in this class.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class may be taught in a live classroom setting, online via WebCampus, or as a hybrid class. You are expected to participate in weekly discussions, exercises, as well as various quizzes, projects, and other class activities. The schedule of reading and assignments is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts in class, or via the WebCampus lesson modules.

CLASS PARTICIPATION: In the on-line version of this class, you are expected to post at least one original discussion and one response to other classmates' posts every week and your posts should relate to some aspect of the material covered during each weekly lesson or a related issue. In the live version you are expect to be similarly prepared for and participate in every class discussion. Whether live or online, participation in class discussion is a significant portion of your grade as it indicates how well you understand the concepts presented.

INSTRUCTOR CONTACT: I can be reached either at my office phone number shown above or via the WebCampus email, you can drop in during my general office hours, or make an appointment to see me at other times. Office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of readings, lab assignments, and quizzes is found below.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: In addition to the Raspberry Pi noted above, each student may also find a flash drive, 8 GB or larger, useful to either store (if working in a GBC open lab) or back up (if working at home) your work. (If you wish to work on assignments at home you will also need a Windows or Mac computer that has at a minimum: 2 GB RAM, a 2.0 GHz or faster processor, 3 GB or more of free hard disk space, and Windows XP, OS X Lion, or more recent.) In addition to specialized software provided in class, you may also need a spreadsheet and word processor such as Microsoft Excel and Word.


The primary objective of this class is to provide students who have a strong but specialized information technology background but lacking a broad based working knowledge of many information systems, their concepts, terminology, and principles. Students who successfully complete this class should be conversant in wide range of essential IT concepts, hardware, and software. The more important topics include:

  • overall IT systems design & integration
  • uses & functionality of geographic information systems
  • major network uses, topologies & protocols
  • database system functional elements
  • operation of digital multimedia systems
  • essential IT systems management techniques
The successful student will comprehend and be able to evaluate from a management perspective:
  1. basic uses of GIS analytics and principle spatial information presentation;
  2. essential computer programming processes;
  3. major network structures and security risks;
  4. key database design principles and associated computing requirements;
  5. effective digital multimedia communications;
  6. ethical data and media content acquisition, storage, uses, & dissemination;
Learner Outcome Assessments
Class Discussions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Assignments & Hands On Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


GRADING POLICY: This is a pass/fail class a P=70-100%, F=69% or less or W=Official Withdrawal by the official withdrawal date. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 50% on class participation and discussion and 50% on the hands-on exercises. All assignments are due at the beginning of the next class.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. One (1) unexcused absence can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Great Basin College is committed to providing equal educational opportunities to qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A qualified student must furnish current verification of disability. The Director of Services for Students with Disabilities will assist qualified students with disabilities in securing the appropriate and reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services. For more information or further assistance, please call (775) 753-2271.


In order to keep up with the posted web discussions, you should read and understand each week's topics and complete the labs as they are assigned. All labs and discussion posts will be due at the end of the week they are assigned. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts, or as online posts during this class.

*Readings, topics, & major assignments by week:
(Please note: the following schedule is subject to change based on class progress)
week   1...    Navigating ArcGIS & Understanding map symbology
week   2...    Georeferencing & Organizing geographic data
week   3...    Creating and editing GIS data & GIS data analysis
week   4...    Using geoprocessing and modeling tools & Designing maps
week   5...    Network terminology & essential protocols
week   6...    IT hardware installation & configuration requirements
week   7...    Networking tools: hardware, software, etc.
week   8...    Essential database principles
week   9...    Integration of data structures, programming & data communications
week 10...    Essential programming principles
week 11...    Coding, data management & network security issues
week 12...    Digital audio & sound reproduction
week 13...    Graphic design & applications
week 14...    Digital video files & applications
week 15...    Typography
week 16...    Project presentation


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Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at
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