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CIT 454

Revised: August, 2015
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbooks: There is no required text for this class, however there are a number of potentially useful reference books as well as various websites you may wish to use. I will be linking various free web resources in the lesson modules that should do well as a text substitute. Some potentially useful books include but are not limited to: Building Online Stores with osCommerce, by David Mercer, © 2006, ISBN 978-1904811886, which is a useful resource if you are unfamiliar with this web commerce software. Ubuntu Unleashed by Matthew Helmke has several editions covering versions 10.x-15.x of the Ubuntu operating system is of potential use in this class to assist with creating and configuring Linux web servers. (Please note, I originally planned using the older Ubuntu 10.04 due ease of installing osCommerce, however, I may update that to 14.04 as I have recently found and will test an easy method of installing that combination.) Click here for some discounters/used book dealers.


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: eCommerce topics and concepts will be examined. Working eCommerce sites will be developed on the Internet. Prerequisite: a Web Specialist emphasis, COT 301, CIT 302, or CIT 303)

Welcome to CIT 454, eCommerce. This course provides advanced level instruction in designing and implementing eCommerce web sites as used in today's businesses. We will cover how HTML, web scripting, and online databases are used together to create a dynamic and personalized experience for customers of web based businesses. You will need additional time each week outside of scheduled class time to complete assignments and to create your final project. Some of the computers available in the GBC High Tech Center will have the software used in class for your use outside of class. If you have the necessary hardware and software, doing your assignments at home is acceptable.

The weekly chapter readings, links to supplemental readings, and the most significant assignments are listed in the schedule below. Assignments are due the week after they have been assigned. Additional assignments may be given from time to time depending on class progress with due dates noted when the assignments are given. To complete assignments students may use open GBC computer labs at some of the GBC Centers or, if available, use your own computer and appropriate software.

I can be reached via WebCampus, at the phone number listed above, you can make an appointment to see me, or use my on-line office hours via Skype. My office hours are posted on my office door and on my website. The schedule of readings, assignments, homework, and tests is found below. Any additional assignments will be given through postings on this class's WebCampus site.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class will be taught via the Internet using GBC's web instructional delivery system. You are expected to participate in weekly on-line discussions, complete various assignments, and create your own major project.

As an Internet based class, there are no traditional lectures, discussions, or labs. However, I plan to produce several database design lessons which will be linked to WebCampus for you to download. These lessons may include recordings in the mp3 or wmv formats and can be reviewed using any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer or even some mp3 players. Furthermore, you are expected to keep up with the weekly chapter reading assignments from the books. In lieu of lectures I will create various posts and links to supplementary materials which you are also expected to review each week. Instead of classroom discussions you will be expected to post your own college quality written comments on one topic related to the class readings each week as well as respond to your fellow students' comments. To help you with ideas for posts, I will post potential discussion ideas and comments from time to time. I will read and assess your posts as well as comment on them as necessary for clarification purposes.

In order to achieve the major objectives of this class, which include learning to develop and manage a complete a eCommerce web site, each student will create a project for presentation at the end of the class. It is hoped that the final version of all students' projects can be presented for peer review by your classmates but due to recent changes in remote access lab functionality that may not be possible.

In order to facilitate completion of the hands-on exercises I will provide access codes to the GBC remote access virtual computers.

The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. plan a functional commercial web site;
  2. create a functional web server with appropriate server-side software;
  3. install and configure eCommerce software;
  4. create web pages designed to attract the appropriate customer demographic;
  5. populate the databases with necessary data;
  6. write and display the store's policies.
Learner Outcome Assessments
Assessment Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Hands On Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Project 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


GRADING POLICY: This is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 30% on class participation and discussion, 30% on your assignments, and 40% on the major project. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Three (3) unexcused absences 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.

CAMPUS SECURITY: GBC is committed to the safety of our students and has a duty to promote awareness and prevention programs for violence on campus under the Jeanne Clery Act as well as the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination Act) and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), which are amendments to Clery. Acts of violence include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Acts of violence can occur on the physical campus or centers of GBC in addition to field placement sites, clinical practice settings, and other places where college or class activities occur. As well, the online environment at GBC is considered a GBC site. If you experience any incidence where your safety has been threatened or violated, or if you feel threatened or harassed, immediately report this to me, any center director, faculty, or staff member, or directly to the Director of Environmental Health, Safety & Security (775-753-2115) or the Vice President for Student Services (775-753-2282).


You should have read and be prepared to discuss each week's topics by the beginning of class. We will have significant hands on experiences included with most lessons.

Readings, topics, major assignments, & quizzes/exams by week:
(Please note: this schedule is subject to change based on class progress & other factors)
Week      Topics
Week 1:   Introduction to eCommerce principles and methods
Week 2:   Build a LAMP web server
Week 3:   more web server functionality
Week 4:   Database functionality with MySQL
Week 5:   Server side web scripts using PHP
compared to client side Javascripts
Week 6:   FTP server
Week 7:   Email servers
Week 8:   Server security
Week 9:   install & configure osCommerce
Week 10:   site planning: what's your business &
who are your customers?
Week 11:   building a basic eCommerce site
Week 12:   build your eCommerce inventory
Week 13:   customize your eCommerce look & feel
Week 14:   establish & publish your online policies
Week 15:   complete your eCommerce project
Week 16:   Project Due

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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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