Course Description:

The foundations of programming encompass not only the basic constructs common to almost all programming languages, but also problem solving techniques and analytical thinking.  This course teaches the basics of programming, including the essential concepts of sequence, selection, and iteration, as well as procedures, arrays, and string manipulation through the use of the Visual Basic programming language.

The course will require considerable effort in designing, coding, and debugging Visual Basic programs. While the concepts taught in this course are relatively simple, when used together in a large program the cognitive complexity of their interrelations can be challenging and time consuming. 

 Course Objectives:


You must score at least 60% on the combined total of all exams in order for the quizzes and the project points to be counted. In other words, you cannot pass this course with less than 60% on the combined total of the exams.  Further, you must score at least 70% on the combined total of all exams in order to be eligible to earn a C grade in the course, unless the professor sees significant improvement throughout the semester.  

Make-up Exams:

In order to discourage students from missing exams, no make-ups will be given, regardless of the reason for absence. Instead, a comprehensive essay exam will be given at the end of the semester to those students who have missed an earlier exam. The grade on the comprehensive exam will replace the zero score received on the missed exam. The comprehensive exam can be used to replace at most a single zero score.

Final Exam:

The scheduled date for the final exam is shown on the class schedule.  If you are unable to take the exam during that period then you are advised to withdraw from the class.


Assignments and projects that are not submitted on the due date will be subject to grading penalties of 20% per day. Assignments and projects cannot be graded until all students have submitted their work, so prompt submission is essential.

Programming Exercises:

Programming exercises are provided for students needing additional practice.  While they are not required, they are highly recommended for those who have no prior programming experience.  They also cover some aspects of programming that may not be discussed in the lectures.


Students are expected to arrive for class and be in their seats by the scheduled beginning of class. Quizzes will be administered at the beginning of class, and anyone arriving late will not be allowed to take the quiz.


Attendance in class is integral to the learning process. In addition, any quizzes or exams that are missed cannot be made up, so attendance is essential. More than three absences may result in the punitive reduction of one letter grade on the final grade.  If a student misses the equivalent of three weeks or more of class, no credit may be received for the course.

Student Notification:

All students are responsible for checking the web page and their e-mail on a regular basis, preferably daily, for notification of any class scheduling changes or assignment clarification. Notice of quizzes or assignment clarifications may be posted late at night.

Instructor Availability:

The instructor will be available during posted office hours, but additional efforts are made to increase accessibility to the students.  If the instructor is not available at the telephone number above, the student can leave a detailed voice mail message.  These messages are checked each day and every effort is made to minimize delay in returning calls.  In addition, the instructor's e-mail is also checked several times each day and often the student will get an immediate response to questions submitted by e-mail.  E-mail is usually the most reliable means of contact.

Cell Phones:

Cell phones, pagers, and any other electronic devices that may disrupt class are to be left outside of class or turned off.  Repeated violations of this policy will result in letter grade reductions.

Course Fees:

The fees for this course (as with the fees on several other courses) are used to cover those expenses for which the State provides no budget. Specifically, your fee goes towards:

  1. Paying for our College of Business technical support personnel. These personnel install and maintain the software on instructors’ computers required for the course (primarily Visual Studio in this case), conduct administrator activities for the  Microsoft Academic Alliance, which provides the software for students, maintain instructors’ computer hardware, and maintain hardware in the classroom.

  2. Purchasing and maintaining the projection equipment used to conduct the class.

  3. Maintaining server software (e.g. Visual Studio) used in various CIS courses.

Without these fees, you’d have to buy the software yourself, we wouldn’t have a projector in the room, and instructors would not be able to run the software required for the course.

Academic Integrity:

Academic integrity is expected at Idaho State University and the College of Business.  All forms of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, are strictly prohibited, the penalties for which range up to permanent expulsion from the university with "Expulsion for Academic Dishonesty" noted on the student's transcript.  If you are unclear as to what constitutes academic dishonesty, read the College of Business Policy on Academic Integrity and the ISU Student Code of Conduct.   

While a certain amount of collaboration is expected and often necessary, there is a fine line between collaboration and cheating. Students may collaborate on design and programming issues. This does NOT include duplication of programs or designs. Limited collaboration may be used to find bugs in programs or to solve program syntax or general structure problems. Copying of code, regardless of the number of editor changes, renaming, and/or retyping is considered cheating, and a student’s inability to describe the function of an assignment will be considered clear evidence of cheating. Providing another student with part or all of a solution is also clearly cheating.  Cheating will result in failing the course, along with possible expulsion from the University.

Any student suspected of cheating on an exam will be asked to turn in the exam immediately and/or will be reported to the Academic Ethics Committee.  

Grade Distribution:

This class utilizes my Standard Grading System.  Please note that final grades are assigned based on student performance on assignments and exams and are not negotiable.

Closed Week Policy:

Information about the ISU Closed Week Policy can be found here.  Note that the policy does not prevent the presentation of new material during closed week.

Final Grade Determination (Objective Portion):



Programs/Assignments 50%
Exams 40%
Quizzes 10%

Professional Demeanor:

Part of receiving an education from a professional college like the College of Business is learning about your chosen field.  Another part is learning to act like a member of that field.  Professional Demeanor is in many ways the most important part of the learning process.  How you act affects not only how others perceive you, but can also result in rewards or, alternatively, negative consequences.  It will also affect your grade in this class.

The grade that you receive in this class will consist of two parts: the objective portion that is a calculated average of all assignments, quizzes, exams, etc., and a subjective portion that is based on your professional demeanor. The professional demeanor multiplier (PDM) can range from 0.85 to 1.05, and will be multiplied by your calculated average. Students will be assigned a PDM of 1.0 unless behaviors are exhibited that signify unreadiness for the workforce. Exceptional students may also be rewarded accordingly.

Final Grade = Calculated Grade * PDM

Students will demonstrate professional demeanor and commitment in a variety of ways: energetic and respectful participation in class, willing acceptance and completion of obligations; punctuality; and not whining. Professional demeanor includes several subjective items such as punctuality, attendance, positive attitude, preparation, appropriate language and respectfulness to other students and the professor. Students are expected to come to class prepared, participate in activities and discussions, and treat others with respect in the classroom, which includes listening interactively to classmates and the professor, and respecting others’ viewpoints. 

Students are expected to arrive for class and be in their seats by the scheduled beginning of class.

Attendance is very important and is addressed in a separate section. Students are expected to attend class. It is your responsibility to contact the professor when you are unable to attend, and to obtain information about missed assignments, etc., from classmates.

Do not leave class early unless prior arrangements have been made with the professor.

Do not read the newspaper during class.

Do not bring meals or snacks to class.

Every cell phone, beeper, pager, or personal digital assistant should be set to mute or off before coming to class. Multiple violations of this policy will result in letter grade reductions.

Some students enroll in a course already having experience in the subject area, and while contributions to discussions are welcomed, arrogance and unwillingness to learn or comply with professor directions will not be tolerated.


Laptop Policy

Increasing numbers of students are using personal computers to take notes in class. Some classmates sitting nearby have occasionally been distracted by the sound of the keys. To maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning in the classroom and to avoid distracting others, students using laptops in classrooms should follow these principles of good practice.