Introduction to CIS52

Welcome to the program development course. The focus of this course is on advanced programming concepts. The course will be taught using logic techniques and for this semester the base language will be COBOL since that is the common language, but for many if not most of the assignments, the students can code in their programming language of choice. This is considered the cap stone course in the programming career option and out goal is to help you solve complex programming problems and understand the logic behind them. If you want debugging help, you would be wise to pick a language the instructor knows or arrange for other debugging assistance.

If you are taking this as a Web based course it is extremely important that you either own a computer or have daily access to a computer. For students taking the course over the Web, the computer is your only source for information and the way you will communicate with the instructor. If you do not have a computer available and you are not comfortable working on the Web, you should be taking this course using the classroom option (see below).

The Web site that you are currently visiting will contain all information for this course. It is a resource for students in the classroom and the method of delivery for students taking the course over the Web. The class notes and sample programs will all posted at the site as well as the assignments. In addition to the list of assignments, there is also a week by week schedule to help the student keep current. I usually update the site four or five times a week, so be sure to check it on a regular basis. Note: Assignments will not be handed out in class, they are available on the Web.

The site for CIS52 also has a bulletin board or board room where I can post information that is important and you can post information or questions. Other students can respond to your postings as well as myself. There is also a chat room. We will set up a specific time when students can gather for conversation about any aspect of the course. Please note that hackers/spammers/whatever have found the board room. I will make every attempt to keep it clean, but unfortunately there has been an instance where the SexHacker left a message. Please let me know if inappropriate messages appear at the site.

On the second page of the Web site, there is a link called Postings/Notes. Here I will post all information that is important to students taking all of my courses. For example, if I cancel classes, I will try my best to post it there.


The way this course works:

Students taking this course have three options:

  1. They may choose to take it as a traditional classroom/lecture course and attend all or at least most classes
  2. They may take the class entirely over the Web meaning that they will get notes and sample programs over the Web and they will communicate with me mainly through the board room for general interest questions and e-mail for specific questions.
  3. Students can blend the two approaches described above. If they have questions about the material, if they are confused about a specific topic, or if they just feel like attending class they are welcome to do so. If it is inconvenient to attend class or they feel that they understand the material and don't need the classroom activity, they can work through the Web site.

The information posted on the Web site will be the primary material in this course. Students can buy a text on advanced COBOL to use for reference. Suggestions will be posted. The course will follow the material covered in the Web notes and examples. All exam questions will be from these notes and examples or information covered in assignments or postings.

If students have a home computer or access to a computer at work, they should plan to buy a home compiler for use in writing and running their COBOL programs. Students who do not have a home computer must schedule a significant amount of time in the K-Building computer labs. Lab assistants, knowledgeable in COBOL and Web use, are available to help you get started. Information about the MicroFocus compiler is available at the site. Other compilers are also available on the Web for download and purchase, but MicroFocus by Merant is the compiler used in the labs and will give you the most compatibility for problem solving.


All students taking the course must have an e-mail address. If you don't have one currently you can get a free address from the college by going to administrative computing in the middle of the first floor in K-Building. Go up the ramp and ask for the information on an e-mail address. As soon as you have an e-mail address send me an e-mail so I can put you into my system.

There are also sources for free e-mail on the Web. Juno and NetZero are two examples of free e-mail.

Students taking the course over the Web must communicate with me at least once a week via e-mail just to let me know they are still there!

For everyone in the class: If you miss more than two classes in a row, please send me an e-mail letting me know that you to still exist!

For in class students, assignments should be turned in two class days after they are given. For Web students, assignments should be turned in the same or follow week. Programs will have a specified due date that should be met. I accept late papers with no individual penalty or point loss. The problem is that there is a lot of work and if you get behind you risk completing the course. In addition, 10% of your grade is based on participation, quality of work, getting things in on time etc., so chronic lateness will affect your grade.

Web students should send me assignments over the Web or they may put them under my door or in my mailbox. In class students should pass in assignments at the end of class or put them under my door or in my mailbox. In class students can also send me assignments via e-mail.

When sending an assignment via email, include CIS52, your name and the name of the assignment. When asking a question, please include CIS52, your name and the word question or help.

On most assignments, if you get a bad grade you can either resubmit or do a make-up. If I have heavily corrected the assignment and the answers are there, needless to say you cannot resubmit. Make-up assignments will be posted on a regular basis.


If you need help, see me or e-mail me and we will figure out the best response. Better to see as soon as you see signs of a problem! You can send me drafts of assignments with particular questions over e-mail and I will respond as soon as possible. With rare exception I check my Web site every day and on days when I am not at BCC, I usually check it multiple times. I am willing to set up review sessions or question and answer sessions for in class students, Web students or both. Questions and answers can also be done in the chat room.