B.C.'s Energy College

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CPST 050 - Provincial Computer Studies: Applications

Using a project focus, students learn computer applications and skills to effectively solve problems in academic, work, and personal situations. Instruction includes a minimum of two of the following topics: information technology, publishing/presentation, advanced spreadsheets, database management, networking, programming, graphics, online technologies, and web publishing.


Hours: 120 (Lecture Hours: 2;  Laboratory Hours: 4)


Total Weeks:  20


CPST 040 OR permission of the instructor


Non-Course Prerequisites:




Course Content:
This computer studies course will cover a minimum of two of the following:
1. Current Technology
2. Publishing
3. Advanced Spreadsheets
4. Database Management
5. Networking
6. Graphics
7. Online Technologies
8. Digital Art and Graphics
As far as possible, this course will be a hands-on, practical application course with a useable product at the end of the project. A project may be done for non-profit groups (newsletters, presentations, web pages, etc.), to help instructors prepare course materials, or (as a last resort) as part of a simulation.


Learning Outcomes:
Because of the wide and ever expanding nature of computing applications, it is both impossible and undesirable to include all outcomes in a single course. A computing studies course at the provincial level will consist of a minimum of two from the following categories.
It is expected that the learner will be able to:
1. Current Technologies
- Search all facets of the web efficiently (text, images, videos) for material relevant to a specific inquiry.
- Analyze websites critically for value, accuracy, potential malware, and bias.
- Critically evaluate "crowd sourcing" sites as research tools, e.g. opinions on consumer products, travel, health issues, and political issues.
- Identify privacy & security issues related to social networking and an online presence.
- Effectively communicate with email utilizing: address books, distribution lists, cc: and bcc: fields, attachments, effective subject lines, spam control
- Identify email examples of phishing and other online fraudulent activity.
- Use folder (directory) management techniques for computer files, email, etc.
- Compare and contrast a variety of techniques, hardware and software that can be used to back-up computer data.
- Describe the importance of operating system and driver patches, and the processes by which these patches are downloaded and installed.
- Describe anti-virus and anti-malware software, virus & malware risks, scheduled scans and automatic updates.
2. Publishing
- Organize and present a variety of text, graphic and other data following appropriate design and layout procedures
- Demonstrate the use of templates, “wizards” and other productivity tools
- Merge documents and integrate tables, charts and graphics
- Know the various file formats used for text, graphics and publication files
- Demonstrate the ability to change file formats where possible
- Create, modify and manipulate digital graphic images (e.g. scan, draw, paint)
- Retrieve a graphic/animation/sound file through using either CD-ROM or the Internet
- Apply, where appropriate, correct typographic principles involving font selection, point size, justification, kerning, bullets, headers and footers
- Generate cross references, footnotes, indexes and tables of contents where appropriate
3. Advanced Spreadsheets
- Enter, format and edit data
- Use and write formulas
- Create and modify charts
- Create reports
- Manage and analyze data
- Create macros or use a programming language to customize a spreadsheet
- Design a spreadsheet to analyze, interpret and project outcomes in an applied situation
4. Database Management
- Design and create flat file and relational databases
- Maintain and modify the structure of existing databases
- Correctly formulate queries
- Create and edit forms
- Create and edit reports
- Be aware of various social and ethical issues involving databases
5. Networking
- State advantages and disadvantages of using networks
- Describe different network configurations (printer network, LAN, WAN, etc.)
- Describe and diagram different network topologies (point-to-point, star, bus, etc.)
- Describe the advantages and disadvantages of different network data transmission media (twisted pair, coaxial cable, optical fibre, and wireless)
- List and describe common network operating systems and network protocols
- Describe various server models, including file servers and client/server systems
- List Internet/intranet similarities and differences
- Describe management issues, including traffic analysis and security
6. Graphics
- Acquire images using a scanner
- Operate a digital camera and/or camcorder
- Describe important specifications of a digital camera, including megapixels, optical zoom and digital zoom -transfer digital pictures to a computer
- Demonstrate understanding of the resolution of a digital image
- Demonstrate understanding of aspect ratio
- Identify various graphic file formats and perform conversions from one type to another
- Crop a digital picture
- Resize a digital image
- Rotate a digital image
- Convert a colour to a grey scale image
- Adjust brightness and contrast of a digital photograph
- Apply a variety of filter effects to a digital photograph
7. Online Technologies
- Develop an online electronic portfolio which contains projects that demonstrate the learner’s proficiency with computer software.
- Describe the concept of cloud computing, and utilize cloud-based applications such as: word processing, spreadsheets, online collaboration, photo-editing, online storage.
- Utilize electronic means for time and calendar management, task (to do) lists, user ID management, notes and bookmark (favourite) synchronization.
- Create and publish a blog, which includes text, pictures, and hyperlinks.
- Add and update an entry on a wiki.
- Create and publish an online video (podcast).
- Describe software that can be used to remotely access another computer.
- Describe the process for setting up a home wireless network, configuring encryption, and having computers connect to the network. -Connect to wireless networks in other locations.
- Describe the benefits of Bluetooth technology, examples of Bluetooth devices, and Bluetooth setup procedures.
- Compare and contrast various mobile computing technologies
8. Digital Art and Graphics
- Create basic digital shapes
- Describe the difference between bitmap and vector images
- Select, move and align objects
- Transform objects, including rotation, scaling and reflecting
- Create and format graphic text
- Position text on a path
- Create colours and gradients
- Apply colours and gradients to text and other digital objects
- Draw straight and curved lines
- Trace a scanned object or digital photograph
- Create and manipulate layers



Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade:  D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 100


Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.

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