CPST 040 - Advanced Computer Studies

Advanced level Computer Studies is designed for students with intermediate level computer skills and explores more advanced computer applications. Topics include computers in society, history and current trends, accessibility, ethical issues, system and file management, advanced word processing, the Internet, and spreadsheets. Options include database applications, keyboarding, presentation software, and ergonomics.


Hours: 120 (Lecture Hours: 30; Laboratory Hours: 5)


Total Weeks:  20


“C” or higher in CPST030 or equivalent.


Non-Course Prerequisites:




Course Content:
1. Hardware
A. Computer System Overview
- Identify, name and describe basic components of a computer system:
- System unit
- Memory and secondary storage devices
- Input and output devices
B. System Unit Components
- Identify, name and describe , basic components of a computer system unit:
- Motherboard
- Expansion slots and buses
- Central Processing Unit (CPU)
- Memory (RAM)
- Peripheral connections (parallel, serial, SCSI, USB, firewire, HDMI)
C. Memory and Secondary Storage
- Identify, name and describe Secondary Storage Devices, including: hard disks (fixed and removable); USB devices (e.g. flash drives and USB hard drives); Memory cards (e.g. SD, SC); Online storage (e.g. Cloud storage) Optical and magneto-optical storage devices (e.g. CD-ROM, DVD)
- Recognize and use capacity descriptors (KB, MB, GB, TB)
- Distinguish between and describe the function of RAM, ROM and BIOS.
D. Input and Output
- Identify, name, describe, and distinguish among input and output devices (and associated software):
- Keyboard, pointing devices, scanners
- Video adapters and displays (CRT, LCD, touch screen)
- Printers (various types)
- Voice
- Describe how various input and output devices can be used to assist people with disabilities
- Digital camera
2. Operating a Computer
- Distinguish between System Software, Utility Software and Application Software and describe the purpose of an operating system
- Differentiate among various commonly used operating systems
- Employ operating system(s) to perform basic operations of disk and file management.
- Assign meaningful file and folder names
- Employ wildcard characters in file management
- Organize files on storage devices and designate drives, folders and files
- Perform management functions to locate, list, display properties of, copy, rename, move, (un)delete folders and files
- Describe disc formatting (sectors, tracks, index) and defragment a disc
- Recognize a variety of common program and data file types and their associated extension
- Describe the problem of computer viruses and spyware, and methods to detect and remove them
- Demonstrate care, maintenance, and protection of computer equipment
- Demonstrate the ability to back up data to a CD or other media
3. Computers in Society
- Identify the effect of computers on their everyday lives (e.g. databases-subscription lists, ATMs, the Internet, computer record systems, income tax)
- Give examples of how computers are affecting career opportunities
- Trace the history of computer technology and identify current trends
- State the purchasing considerations from the perspective of an informed consumer (e.g. warranty, service, licensing, needs assessment, market trends)
- Provide examples of ethical issues involving computers in society, such as protection of privacy, social networking sites, identity theft, phishing sites, spam and copyright
4. Word Processing
- Create a word processing document and save it to a specified location and directory
- Select any amount of text and format the character attributes
- Format the indentation, the alignment, and the spacing of lines and paragraphs
- Identify non-printing characters (space, tab, new line, new paragraph) as displayed on the screen
- Move, copy, and delete text
- Insert a page break and section break into a document
- Insert, format and manipulate a table
- Use bulleted and numbered lists
- Use footnotes/endnotes
- Apply lines, shading and colour to a document
- Use the find and the replace functions
- Use the spell checker/thesaurus
- Insert a graphic into a document
- Set page margins
- Use headers and footers (including page numbering, filename, and date codes) with multiple sections
- Preview and print a document
- Recognize different document output devices (printers and faxes)
- Recognize that different file formats originating from different word processors and versions may be incompatible, requiring file conversion routines
- Save as a web document
5. Spreadsheets
- Perform basic spreadsheet operations:
- Enter and format data (numbers, text, data series)
- Create simple formulas (using basic operators and functions)
- Copy or move data and/or formulas, utilizing absolute and relative cell addresses and ranges
- Change cell characteristics (column widths, alignments, fonts, etc.)
- Control page layout such as orientation, scaling, grid lines
- Use a spreadsheet to predict outcomes based on specific parameters (e.g. mortgages, investments, financial forecasting and planning)
- Create several kinds of charts based on spreadsheet data
- Save as a web document
6. Internet
- Describe the basic structure and functioning of the Internet and define current terminology such as URL, ISP, WWW
- Describe the implementation of online commerce, including ATM cards, online banking, online shopping and online auctions
- Describe the various options for computer connectivity (e.g. cable modems, ISDN, XDSL, routers, wireless, 3G, 4G(LTE)
- Send and receive Email (including attachments) using proper etiquette
- Use a web browser to access and navigate through a web site
- Use search engines to locate and bookmark information
- Save text and graphical information from a web site
- Describe how business is conducted on the Internet, including security issues
- Recognize security problems associated with Internet use (e.g. spyware, viruses, spam, firewall)
- Describe how the internet was developed and how it functions
7. Options
A. Databases
- Describe the structure of a database: tables, records, fields, primary keys and foreign keys
- Perform simple database procedures:
- Design a form
- Enter, edit and format data
- Examine, manipulate records in different views
- Delete and insert records
- Sort records in different ways
- Design database tables and fields
- Design, create, and print a report consisting of selected fields
- Search and query a database for information based on specified parameters
B. Computer Programming
- Create simple programs in a given programming language such as BASIC or Visual Basic
- Describe the purpose of compilers and/or interpreters
- Create and make use of computer designs or algorithms
- Write basic input, processing and output instructions
C. Keyboarding
- Significantly increase their typing speed to 30 adjusted wpm
- Demonstrate proper keyboarding techniques
D. Presentation Software
- Create, manipulate and deliver a 10-slide presentation
- Work with design themes and slide layouts
- Add clip art, animations, and transitions
E. Graphics Applications It is expected that learners will be able to:
- Create and manipulate a graphic image (e.g. Paintbrush, Draw)
- Differentiate between various bit-mapped and vector-based graphic file formats (e.g. BMP, JPG, and WMG)
F. Ergonomics
- Identify workspace ergonomics conditions


Learning Outcomes:
Outcomes presented in content area.

Basic parts of a computer, system unit components and memory storage, input and output devices, operating systems, common applications, browsers and search engines, email management, history of computing technology and Internet, malware and security, home networks and connectivity.

Keyboarding (30wpm), managing files and folders, advanced word processing, advanced Internet browsing/searching, and evaluating information on the Internet, managing emails, advanced system maintenance and spreadsheet operations, and create portfolio to demonstrate skills.

Recognize importance of computer safety, maintenance, ergonomics, etiquette, and ethics; build confidence in working with new technology and troubleshooting problems, and becoming more self-directed.

Microsoft Office 2013 including Word, Excel, and Access, Windows 7, web browsers and search engines, hardware and connectivity options, Google Docs and mobile devices.


Grading System:  Letters


Passing Grade:  D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 100


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