1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Custom Sections
  14. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  15. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  16. Severe Weather Protocol
  17. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  18. Religious Observances
  19. UAct Statement

Introduction to Digital Tools

CSM 101-910Spring 2018 | 3 Credit Hours


Juanita McMath

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:

Virtual Office Hours: achieved through email communications (csm101@ches.ua.edu), SKYPE (iit.faculty) or phone (205.348.2785) or IIT Faculty cell (205.799.1567). HOURS: Tuesday-Thursday 9-11 & 2-3 Central Time.

Messages left on the IIT cell number will be forwarded to the professors as an email message with the voice message attached as an mp3 file. Speak clearly noting the class you are in, your email address, and the reason for the call. For all sections, professors/instructors will use the communications feature, Announcements, on Blackboard Learn Portal to communicate information to you as a group instead of sending group emails. Students should check the class Announcements at least once a week.

Email Communications: Students will use their official UA Email, Crimson, for the class; no outside email will be used. Check your student email to be sure you know how to use it and check it regularly. Dr. McMath can be reached at csm101@ches.ua.edu. As a formal communication with your professor, emails should be of an approprite tone, have an opening and ending salutation, and provide the teacher with details of why you are making contact. All emails should have a Subject Line that relates to the email content; emails without a subject line are filtered as spam. Get into a good practice now with email and always check your grammar and spelling before sending any email.


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

No prereqs found

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

Students are expected to demonstrate basic proficiency in the word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet tools as well as other emerging productivity tool sets. Specific emphasis is placed on introducing skills and uses related to data storage applications, basic technology privacy and security issues, mobile device applications, social media, communications technology, and work-place applications. Students exit this class with a basic introduction to each topic and other emerging topics deemed relevant for today’s digital citizens, consumers, and professionals.

Online-all instruction via Blackboard Learn. The syllabus information is subject to change by the faculty members. The faculty reserve the right to make changes in the activities and outcome measures.

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:

There is no required text. The class features online resources curated by the professor and housed on Blackboard Learn. These resources are connected to each topic introduced in the lectures and learning activities. Students are also required to use the online library facilities available to them as students in online classes at The University of Alabama, including using SCOUT. Sometimes ‘optional’ readings are suggested based on specific situations and/or particular interests of the group for reading outside of the course per se.

Student Learning Outcomes


1.0 Understand basic operations associated with one or more suite of computerized tools.

1.1 Demonstrate Basic Competency in MS Word using exercises provided in the use of WORD for professional documents.

1.2 Construct or use MS Excel spreadsheets for analysis and reports using exercises or data sets provided

1.3 Create a MS PowerPoint product related to career goals and coursework, demonstrating specific required skill subsets provided in exercises and/or cases.

2.0 Understand the concept of cloud computing as evidenced in tools & applications in their lives.

2.1 Demonstrate the ability to share files via cloud-based file sharing program.

2.2 Demonstrate the ability to engage in professional exchanges via one or more cloud-based tool, such as blogs and/or wikis

2.3 Illustrate the use of one or more cloud-based tools for academic or professional purposes

3.0 Understand search and retrieval of information for academic and career purpose

3.1 Demonstrate ability to use search engines and search strategies to locate professional materials via exercises and scenarios.

3.2 Demonstrate ability to use UA’s online library resources, including SCOUT, to locate and retrieve professional materials, including research sources.

4.0 Understand the role of computer-mediated communications in today’s society, especially the workplace

4.1 Demonstrate rules of etiquette, email management tool use, & identification of limitations & trends in email use in professional settings using exercises, products and/or scenarios.

4.2 Demonstrate professional communications via Twitter.

4.3 Demonstrate ability to participate in a SKYPE meeting(s).

5.0 Explore mobile applications (apps) related to academic pursuits and consumer behavior.

5.1 Demonstrate awareness and/or use of UA’s online apps for students

5.2 Demonstrate the use of program to create PDF document (e.g., CamScanner or similar program)

5.3 Illustrate use of Evernote or similar program for students/academic settings.

6.0 Examine specific components typically associated with Internet safety and digital security

6.1 Demonstrate knowledge of basic first defense strategies including email management, passwords, web applications, browsers, and software

6.2 Identify preventative as well as repair strategies associated with technology use and internet safety & privacy

6.3 Demonstrate the ability to set/change Internet security settings and check update status anti-virus, browsers, software

Other Course Materials

Students need a computer with Internet connectivity and Microsoft Office with the following programs: Word, Excel & PowerPoint. In addition students need a headset with microphone. A USB or thumb drive or other means of back-up such as UA+Box for all work.

Specific software tools and equipment for this class this term are shown in the course information on BlackBoard Learn (BBL) at the time the class actually begins. Some tools are free, others may have costs associated with their use. The professor tries to use trials and free tools as much as possible, but sometimes it is necessary to buy some software each term. The tools may change with each term, depending on the nature of the security risks in play and the solutions available. Any required materials or tools will be incorporated into the learning activities at the time the topic is taught, so the learner will download most of these as he/she progresses through the lessons included in the class itself. The tools do not need to be acquired in advance of beginning the class.

Outline of Topics

Basic Operations of Computerized Tools for Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Cloud Computing Tools and Basic Applications

Basic Search and Retrieval Skills for UA Online Library and General Internet Search

Computer Mediated Communications and Basic Skills

Introduction to Mobile Applications

Introduction to Internet Safety and Digital Security

Exams and Assignments

The assessments in the class are the products created by the student (outcomes) as well as process assessments in terms of learning activities, class participation, and other observable indicators such as a quiz. The course has all assignment items with the associated due dates in the Calendar, Class Schedule and My Grades areas. All assignment products are due before 11:59 PM Central Time. One submission per assignment. No late work is accepted unless (1) the student made prior arrangements with instructor before the due date or (2) medical excuse received within 7 days of return to school date, or (3) an assignment extension requested before the due date/time (See section Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework for details). Any assignment product not submitted correctly, will receive a grade of zero.

Students enrolled in sections 910, 920 and 990 will always access the course through the Blackboard Learn Portal, making it easy to consistently find the materials, announcements and other information needed to succeed in the class. The professor will explain in greater detail the features from Blackboard Learn used in this class.

Online (asynchronous) lectures, tutorials, discussions, assigned readings and multimedia resources, reflective experiences, class activities, projects and products may be used in the class as learning activities and/or assessments. All products and projects are turned in electronically with specific instructions provided. All questions concerning the course should go to Dr. McMath at csm101@ches.ua.edu

Within each topic there are discrete projects and activities but there will also be activities and products interwoven in such a way as to address the goals and learner outcomes from multiple topics. The projects reflect constructivist approaches to teaching and learning with students engaged in merging the new information with current personal or work-place related activities. There are no group assignments in this class.

Grading Policy

The grade for each assignment product will be based on explicit criteria in the grading rubrics for each assignment. Students have access to the rubrics in the grading area to review, and it is recommended students review the rubrics before submitting an assignment. Grades will post no later than 7 days after the due date of an assignment. No late work is graded (see Missed Exams and Assignments for exceptions); any assignment product not submitted correctly, will receive a grade of zero. Note: If a student has a question about an assignment grade, this must be addressed within 7 days of the grade being posted in the grades area. Please check all assignment grades weekly and contact the instructor at the class email, csm101@ches.ua.edu within 7 days about any grading questions. In the course grades area, students can view each assignment grade, the grading rubric, comments, and cumulative points. The cumulative points are a running total of points earned so students can keep up with their overall class grade to assignments submitted and graded. Students are expected to review their grades regularly and ask questions within the 7 day period after posting. Please do not hesitate to email the class email for questions. Mid-semester grades are posted in myBama.

Grading Criteria: The central focus is on application, so each task is completed individually. The grade for the course is based on explicit criteria for each type of product in the form of a rubric, provided in advance of the assignment and for points awarded for any examinations. Points available for this course are associated with each competency. Final course grade will be determined as follows. Below is the scale of grading for the overall class grade to a letter grade. Mid-semester and final grades will use this grading scale.

A+ = 97-100% A = 94-96% A- = 90-93% B+ = 87-89 B = 84-86% B- = 80-83% C+ = 77-79% C = 74-76% C- = 70-73% D+ = 67-69% D = 64-66% D- = 60-63% F = 59% and Below

Stopped Attending - F, and Never Attended - F Grade Reporting Please be reminded that it is your responsibility to drop a class that you never attend or stop attending. If you fail to drop a class that you never attend or stop attending, you will be assigned a grade of “F” (or “NC” if applicable) for that class, the grade will be part of your permanent academic record, and it will impact your GPA. The Office of the University Registrar does not adjust student registration based on the assignment of failing grades with a reason of Never Attended or Stopped Attending. The student will bear the responsibility of dropping a course within the published guidelines. No tuition adjustments will be made for students who receive a failing grade for reasons of Never Attended or Stopped Attending. Following the last day to drop a course with a “W” for the term, any midterm grades of “F” of “NC” that have been submitted with a reason of Never Attended or Stopped Attending will be reflected on the transcript as the student’s final grade for the class. Likewise, grades of “F” or “NC” submitted during final grading with a reason of Never Attended or Stopped Attending will be reflected on the transcript as the student’s final grade for the class. Whether submitted during midterm grading or final grading, the reason for the “F” or “NC” grade will not appear on the transcript. For a more detailed explanation of the new procedure, please visit the Non-Attendance Grading Information Page of the University Registrar. Please note that grades of "NC" can only be assigned in freshman composition and introductory math courses. For any additional questions, please contact The Office of the University Registrar at 205-348-2020 or by email at registrar@ua.edu

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

The course has all assignment items with the associated due dates in the Tasks and Calendar areas. All assignment products are due before 11:59 PM Central Time. No late work is accepted unless: (1) the student made prior arrangements with instructor before the due date or (2) medical excuse received within 7 days of return to school date, or (3) an assignment extension requested before the due date/time. Prior arrangements would include items such as a student is moving and Internet access will be down for a week or a religious holiday or a prior engagement out of town, military duty, jury duty, etc. Student travel on official university activities requires submission of the letter of travel dates at the start of the semester.

Medical Excuse. If the student is unable to complete the assignment product by the due date because of illness, provide a doctor's excuse within 7 days of the return to school date on the excuse for a make-up date. The excuse only needs the dates the student was not able to attend school and must be on the medical caregiver's letterhead form -- NO diagnosis, ONLY DATES. Send the excuse electronically to Dr. McMath at the office fax 205.348.8721 or email a PDF of the excuse to the class email within the required 7 days. If the student has extenuating circumstances other than illness, there is also an extension request opportunity in my classes.

Extension Request Policy. For this class there is an extension request policy. This extension offer is for unusual occasions when a student has an issue unrelated to illness, jury duty or military duty or prior arrangements. No extensions are granted after the due date/time. An extension request is approved for three (3) days automatically if the request is befre 11:59 PM of the due date. For example, an assignment is due on Friday the 1st before midnight Central Time, the student requests an extension at 10 pm on that Friday; the extended due date is now on Monday the 4th before midnight. Extensions are for three days only. There are no extensions on an extension. The professor reserves teh right to deny an extension request if the policy is being misused.

Extension Requests: To request an extension, the student will simply email prior to (before) the due date/time of the published due date. The email must include in the Subject Line, the extension request and assignment name. For example, Extension Request Word 1, the the body of the email note that class you are registered for (CSM101) and the student sends the request with no explanation needed, just as long as it is before the due date/time and the subject line notes Extension with the assignment name. If the policy is abused, an extension can be denied. All emails must be sent to my office email csm101@ches.ua.edu

Attendance Policy

This class is a web-based class, with all of the materials available on the online learning platform, Blackboard Learn, provided by UA and/or other online locations. Attendance is not required in the traditional sense of face-to-face. What is required in lieu of actual attendance in the lab or a physical classroom space, the student will spend sufficient time on his/her own computer to master the content.

Attendance is considered important in any class because of the focus placed on reaching mastery of the skill sets. This class is an asynchronous, web-based class, with all of the materials online in or through Blackboard Learn. Attendance is required. Students need to plan to spend at least as much time at the computer reading the web site as would spent sitting in a three-credit course for 3 hours each week, in addition to the time required to complete activities and the assignment products. For a typical class students would be expected to go to class 150 minutes per week; in addition, the rule of thumb is 2 or 2.5 or even 3 times as much time for study and preparation. Therefore, students should plan to spend 6 to 9 hours in preparation in addition to the 3 hours of attendance per week on this course in order to maintain regular progress. Students have to take the time to read the instructions, complete activities and produce the products. Attendance is defined as the time spent at your computer, working on the course content spending sufficient, prescribed time to master the content and submitting assignments. Attendance is not merely logging into the class, one must be actively participating online submitting assignments. Students are also expected to check the class Announcements several times a week. Class communications for the course are completed with the announcements feature in the Blackboard Learn portal. Individual contact is conducted with the official student UA Email and is also expected to be checked on a regular basis.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The UAct website provides an overview of The University's expectations regarding respect and civility.