Course Syllabus

Instructor: Don Gaber

Office: Schneider 414
1:00-3:00 Mon-Fri
Phone: (715) 836-3965

Course Description: An introduction to database applications created by end users. Students will learn to construct a database, user interface, and reports to summarize data.

Class Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in Phillips 281

Course Structure: This course uses flipped content in an active learning classroom. Textbook content is learned using self-guided, hands-on exercises prior to attending class. Class time is dedicated to project development using hands-on and problem-solving activities that reinforce textbook basics, then go beyond using alternative perspectives and advanced concepts. The classroom “pod" technology allows interaction that creates an excellent learning and sharing atmosphere.

Course Learning Objectives: Upon completing IS 290, students are able to:
  • Design and implement a relational database application appropriate for department, small business or personal use
  • Understand the fundamental concepts in relational theory
  • Develop a working knowledge of Microsoft Access 2013
  • Use and apply various software programs as productivity tools

Communication: I do my best to respond quickly to email, especially when you use proper email criteria. Check your UWEC email and D2L News daily for class-related updates or announcements.

Email criteria*:
  • Use your UWEC provided email account.
  • Include your name and the course name in your correspondence.
  • In business, as with course-related correspondence, email is regarded as a professional means of communication. Proper capitalization and punctuation are required.

*Emails not following proper criteria may receive a blank reply or a link to this page.

Accommodation of Disabilities:

Students with disabilities are encouraged to discuss their needs with the instructor, preferably during the first week of class. All reasonable accommodations will be made to see that disabilities do not restrict a student's opportunity to learn. Help is also available from Office for Services to Students with Disabilities (Old Library 2136, phone 715-836-4542).

Access Textbook coverUWEC Bookstore Rental: Microsoft Office Access 2013 Introductory (Grauer), 1st Ed. Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780133412192
(Click image for larger image)



Software: Microsoft Office 2013 with Access and Visio is required. You can download Microsoft Office 2013 (with Access) or Microsoft Office 365 free through the On-The-Hub web site at: Microsoft Access or Visio are also available free from the DreamSpark website. Details can be found in D2L on the Resources > Course Software Information page.

Laptop computer: This is a laptop required course. All College of Business students are required to provide a laptop computer running the Windows 7 or 8 operating system for courses that require laptops as per the COB Laptop Initiative ( If your laptop is out of service, you may rent one from the campus library.

Mac computer? If you have a Mac computer, you will be required to either install a Windows partition or run LabAnywhere, since Microsoft Access or Visio are not available for the Mac O/S. Details and alternatives are available and outlined in D2L on the Resources > Mac FAQ page.

Assessment items Approximate % of overall grade
Assignment & Projects 68%
Quizzes 11%
Exams 21%


You will be required to complete an initial "data backup" assignment to ensure data security. The main assessment item is a multiple-component database development project. The project will be developed in progressive phases, each building on prior knowledge and consisting of various software components including Microsoft Access, Visio, and Word.

Assignment and project component files must be named using the Asn-X and Project-CX prefix followed by your last and first name. For example, the completed Word document for Asn-1: Data Backup must be named Asn-1_LastnameFirstname, and Project-C1: Business Idea must be named Project-C1_LastnameFirstname (e.g., Project-C1_GriffinMeg)

The standard course heading used for Word and Visio documents must contain your name, course, assignment or project, and current date. The heading must be left aligned, on the leftmost top of the document, and formatted as shown below:

Kyle Broflovski
IS290, Asn-1: Data Backup

Assignment/Project due dates: The assignment and projects are due in the appropriate Dropbox folder in D2L by 11:59 p.m. on Thursdays as listed in the weekly assignment pages or calendar.

Competency Standards: All assessment items must be completed at a competency level appropriate for a college student. A minimum of 10% of your assessment grade may be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Central Theme/Topic/Issue; Clear, Succinct
  • Logical and Coherent Organization
  • Appropriate Level of Supporting Detail
  • Visual Appeal (heading structure, graphic highlighting, paragraph length)
  • Syntax, Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, and Mechanics

Assignment/Project due dates: The assignment and projects are due in the appropriate Dropbox folder in D2L by 11:59 p.m. on Thursdays as listed in the weekly assignment pages or calendar.

If you are unsure of the D2L Dropbox procedure, review the Submitting an Assignment, Viewing Submitted Files, and Viewing Feedback instructions at this LTS Online Help link:


I did not submit my assignment or project to the Dropbox. What are my options? If you fail to submit an assignment or project to the Dropbox by the deadline, you will be required to use one of your make-up options for reduced credit. If you already used both make-up options, you will receive 0 credit. Exceptions may include pre-approved events, verified extended illness, accidents, or similar. Contact the instructor for details and/or approval. Technology issues, forgetting, or miscalculated complexity are not considered exceptions.

Can I email assignments or projects as attachments if the Dropbox is closed or I miss the due date? All assignments and projects are to be submitted only to the appropriate Dropbox unless arrangements have been made with the instructor. Review Assessment Make-up Options for missed or late assessment items.

Can I resubmit a second project or assignment to the Dropbox? If you submit an incorrect assignment or project by mistake, you may submit one additional assignment or project before the deadline as long as it has not already been graded. Items submitted beyond the 2nd submission will be ignored. Be sure to put a comment in the description box letting the instructor know which item you want graded and why it was submitted.

How will I know if my work was successfully submitted to the Dropbox? You will receive an e-mail from D2L indicating that you successfully uploaded your submission to the Dropbox. If you did not receive the email, assume it was not successfully uploaded, and verify the procedure. Keep a copy of your email message!


The Week 1 Quiz has 10 questions based on the week 1 reading assignment and has unlimited attempts with no time limit, but is due by the date listed in the assignment page or calendar.

There are four 10-question, 10-point, D2L-based chapter quizzes with two attempts (highest attempt recorded), each with a 15 minute consecutive* time limit.

The questions on the chapter quizzes are selected randomly from a 25-question pool and cover the Access textbook material. It is advised to take both attempts, since the same question pool will be used for a percentage of the unit exam questions.


There are four 25-question, 25-point D2L-based unit exams with one attempt and a 40 minute consecutive* time limit.

The questions are selected randomly from the quiz question pool, in-class activities, and project/assignment material. The Unit 4 (final) Exam will not contain questions from the textbook quiz pool.

Upon completing the exams, the submission view will not immediately display questions or feedback. Any time after the exam period ends, the submission view will display all non-quiz pool questions and responses along with the correct answer and feedback for non-quiz bank questions. To access the submission view, click the action arrow beside the exam (see illustration below) and select Submissions > Attempt 1.

Exam Submissions selection arrow


*What is meant by a "consecutive" time limit? If you start an exam with a 40 minute time limit at 4:00 p.m., you have until 4:40 p.m. to finish the exam. You must complete the exam without interruption once it has been started. The clock does not stop if you exit or log out of D2L, and will not "pick up" where you left off. For example, if you close the exam at 4:05 and re-enter at 5:30, you will have exceeded the time limit and D2L automatically assigns a "0."

Is there a comprehensive mid-term or final exam? No. A unit exam may fall around the mid-term time frame but will only be on the current unit material. The Unit 4 Exam is the final exam, but only consists of the unit 4 material.


You have two make-up options during the semester to submit or complete a missed or late assessment item. This includes assignments, projects, quizzes, or unit exams 1-3.

You must contact the instructor before 3:30 p.m. on the Tuesday following the missed item's due date in order to use a make-up option. A 25% late penalty will be assessed on the first make-up item, and a 50% late penalty will be assessed on the second make-up item. After contacting the instructor, you will have until the following evening at 11:59 p.m. to complete or submit the assessment item. Missed make-up options or assessments missed beyond the second option will result in zero credit.

The make-up options cannot be used for assessment items due during the last week of the regular semester, or the Unit 4 (final) exam.


I didn't do so hot on an assessment item. Can I use my make-up option to get a better grade? No. The make-up option is only for missed, late, or submission of incorrect assessment items.

I submitted the wrong assignment to the Dropbox. Can I use my make-up option? Yes, but only once. Further incorrect submissions will result in zero credit.

Grading scale - Letter grades are based on the grading scale below and determined by the percentage of points earned in the assessments.

Grade Percentage
A 93 - 100%
A- 90 - 92%
B+ 87 - 89%
B 93 - 86%
B- 80 - 82%
C+ 77 - 79%
C 73 - 76%
C- 70 - 72%
D+ 67 - 69%
D 63 - 66%
D- 60 - 62%
F 0 - 59%
Grades are automatically rounded to the next whole number. For example, an 89.4x is a B+, where 89.5+ is rounded up to an A-. There are no exceptions or "bumping up" of grades "close" to the next higher grade level, regardless of how few points are required.


Where can I find my current grade? You can check your current grade at any time by viewing the Grades page in D2L.

What can I do? This is a common question, usually asked near the end of the semester when it's most likely too late to make any real changes. The answer is usually simple: "Do well on the remaining assessments, or repeat the course if you are not satisfied with your potential grade."

Are there extra credit options? There are no extra credit assessment items available, and no "high-point" mid-term or final exams to make up for a poor semester; simply complete the projects to the best of your ability and submit them on time.

TipBe Proactive! There is an Excel Hypothetical Grade workbook found in the Course Documents folder. Open the file and follow the directions to calculate your hypothetical final grade at any time during the semester.

Remember that YOU are responsible for your grade, not the instructor!

Learning Essentials - Textbook Hands-on Exercises:

Although the textbook hands-on exercises may seem tedious, they are are essential skill-builders. Regardless of your current level of Access knowledge, completing the required exercises will teach you new features, tips, and tricks to increase productivity and understand how to apply concepts.

In-Class Learning Activities:

Project Activities: In-class project-related activities cover basic project concepts and allow for Q & A during the activities to ensure learning and understanding of material.

Toolbox: Each of you will create a Toolbox folder in your course folder structure to place valuable problem-solving tools for both the class project and other useful applications.

In-Class Problem-Solving Activities:

The instructor will provide examples of actual problems from students, faculty, businesses, and his own experience, and have you work in teams to "solve the problem" by applying what you have learned through the exercises and in-class activities.


Will there be notes available in D2L on activities in case we have to miss class? Many in-class activities have documentation available following the activity. However, many Toolbox activities will be spontaneous, and you will be responsible for creating documentation and examples during class.

Why the emphasis on hands-on, in-class activities? The ability to use software applications and business intelligence for problem-solving and decision-making is one of the top skills sought after by employers. The hands-on learning and problem-solving activities in this course are designed to develop those proficiencies in addition to critical thinking skills essential for success in this course and your career - in addition to increasing personal productivity.

So how are these activities assessed? Exams will contain multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank type questions covering all activities and hands-on exercises. Projects will require application of the various functions and concepts, and be assessed as project criteria.

To pass this course, you are to behave in accordance with defined norms of professional ethics. In part, these include submitting assessment items and arriving in class on time; doing your own work on all assessment items; attending all class sessions; behaving collegially; and obeying the law. Unethical behavior will be dealt with according to University policy (

You are expected to attend class and prepare for class by reading the appropriate material as listed in the weekly assignments. If you must miss class for any reason, you are held responsible for obtaining notes, handouts, assignments and any other materials that you may have missed due to non-attendance. The instructor will not hold a personal "review" session for missed classes.

Everyone has the right to distraction free learning in this class. Facebook, YouTube, texting, IM, games, or other distractions are prohibited. Phones and iPods must be turned off and put away during class.

Academic Misconduct: You must do your own work on all assessment items. Always log in with your own user name from the computer you are using while completing assignments. File tracking and encrypted coding procedures are used, and students caught sharing or submitting the same file, parts of a file, or submitting another persons work as their own will receive a zero for the assessment grade, and further action may be taken according to the UWS 14-Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures (

Copyright: Standard copyright laws apply to all course material. Review for copyright laws and information.

© Don Gaber. 2013-14 All rights reserved.
No part of this syllabus or related assessment material may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author. Contact Don Gaber at for further information or permission.

Date of last revision: September 7, 2014

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