Educational Technology Program  |  Department of Educational Leadership  |  Texas A&M University-Commerce

ETEC 544 - Computer Operating Systems for Educators


Course Description

This course examines similarities and differences between computer operating systems often used in educational settings.  Experiences with DOS, Windows, UNIX, and the Macintosh operating systems will be provided.  Emphasis will be on hardware, software, and training issues related to these systems and to the networking of computer resources.

Term:  Spring 2010 Credits: 3 hours
Section: 01E CRN: 22103
Day: Monday Time: 5:00pm – 7:10pm
Location: Sowers Education South #125  (ETEC Advanced Lab) Format: Web Enhanced
Instructor: Dr. Jason Lee Davis
Office: Young Education North – Room 106
Phone: 903-886-5598 FAX: 903-886-5603
URL: http://www.JDavis.US/ or
Courseware URL:
Office hours: See for current instructor schedule.  Other times by appointment.

One graduate ETEC course or permission of instructor.

    required:    NONE
    optional:    Gorman, M.S. & Stubbs, S.T. (2001).  Introduction of Operating Systems:  A Survey Course.  Thompson Learning/Course Technology.
Course Goals and Objectives

Upon completion to this course, the learner should be able to…

1.       demonstrate an understanding of computer hardware components:  motherboard, CPU, RAM, expansion bus, I/O devices, etc.
demonstrate an understanding of memory storage devices:  hard drive, tape, portable (floppy, ZIP, Pen, CF, SM, etc), optical (CD-RW, DVD-RW), etc.
demonstrate an understanding of computer networking:  topologies, infrastructure, cabling, network operating systems (NOS), etc.
demonstrate knowledge and skills involved in computer and network troubleshooting.
recognize, describe, compare, and use different operating systems on a variety of computer platforms including DOS, Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX variants.
recognize, describe, compare, and use common computer interfaces and ports:  parallel, serial, USB, IDE, SCSI/SCSI-2, IEEE1394 (FireWire), infrared, etc.
demonstrate an understanding of issues related to system security, viruses, privacy, and compatibility.
demonstrate an understanding of device drivers.
connect, configure, and use common peripheral devices:  printers, scanners, etc.
demonstrate an understanding of file structure and its relationship to physical memory.
utilize File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to move files between computers over a network.
utilize telnet applications to gain command line and application access on remote computers over a network.
use various utility programs specific to different operating systems. 

Requirements and Assignments

Article Reviews – 10%:  Students are required to identify and review three (3) journal articles directly related to the stated goals and objectives of the course.  The student will select three different objectives, from those listed above, as topics for the articles for review.  Reviews should be comprehensive, in your own words, and must demonstrate appropriate writing skills.  The source of the article reviewed MUST be cited completely and the objective addressed must be identified.  Do not post the original article.  Reviews must be posted in the identified Discussion/Groups section in the online courseware by the day/time indicated.  Credit will be based on inclusion of required information as well as quality of review and personal analysis.
Follow-up Responses – 5%
:  Each student is required to provide a value-added response to at least two article reviews.
Participation – 15%
:  All students must be active participants in class activities.  Students may not use computers for non-class activities while class is in session.  The use of computers for playing games, chatting, e-mail, or working on assignments or discussions in other on-line courses is prohibited and will result in a reduction in participation credit.  Students must be in attendance to earn participation credit.  An occasional quiz may also be administered with the score contributing to participation credit.
Tech Notes – 25%
:  Students will participate in a number of activities designed to build skills and understanding related to the stated course objectives.  Each student will author a one page reflection on each daily activity, excluding article reviews.  Tech Notes are informal writings and may appear in a variety of formats consisting of diagrams, procedure lists, step-by-step directions, etc.  This will document the day’s activities and serve as the student’s opportunity to make notes regarding the activity for future reference.  The Tech Notes should be compiled in electronic format as the semester progresses and should be submitted in the designated location within the courseware as a single file (Word document preferred) by the posted due date.  Credit will be based on thoroughness and organization.
Class Assignments - 35%
:  Activities will be conducted in class or online.  Following each class meeting or online assignment (excluding Article Review activities) each student will post one question, with the corresponding answer, to the designated location within the courseware environment.  The Q/A is to be derived from the class lecture/activities.  Also, for each physical meeting, each student is to post an assessment of the session's content in terms of possibilities for on-line delivery of the lesson.  The assessment should identify whether or not you believe the content could effectively be delivered in an on-line format and how the material/activities could be organized and conducted to facilitate such delivery, if possible.  (Why or Why not?  How?)  On the occasion of online assignments, this assessment should contain an honest evaluation of the activity and provide any recommendations for possible improvement.  Class assignments are to be posted within the week following the class meeting/activity.  Article Review activities are exempt.

Final Exam
– 10%:  All students must take the final course exam.  The exam will be administered in the on-line courseware environment.

Assignments MUST be completed and submitted by due date.  Full credit cannot be earned by late or incomplete assignments.  10 points will be deducted for each class day an assignment is late.  Late materials may be rejected at the discretion of the instructor.

Evaluation and Grading





Article Reviews:




Follow-up Responses:



Participation: 15%


Tech Notes: 25%


Daily Assignments: 35%


59% or less
Final Exam: 10%    

Grade of "X" (Incomplete) - In accordance with the TAMU-C Student Guidebook outlining the rules and procedures of the University, the mark of "X" may be assigned to "students who, because of circumstances beyond their control, are unable to attend classes during or after review week" and "were maintaining passing grades." 

ETEC ePortfolio (ETLD Majors only)

Students in the Educational Technology-Leadership Masters Program are required to create an electronic portfolio containing representative artifacts from specified coursework in their program of study. Should this Specialization Course be selected, in consult with your major advisor, for inclusion in the ePortfolio, artifacts from this course must include your Tech Notes and may include any other relevant artifacts produced in the course.

Class Schedule

A tentative class schedule will be maintained on the class’ public website, accessible via the instructors’ homepage.  It is advised that the refresh/reload button is clicked upon each visit to a class page to ensure that the most recent version of the page is displayed.  The schedule is subject to change throughout the semester to accommodate and adjust for the progress of the class, unforeseen events, etc.  Check for modifications frequently.  This is the student’s responsibility.


Regular class attendance is very important.  Class participation requires that students be present.  Class discussions and activities that take place during class cannot be made up.  If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to notify the instructor in advance, to contact class members to find out what occurred in that class and to make up that work.  For computer work, it is your responsibility to check for compatibility if you wish to use computers other than those provided in the lab.  If you have any questions, contact your instructor.  No make-up work will be given.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities.  Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.  If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:

Office of Student Disability Resources and Services
Texas A&M University-Commerce
James G. Gee Library, Rm. 132
Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835
Fax (903) 468-8148

Student Conduct

All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenets of common decency and acceptable behavior conductive to a positive learning environment  (see Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Conduct).

The classroom is NOT the place to make and receive personal phone calls.  This distractive activity is extremely disrespectful of the instructor and other students and is disruptive to the classroom environment.  Cell phones may not be used during class and should be turned OFF upon entering the classroom.  Emergency exceptions must be approved by the instructor prior to the beginning of class.  Violation will result in significant loss of participation credit.

Academic Integrity & Scholarly Expectations

Conduct that violates generally accepted standards of academic honesty is defined as academic dishonesty, which includes, but is not limited to plagiarism (the appropriation or stealing of ideas or words of another and passing them off as one's own), cheating on exams or other course assignments, collusion (the unauthorized collaboration with others in preparing course assignments) and abuse (destruction, defacing, or removal) of resource material. (Texas A&M University-Commerce, Graduate Catalog).  All works submitted for credit must be original works created by the scholar uniquely for the class.  Plagiarism:  Using works created by others without proper citation is not tolerated and may result in expulsion from the course and the graduate program.  Auto-plagiarism:  It is considered inappropriate and unethical, particularly at the graduate level, to make duplicate submissions of a single work for credit in multiple classes, unless specifically requested by the instructor.  Works submitted are subject to submission to TurnItIn, or other similar services, to verify the absence of plagiarism.  Work submitted at the Graduate level is expected to demonstrate higher order thinking skills and be of significantly higher quality than work produced at the undergraduate level.  Writings must exhibit correct form, style, and grammar and demonstrate the student’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively in the English language. (Also see Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures.)

Additional References

Bourne, S. R. (1983) The UNIX system.  Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co. 

Boyce, J., Tidrow, R., et al. (1996) Inside Windows 95 Deluxe Edition. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing. 

Capron, H. L. (2000) Computers: Tools for an information age Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 

Glass, G., & Ables, K. (1999) UNIX for programmers and users Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 

Gorman, M. S. & Stubbs, S. T. (2001) Introduction to operating systems: A survey course.  Thompson Learning/Course Technologies. 

Lin, F. (1993) The DOS 6 coursebook.  El Granada, CA:  Scott/Jones Inc., pub. 

McMullen, J. (1995) The complete idiot’s guide to UNIX.  Indianapolis, IN:  Prentice Hall Macmillan. 

Nemeth, E., Snyder, G., Seebass, S., & Hein, T. R.  (1995) UNIX system administration handbook.  (2nd ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR. 

Phillips, H. L. (2001) Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional for power users:  New perspective series.  Cambridge, MA:  Thompson Learning. 

Schumer, L. & Negus, C. (1995) Special edition using UNIX.  (2nd ed.) Indianapolis, INQue Corp. 

Shelly, G. B., Cashman, T. J., Vermaat, M. E., & Walker, T. J. (2000) Discovering Computers 2001:  Concepts for a connected world.  Cambridge, MA:  Thompson Learning. 

Topham, D. (1990) The first book of UNIX.  Carmel, IN:  Howard W. Sams & Co., pub. 

Rev. 1/25/2010