... Fluency in technology

About This Course

The objective of this course is to introduce students to computers and technology. Rather than rote learning of how to do things, the student will learn to understand how things work and will therefore be able to continue growing skills beyond the course.

While the course does not currently have a QR tag, it is (and always has been) designed as a Quantitative Reasoning course. As a Quantitative Reasoning course, a key objective of this course is to teach the student how to analyze problems and attack them in a logical sequence of steps. This is a skill that will be worked on throughout the semester. At the beginning of the semester, your analysis will be reviewed, but not graded. As the semester progresses, your ability to breakdown a problem will become part of your grade.

The primary technologies that will be taught are:

  • Web page development
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases

Class Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45 Sitterson 014

Office Hours:

  • Monday 11:00 - 1:30 Belinda (Sitterson 045)
  • Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Diane and Belinda (Brooks 146)
  • Tuesday 2:00 - 3:00 Diane (Brooks 146)
  • Wednesday 3:30 - 5:00 Belinda (Sitterson 045)
  • Thursday 9:00 - 12:00 Diane (Brooks 146)
  • Friday 3:00 - 4:00 Diane (Brooks 146)


The software used in this class is either open source software or software available to all students. The open source software has the advantage that you will be able to continue using it after you finish school. The other software used is Microsoft Office. This software is available to all students based on your payment of student fees. Any student, regardless if they purchased their computer at UNC or not, can go to an ITS Response Center location and have any Microsoft product they have available installed on their computer at no cost. This includes Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access, the two applications that we will be using. You can get Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X) You are REQUIRED to use the identified software.

Quick Hits

COMP 101 is designed to continually build on skills that you are learning. If you get behind on the work or assignments, it is VERY hard to catch up. In order to help you keep up with the work there will be two types of assignments: quick hits and standards.

Quick hit assignments are intended to be short easy tasks that will be assigned at one class period and due the next one. They are expected to take under 30 minutes to complete. Their intent is to reinforce the day's lesson and to assure that you have applied it. They will be spot graded at the beginning of class (the instructor and TA will walk the class and check some students work each class). We will check all students multiple times throughout the semester. Completion of these assignments is a key portion of your participation grade. If we attempt to check your work and you are not there that day, that is clearly not good participation. The solution will then be reviewed before proceeding with new material so that you can continue to build on them.


While there is no specific attendance policy for this class, we will be aware of attendance. More importantly, there is no text book for this class and there is a significant amount on in-class work on assignments. While there will be significant office hours available, it is not our intent to repeat classes on an individual basis for students who chose not to come to class.

Excused absences are defined as reasonable ones that you have told me about in advance. In the case of illness, I generally do not require a note from Student Health; the exception is when there are a significant number of missed classes. Similarly, computer problems that impact your ability to do an assignment need to be brought to my attention as soon as you know of the problem.