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IT Infrastructure: Syllabus, Topics, Policy

Welcome to IT Infrastructure & Security! This is the usually the first INFO course after students have decided on an IS major. It is a comprehensive survey of the legacy computing and storage hardware, operating systems, application software, networks, security, and standards involved in modern information systems. It introduces vocabulary and concepts for management of IT services and equipment, history of our current generation of computers, what's valuable and timeless in the IT legacy and what's emerging to eclipse it.

The deliverables for the projects can look good in the portfolio of skills you carry along your career path. They demonstrate skills in technical drawing, purchasing, html, css, mobile-friendly, linux command line, vi editor, and research. INFO300 supports career paths into network management and security, application development, auditing, analysis, and other IT and IS fields. It covers a lot of topics to support certifications in IT, security, and network management.

Students gain experience with linux at the command and more practice with HTML & CSS3 to set up a mobile-friendly website, and modelling an office network with Visio. Results that get an A in this course are very valuable in a portfolio, can help get a foot in the door and in front of a sceptical technical interviewer.

Students who intend to go into network management and security should get a study guide for CompTIA's Network+ and Security+ certificates and get at least one this semester. 5 points of extra credit will be posted for an approved certificate earned before the end of exam week.

Syllabus & Topic Outline

The Syllabus has course objectives, textbook, grading. The syllabus is also posted on Bloackboard.

The Topic Outline for the course has been continuously updated by Dr Coppins, the UnderGrad Programs Committee, student feedback, and assessment activities over the past few decades.

Provost's Syllabus Statements & Classroom Behavior

The Provost's Policies apply to this course. Continued arrival to these classes indicates acceptance of these policies for email, honesty, behavior in the classroom & other facets of Faculty, University and Student roles.

Ask Questions In Class: Please ask questions in class where the questions and answers may be heard by all. The instructor will not answer questions about course content or quizzes in email.

Attendance is Required: Students with more than three absences at mid-term will be referred to the UnderGrad Dean for administrative withdrawal. Students with more than five absences at the end of the semester will be docked two letter grades.

No wandering out and back into class: Wandering out of and back into a classroom is rude, disrespectful behavior and is prohibited. Take care of any personal business before and after class. If some urgent situation arises that you can't ignore, take your stuff and leave quietly but don't come back. If some medical issue requires to you to leave class accomodation will be provided.

If some urgency requires leaving a quiz it will be scored as is. An incomplete quiz may be retaken at the exam time for the class.

Silence ring tones and vibrators on cellphones and notifications of text or social media during class.

Secure smartphones during quizzes: Do not have a smartphone or other device on your lap or otherwise visible during a quiz unless it is turned off and face-down on the desk. Quizzes and pop-quizzes in INFO300 are not 'open notes' and no crib sheets are allowed. Calculators are not allowed in quizzes even for incidental math involved in number system conversions or subnetting.

Missed Quizzes

All quizzes must be taken during class at the date and time announced. If a quiz is missed or failed for any reason it may be taken, or retaken, at the end of the semester at the exam time for the class or at either of the last two Makeup Sessions scheduled by the School of Business, usually Friday the week before exams and Friday at the end the first exam week. If more than one quiz is missed or failed the score on a comprehensive exam covering Quiz #1, #2, and #3 material will replace the zeros or low scores.

Late Assignments

Some parts of projects require printed documents. These must be ready at the beginning of the class meeting when they're due. Projects that are not under the rubber-band at the beginning of class will be docked two points, then another point for every midnight passed until submitted.

The hands-on projects are scored from a snapshot taken after the posted deadline and from activity logged. Work submitted after the deadline will not be considered except if a student requests it. Review all your log entries and explain any flagged activity...

Getting an A

Take Notes: If you're not taking notes, you're denying yourself one of the most powerful tools for learning. 'Haptic connections' made as you convert words into symbols by moving a pencil, and maybe by rattling keys, make it easier to recollect details. Writing down any new words, assignments, or concepts in lecture or text helps form an empty 'gestalt' in your mind that can be filled in and completed as notes are reviewed and concepts are studied. When notes are reviewed the haptic connections facilitate the recollection of details when the notes were made. Note-taking is a strong demo of respect for a meeting and its participants and is always appropriate. The #1 predictor of a D or F in this course is if the student doesn't pay attention in class and never takes notes.

Thru the semester students that get As and Bs have shown me good to excellent skills in the tech and tools at hand, from CAD to the Command Line, have been good research assistants, and have written lots of correct stuff on their quizzes. They're respectful and attentive in class, take notes, appear to actually read the links and text on the class' page, show they can follow the instructions they read. Students who earn A almost always relate to me that everything they needed is in the links on this page plus a little googling, and that the links are backed up by lectures that point out what's important. A few of the students in INFO300 are IT Pros already, have certificates and/or jobs in IT, and they recognize that the subject matter is important for entering the field as IS Professionals.

Most of the Aces are earned by total noobs to the field, students who are hearing about IT Infrastructure and Security for the first time. They're likely to be at the head of the line for the few jobs available in IT in the next few years. I'm here trying to protect the value of their degree...


G Saunders,
Dept of Information Systems
VCU School of Business

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