spinning earth   AGRI 002 Syllabus, Spring 2006
 Foundations: Information Technology
AGRI  002  (3 Credits) 
Dr. Jonathan Leonard
Spring Semester 2006
208H Morrill Hall, UVM
Section A (11731) Tuesday, 2:00-3:15 p.m., 101 CC Theater
Section B (11733) Thursday, 2:00-3:15 p.m., 101 CC Theater
x62979 (w) 434-3787 (h)  

General Course Goals:  To prepare students with a solid foundation of information technology skills and knowledge to enable them to use current and future software and hardware.

Specific Course Objectives:   Upon passing AGRI 002 students will:

1.  Become familiar with information technology hardware including types of computers and telecommunication hardware.
2. Understand the role of Operating Systems and demonstrate knowledge of UNIX, and Windows XP.
3. Demonstrate file and folder management on PC, disk, memory stick, and zoo home server directory and backup server directory.
4. Detect and elimination of Computer Viruses & Spyware and protect your PC with fire-wall software.
5. Demonstrate proficiency with electronic communication: e-mail, etiquette, emoticons, attachments, and signature files.
6. Be familiar with the WebCT environment and post journal entries.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in presentation graphics applications by giving a presentation in front of a class.
8. Demonstrate proficiency in word processing applications including tab formatting, inserting symbols, hanging indents, and citing references for images and ideas.
9. Demonstrate proficiency in converting between decimal and binary numbers.
10. Demonstrate proficiency in spreadsheet and graphing applications.
11. Understand and demonstrate how to present and interpret data in graphic form including basic descriptive statistics.
12. Understand what a peer-reviewed publication is, and the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary data.
13. Demonstrate finding reliable, credible sources of information on the web, and printed paper sources in the University library stacks.
14. Find useful data on the Internet, be critical of those data, and interpret those data.
15. Demonstrate knowledge of data classification (Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, etc.).
16. Understand and interpret X Y scatter plots, box plots, histograms, population pyramids, and choropleth maps.
17. Create World Wide Web Pages using HTML code and publish on the web using the zoo webserver.
18. Understand the history and legacy of computing.
19. Appreciate the utility, benefit and limitations of computers and information technology.
20. Improve writing skills.

Required Texts and Readings

Textbook: Graphing Statistics & Data by Anders Wallgren, Britt Wallgren, Rolf Persson, Ulf Jorner, Jan-Aage Haaland.  1996.  Sage Publications, Inc.  ISBN 0-7619-0599-5 (Paperback)

Office Hours  Dr. Leonard's regular office hours are Tuesday mornings, 8:15 - 10:15.  It's best to make an appointment, although if you drop in I will make time for you if I possibly can.  Get your TA's phone number and e-mail address at your first lab meeting.  Phone numbers are listed in the LABS.  Send your TAs an e-mail message or give us a call.  If you can't reach Dr. Leonard or a TA and you need to speak with one of us after hours, don't hesitate to call us at home (before 9:00 pm please).  

Attendance  You are expected to come to all lecture and lab classes and be in your seat on time.   Unexcused absences of either lecture or lab will lead to at least a 1% reduction in your final grade for each absence.  Absences are excused only in cases of sickness (Physician's note), death in your immediate family, or other extreme documented circumstances.  In such circumstances, notify the CALS Deans office (Rose Laba, rlaba@uvm.edu, 656-0289), Dr. Leonard, and your lab TA within 24 hours of missing class.  

Class Behavior  Students are expected to have a positive attitude and to arrive to class a few minutes early and be in their seat when class time begins.  Only one person should be speaking during class at any time.  You will be asked to leave the class and you will loose at least one percent of your course grade each time you: 1. continue to talk while the recognized speaker is talking, 2. fall asleep during class, 3. read the newspaper or do other assignments not related to our class,  4. leave the class early without prior permission of the instructor,  5. talk on your cell phone during class,  6. are late for class.
    You are expected to come to class with a pen and notebook and to take notes.   It is appropriate and acceptable to raise your hand and ask questions during class.  You may eat food and drink water during class. 

Grading Policy
Lab Assignments
3 Exams (2 in lecture, 1 final)
WebCT discussion journal   5%
Attendance, participation, and attitude

Download grading template here.

Lab Assignments vary in point value; the Final Lab Project is worth 150 points, the other assignments vary from 10 to 50 points each.  Exceptionally creative work may earn a grade above the point value of the assignment.  Paper Lab assignments should be stapled together and handed in at the beginning of scheduled lab time.  YOUR NAME AND LAB SECTION SHOULD APPEAR ON ALL ASSIGNMENTS.  You may re-submit assignments for re-grading WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF THE DUE DATE (not accepted later); please include your old, already graded assignment, along with the re-done work.  The sooner you re-submit, the more generous your lab instructor will be in re-grading.  Save your graded homework assignments for one year after the course.

Lab Late Penalty and Resubmission:  Lab assignments are due at the beginning of lab.  If they are late, -10% the first week, -20% the second week, No Credit thereafter.  Lab assignments may be redone and resubmitted for re-grading within TWO WEEKS of the due date (not accepted later).

Exams: Exams will cover material from lecture, lab, and readings.  Questions will require students not only to be familiar with the material, but also to apply concepts, information, and skills they have learned to new problem situations.  Students must be on time for the exams, or they will lose points.  Any requests to take the exam at other than the scheduled time must be discussed with Dr. Leonard at least one week prior to the exam.  Only in cases of extreme emergency such as death in the family, extreme illness, or near fatal accident, are exams excused and re-taken.  In these cases students must contact their instructors within 24 hours of the exam.  Keep your old graded exams for one year after the course.

Attendance, participation, and attitude:  Five percent of your grade is determined by attendance, online discussion on WebCT, class participation (how you contributed to the class), and your attitude.  In order to earn full credit you must attend all the lectures and labs and contribute to the class in a positive way by helping other students and participating in class discussions.  Unexcused absences will result in a deduction of at least 1% of your course grade per unexcused absence.  Absences are excused only in cases of sickness (Physician's or Dean's Office note), death in the family, or other extreme circumstances.  In such circumstances, notify the Deans Office and your lecture and lab instructor within 24 hours of missing class.  You are expected to have a positive attitude in class and lab.  Being late to class, leaving early without notifying the instructor, hurtful or strong negative criticism of others, is not appropriate or welcome.  Whining or excessive complaining about this or any other UVM course is not appropriate in class.

What to post on WebCT Discussions:  Post thoughts or questions about our class or other classes or experiences you have had such as: readings, lab or lecture material, and life experiences that were interesting.  Postings about class-related material that is confusing, or makes you think of connections to other courses or experiences in your life, are welcome.  Post information technology related news you hear about.  Contact lab mates, or reply to their postings giving your own opinion or suggestions to questions they posted.  Organize study sessions or review of our class or other class material.  Constructive criticism or suggestions for future labs is welcome.

What not to post on WebCT Discussions:  Hurtful, thoughts or strong negative criticism of others in our class, are not welcome.  Whining or excessive complaining about this or any other UVM course is not appropriate.  Do not post about drinking, drugs, or sex.  

PLAGIARISM: It is expected that you will help your fellow students with techniques of computer use, but always hand in original work.  For example, if the assignment for the week was to create a population pyramid, you are expected to help students who are not as familiar as you with the use of the spreadsheet graphing software.  This does not mean that you can copy work or take it off the Internet without crediting it to the original source.  ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO HAND IN THEIR OWN ORIGINAL WORK.  Students have been severely penalized in the past for not following these instructions.  You must cite any information that is not common knowledge in any homework assignment.  See examples of what is plagiarism and what is not here.

Spring 2006 LECTURE Readings and Assignments  
Week beginnings:
Material Covered
Reading Due
Welcome!,  IT Knowledge Quiz, Lab Preview Power Point Presentation,  OS History Video.
Jan 23
Information Technology in Perspective:  Time Line 1, Anatomy of PC, Operating systems, OS History Video, Lab Preview FTP folder & file management.
Google article from Newsweek , How Search Engines work from Sci Am.  Use your UVMnet-ID (zoo login and password) to read online with Adobe Acrobat.
Jan 30
Types of computers. Anatomy of PC.  Units of Memory and Storage, . How Internet e-mail works.  Text Sections 1-2 (pages 0-16)
Feb 6
Lab Preview Pine on zoo. Difference between memory & storage.  Types of Data, Graphing Exercise 1,  OS History Video. Digital cameras from How Things Work ,   How digital cameras work from Sci Am .  Text Section 3 (pages 17-23)
Feb 13
Graph Exercise 1 Review, Anti-Virus strategies, Binary Numbers.  First Exam Review. Lab Preview Resume construction. Class Histogram. CD Players,   Sound coded as bits. Laser Printers, Scanners, Optical character readers.  Text Sections 4-6 (pages 24-45)
Feb 20 First Exam!  You must be on time for class or lose points!
Feb 27
Exam Return, Lab Preview spreadsheets Backup disk array.  Descriptive Statistics.  Converting Decimal to Binary numbers.  Graph Exercise 2, Digital thermometers and scales, Analog to digital converters, Digital to analog converters  Text Section 7-8 (pages 46-53)
March 6
Note Tuesday lecture will meet even though it is Town Meeting Day! ASCII code, Binary used in Images.  Graphing Exercise 2 Review.   History of the Internet Video. Voyager II article, Sci. Am. Nov. 1986 Use your zoo login name and password to view online
March 13
Protocol and packets.  Primary, Secondary, Tertiary data.  Lab Preview web pages.  Graph Practice Three.  History of the Internet Video. How Hackers Break In  Sci. Am. October 1998. Use your zoo login name and password to view online, The Zombie Hunters (New Yorker, Oct 10, 2005)
March 20
Spring Break, No lectures, No labs this week.
March 27
Second Exam!   You must be on time for class or lose points Optical fibers , Competing technologies for broad band home access.  Text Sections 9-10 (pages 54-63)
April 3
Exam Return.  Packet error checking algorithms. Modems.  Graph Practice Three Review.  Lab Preview Final Lab Project.  History of the Internet Video Keyboards, How roller mice work,  How roller and optical mice work, How touch pads work, How active-matrix screens work.  Text Sections 11-13 (pages 74-87)
April 10
Physical Media. TCP/IP stack, Modems (how they work), History of the Internet Video. RFID Tags, RFID in Passports?,and VerichipsText Sections 14-15 (pages 88-91)
April 17
Index vs no Index.html.  Class Evaluations & Surveys,   Exporting Harm video. Study all readings above for Final Exam!
April 24
Last Lecture: Buying a computer system: Mice & Keyboards, Monitors. Current pricing and components. History of Internet video finish.   Study all readings above for Final Exam!
Tuesday Section Final Exam: 04:00 PM - 07:45 PM, Thursday May, 11, CC Theater 101 Prepare yourself!
Thursday  Section Final Exam: 08:00 PM - 10:45 PM, Tuesday May, 09, CC Theater 101 Prepare yourself!

Spring  2006 LAB Schedule and Assignments:
January 16 Note: Labs Begin January 24, the second week of classes
January 23 [DUE: At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
Prepare an 4-5 minute PowerPoint slide presentation of your first year at UVM.  Include where you came from before UVM (home town, family, interests), why you came to UVM, how your first year at UVM has been, and future plans.  (50 points)
January 30 [ DUE: 4-5 Minute Power Point presentation, 50 Points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
February 6 [ DUE:  At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ] Using the Operating System learn elementary WindowsXP commands including how to FORMAT diskettes, Create Folders and COPY files from the Hard disk to the diskette, and BACKUP your diskette.  Learn to use the text editor notepad/wordpad. Learn to transfer files to and from your zoo account with FTP.  Understand the file structure on the PC and on zoo.  Create a PCBackup folder on zoo.  Due next Week: 1. Printout of your diskette directory and your zoo PCBackup directory, 2. Printout of the text file you created explaining your previous computer experience and what you want to get out of AGRI 196, 3. Printout of SSH FTP window showing your PCBackup directory on zoo and your backed up files.  (20 Points)
February 13  [ DUE: PRINT OUT OF YOUR WORKING DISKETTE DIRECTORY, ZOO PCBACKUP DIRECTORY, & TEXT FILE, 20 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
Learn about zoo accounts and Webmail and how to connect to ZOO via  SSH telnet software and send email with pine. If you use another email client, forward your zoo account to your mail client.  Learn to copy a text file from your instructor’s zoo account; edit it, and insert it in an e-mail message.  Due next week: Send an e-mail message to your lab instructor including 1. The file copied from your lab instructor’s account where you have filled in the blank spaces, 2.  Your signature file, and 3. Attached .jpg image from ftp showing PCBackup directory on zoo. (30 Points)
February 20
Monday Lab students go to another lab just for this week because of Presidents Day.  [ DUE: E-MAIL TO YOUR LAB INSTRUCTOR, 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
Learn Antivirus software. Work on formatting challenges in Word.  Create  your resume in the format given here.  Upload your resume and e-mail it to your lab instructor as an attachment in Word format.  Due next Week:  Hard copy of your resume e-mailed as an attachment (30 points).

February 27 Note Tuesday Labs Meet! [DUE: e-resume and paper resume, 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor]
Learn to create an Excel spreadsheet with approximately 300 cells (30 rows X 10 Columns, or 10 rows X 30 Columns).  Due next Week:  Spreadsheet display formula, and an appropriate graph of some of the data from the spreadsheet printout.
March 6  [ DUE:, Spreadsheet display, formulas, and graph printout, 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
Learn to import the spreadsheet table and chart into Word.  Learn how to create a title page using MS-PowerPoint.  Due next Week: PowerPoint title page, a Printout from the word processor that contains: spreadsheet Table, Graph, and a discussion about the graph. Also you need to include had in a photocopy of the original data. (30 Points)

March 13  
[ DUE: PowerPoint title page, Spreadsheet table, graph, discussion, and original data, 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ] 
Learn to set up your own home page.  Due next Week: A print out of the web page and the HTML Source code.  Be sure to include the URL so your lab instructor can visit your page. (30 Points)
March 20-24 Spring Break, No lectures, no labs!
March 27  
[DUE: Web Page printout (with URL), source code. 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor ]
Create a new web page.  Learn to set up hyperlinks to other URLs and include pictures, tables, and email links in your new web page.  Include a cross- link to your resume. Due next week: Print your new  Web page (include URL), and source code. (30 points)

April 3  
[ DUE: New Web Page printout and source code, 30 points, At least one journal entry in WebCT discussion board for your lab, or e-mail to your lab instructor
Introduction to the FINAL LAB PROJECT :  View the web page of instructions given to you by your lab instructor.  Read the instructions carefully.  You may wish to print them.  FINAL LAB PROJECT EARLY DEADLINE: 22 April Friday,  (4 pm)

April 10   Work on Final Lab Projects
April 17 Work on Final Lab Project
April 24 LAST LABS! Work on Final Lab Project

Week Starting -----------> 30 Jan 6 Feb 13 Feb 20 Feb  27 Feb  6 March 13 March 27 March 3 April 10 April  17 April
Lab 1/PowerPoint Due -10% -20%/redo  

Lab 2/dir  
Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 3/email  

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 4/Resume  

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 5/Spreadsheet  

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 6/pptCover/Word/Excel  

Due -10% -20%/redo

Lab 7/Web 1  

Due -10% -20%/redo
Lab 8/Web 2  

Due -10%

Final Lab Project Due Dates:
Early +10% Bonus Due Date: Friday April 21, 4pm
Due: Friday April 28, 4pm.   If late, -5% per day including Saturday and Sunday.
Absolute Deadline: Friday May 5, 4pm (-35%).  Projects will not be accepted after this deadline