INFS 4900

Seminar in Data Communications


Course Information

Course Description:

  • Introduction to business data communications terminology and concepts to include the examination of data communication topologies; network design and management; data communication hardware, software, and standards; the internet; and e-business applications.

Course Objectives:

  • To teach students the fundamentals of data communications concepts
  • To stimulate student interest in the field of business data communications, the Internet, and E-Business
  • To encourage creative thinking in the applications of data communication networks
  • To help students become more aware of the types of communications networks used in the business world
  • To encourage independent study in the data communications field
Prerequisites and Corequisites:
  • Managing Information Technology (PTMA 3020).  This course may be taken concurrently and provides the student with an understanding of the basics of business information systems components, concepts, and vocabulary.
  • Students should possess basic computer skills.
Course Topics:
The following topics will be covered during this course:
  • Fundamentals of Data Communications
  • Communications Media, Servers, and Clients
  • Communications Equipment
  • Data Transmission
  • Communications Protocols
  • Network Concepts
  • Wide Area and Local Area Networks
  • Communications Services
  • Internet Concepts and Capabilities
  • Data Communications Management
Specific Course Requirements:
Knowledge of any software packages beyond the requirements of the Regents Online Degree Program is not necessary.  Students are expected to use e-mail to correspond with the instructor and submit assignments. 
Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements
Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course:

Supplementary Materials:
Other material may be assigned throughout the course.  Typically this will be library/research assignments.
Hardware Requirements:
The minimum hardware requirements can be found at  No additional hardware is needed for this course.
Software Requirements:
The minimum software requirements can be found at  No additional software is needed for this course.
Instructor Information
Please see the separate page inside the course to find instructor contact information as well as a statement of virtual office hours and other communication information.
Assessment and Grading
Testing Procedures:
You may expect to take a number of practice quizzes throughout the term.  These will be clearly identified as practice quizzes and will not count toward your final grade.  You will be required to turn-in, via e-mail, 6 graded homework assignments.  You will also be required to take 6 graded quizzes including the final quiz.  These quizzes will be of the same format as the practice quizzes and, like the practice quizzes, will be taken and graded on-line.
Grading Procedure:
Your final grade for the course will be based on 1100 points determined as follows:
  • Each of the 6 graded homework assignments is worth 100 points.  You will be allowed to drop the lowest homework grade therefore, homework will count 500 points toward the final grade.
  • Each of the 6 graded quizzes is worth 100 points.  You will be allowed to drop the lowest graded quiz grade, therefore graded quizzes will count 500 points toward the final grade.
  • Part of the success of a web-based course is the DISCUSSIONS you  participate in.  You will have a number of discussion opportunities throughout the term.  These will constitute 100 points of the final grade.  Your level of participation will determine the number of discussion points you receive.
  • LATE HOMEWORK & MISSED QUIZZES:   Because you will be allowed to drop one (1) graded homework and (1) graded quiz, make-up homework and make-up quizzes will not be given.   A missed homework/quizzes will count as zero (0) and be considered the lowest grade.
Grading Scale:
990 - 1100----A
880 -   989----B
770 -   879----C
660 -   769----D
    0 -   659----F
Assignments and Participation
Assignments and Projects:
  • Students are expected to take all quizzes and complete all homework assignments on time.

  • All dates and times associated with quizzes and homework assignments will be clearly posted on the course calendar. 

  • It is the student's responsibility to check the calendar and bulletin board on a regular basis to ensure she/he is on time with graded assignments and quizzes.

Class Participation:
  • There will be several class discussions via the electronic bulletin board set up for this class.
  • Each student is expected to actively participate in these discussions with meaningful comments, questions, observations, etc. 
  • Students are expected to communicate with the instructor as a learning resource; to check the course bulletin board frequently for announcements; and to actively participate in threaded discussion events. 
  • Discussion group participation is a subjective evaluation that counts 100 points toward the final grade.
  • Students are expected to meet any required deadlines on time.  ATTENTION:  This means that late homework and graded quizzes will not be accepted for grade.  All graded work must be completed on time to receive a grade.
  • Students are expected to be on time for any collaborative assignments or sessions.
Course Ground Rules
  • Copying/cheating will not be tolerated and will result in a grade of "F" for the course.
  • Missed or late assignments will not be accepted and will not receive credit unless agreed to by the instructor.
  • It is the student's responsibility to provide suitable documentation to the instructor before consideration of missed work will be given.
  • It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the instructor in advance of any problems or concerns concerning homework and/or quizzes.
  • All written assignments, homework, etc. must be typed or completed with a word processor.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all tests, assignments, and homework will be submitted electronically.
  • Students are expected to participate and communicate with each other in discussion sessions.
  • Students are expected to learn how to navigate within WebCT and will be required to use the e-mail service provided within WebCT.
  • Students are expected to immediately inform the instructor of any technical problems that prevents them from completing quizzes, assignments, and homework as scheduled.
Guidelines for Communications
  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members
Discussion Groups:
  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.
  • Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session.
  • Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements.
  • Be concise in responding to others in the chat session.
  • Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled time.
  • Be constructive in your comments and suggestion
Web Resources:


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 

Students With Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

ATTENTION: The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual e-mail communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Technical Support

Telephone Support:
If you are having problems logging into your course,
timing out of your course, using your course web site tools, or other technical problems, please contact the AskRODP Help Desk by calling

1-866-550-7637 (toll free)

or go to the AskRODP website at: