Computers and Management Information Systems (CMIS) 245

Microcomputer Applications in Business (Windows) (Revision 8)


Revision 8 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study** (check locations) - both options with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: CMIS 245 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for CMIS 301 and/or 302 (those students can register in CMIS 311).

**Note: Before registering in this course, review all Software Requirements

Faculty: Faculty of Business

CMIS 245 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Check availability

**Note: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


This course will help you develop the skills required to use microcomputer applications effectively in a business environment. Using a hands-on approach of "learning by doing," you will learn to use the Microsoft Office 2013 suite of products and develop skills in using software designed to meet today's business needs.

After completing this course, you will have achieved the following course objectives:

  • You will be familiar with concepts and terminology common to the following desktop business applications: word processing, spreadsheets, presentation managers, and database management systems.
  • You will be knowledgeable about and proficient in using Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint software.
  • You will have good knowledge of how the software may be used in common business situations.

The textbook is a comprehensive MS Office tutorial and reference, and it goes somewhat beyond the learning expectations of an introductory course; therefore, not all the chapters in the textbook are covered in the lessons. After you have gained some experience and proficiency in using the software through the lessons in this course, however, you will be able to continue learning and developing new skills independently.


This course has been organized into 12 lessons, as follows:

  • Lesson 1: Office Fundamentals
  • Lesson 2: Microsoft Word Basics
  • Lesson 3: Editing and Formatting in Word
  • Lesson 4: Tables and Merge Printing in Word
  • Lesson 5: Microsoft Excel Basics
  • Lesson 6: Excel Formulas and Functions
  • Lesson 7: Excel Charts
  • Lesson 8: Introduction to Microsoft Access
  • Lesson 9: Relational Databases and Multi-Table Queries
  • Lesson 10: Advanced Query Techniques
  • Lesson 11: Microsoft PowerPoint Basics
  • Lesson 12: Presentation Development


To receive credit for this course, you must complete four assignments and achieve a minimum grade of “D” (50 percent) on each assignment.

There are no examinations in this course.

The table below summarizes the evaluation activities in this course:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Assignment 4 Total
25% 25% 25% 25% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Poatsy, M. A. (Ed.). (2014). Exploring Microsoft Office 2013 (Vol. 1). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-13-314267-9

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Software Requirements

You must have a PC version of Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2013 that includes the four main applications: Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint (note that not all versions include Access). Due to the widening discrepancy between the Mac and PC versions of Office and the number of issues this creates for students and tutors, students will not be allowed to register in CMIS 245 with the intention of completing the course using a Mac computer.

As an AU student, you can purchase Office 365 at a special student price. To purchase the software, go to

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CMIS 245 challenge registration, you must complete four assignments and achieve a minimum grade of “D” (50 percent) on each assignment.

The assignments are based on activities from the course textbook, therefore you must acquire a copy of the textbook in order to complete the challenge requirements.  A copy of the textbook is available for purchase at a cost of approximately $60 via a Pearson website. A link to this site  will be provided once your challenge request has been approved.  You can also acquire a print textbook on your own if you wish.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Current Grouped Study Locations

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 8, February 27, 2014.

View previous syllabus