Computers and Management Information Systems (CMIS) 311

Supporting End-User Computing (Revision 6)


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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

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

Prerequisite: None. Students are expected to have experience using Microsoft Office products before starting this course. Those wishing to upgrade their Office skills may take CMIS 245 instead. Some basic knowledge of either HTML or the use of an online web-building tool is required for Assignment 1. Tutorials on basic web page creation using HTML are provided. Business program students: This course does not meet the prerequisite requirement for CMIS 351; see CMIS245. Contact an advisor for assistance in determining prerequisite eligibility.

Centre: Faculty of Business

CMIS 311 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Note: You must have a version of Microsoft Office that contains all of the programs you will be using in this course: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (Office 365, Office 2013 or older).


CMIS 311 is a three-credit, senior-level course that aims to introduce the key concepts and methods of end-user support, including client service skills, troubleshooting methods, planning for and managing support and training, product and service evaluation, needs analysis, and management of facilities.


Unit 1 – Skills for End-User Support

  • Section 1 – Introduction to User Support
  • Section 2 – Customer Service Skills
  • Section 3 – Writing for End Users
  • Section 4 - Troubleshooting Computer Problems
  • Section 5 – Common Support Problems

Unit 2 – Managing End-User Support

  • Section 1 – Help Desk Operation
  • Section 2 – User Support Management
  • Section 3 – Product Evaluation
  • Section 4 – Analyzing User Needs

Unit 3 – Organizational Needs of End-User Computing

  • Section 1 - Installing and Managing End-User Systems
  • Section 2 – Training Users
  • Section 3 – User Support Utilities


To receive credit for CMIS 311, you must complete all assignments and achieve an overall course grade of at least a D (50 percent). If it is necessary to improve your course mark, you may resubmit assignments for which you have received less than 50 percent. There are no examinations in this course. Weighting of each component is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Project 1 25%
Assignment 2: Project 2 25%
Assignment 3: Project 3 25%
Assignment 4: Portfolio 25%
Total 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.

Beisse, F. (2015). A guide to computer user support for help desk and support specialists (6th ed.). Boston: Course Technology, Cengage Learning. ISBN:  9781285852683

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.

Special Course Features

This course and the learning activities within it have been designed specifically for use with a version of Microsoft Office that contains all of the programs you will be using in this course: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (Office 365, Office 2013 or older).

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

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CMIS 311 challenge registration, you must complete three assignments and achieve a minimum grade of D (50 percent) on each assignment.

The assignments are based on activities from the textbook, therefore you must acquire a copy of the textbook in order to complete the challenge requirements. The cost of the textbook is approximately $144 plus shipping costs. To confirm the cost or order the textbook, email or phone 1-800-788-9041 ext 6366.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 6, March 6, 2015.

View previous syllabus