Computer Science (COMP) 210

Introduction to Information Systems and Computer Applications (Revision 7)

COMP 210 Course website

Revision 7 is closed for registrations, see current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)*

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: Some basic competence in Windows**

Precluded Course: None

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

COMP 210 is not available for challenge.

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*Note: This course is offered online using Moodle. Online activities include interaction with your tutor or learning facilitator and other students, participation in forums for online discussions between instructors and other students, and using the library, digital reading rooms, and other research resources available on the Internet. You must have access to specific computer hardware and software components. For information on course start dates and registration deadlines, refer to the online calendar.

**Note: Students who are concerned about not meeting the prerequisites for this course are encouraged to contact the course coordinator before registering


COMP 210: Introduction to Information Systems and Computer Applications is designed as a three-credit course on fundamentals of information systems for students who are not planning to major in information systems. The course will cover basic hardware concepts; the structure, or architecture, of computers; the software hierarchy from systems software to application programs; and information systems concepts and development at more basic level than COMP 200.

Learning Objectives

Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • describe the evolution, history, and development of electronic computers, microprocessors, and microcomputers.
  • identify and describe the roles of computers in manufacturing processes, business-information systems, and information systems.
  • describe the transition from an industrial society towards a more information-based society.
  • describe the types of careers available in information technology.
  • describe and explain information processing.
  • describe and explain basic computer components and functions, operating systems, database management systems and traditional applications, networks, and the Internet.
  • list and discuss societal trends and new developments resulting from computing innovation.
  • identify and describe legal, social, educational, and communication issues related to increased Internet use in the home, workplace, and society.
  • describe e-commerce, mass customization, and the effect of online business communications in today's business world.
  • perform basic operations with, and use key functions and features of MS Office.
  • create a web page.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students should be able to more effectively use their computers as tools for business, entertainment or study, and should have a more complete and detailed understanding of the role computers play in our daily lives. Students should also be better able to use the Internet and WWW as a research and information-sharing resource.


COMP 210 is composed of the following eight units.

  • Unit 1 – Overview and Introduction to Computers
  • Unit 2 – Hardware and Software
  • Unit 3 – The Internet and World Wide Web
  • Unit 4 – Network and Internet Security
  • Unit 5 – Computer Security and Privacy
  • Unit 6 – Intellectual Property and Computer Ethics
  • Unit 7 – Health, Access and Environmental Issues
  • Unit 8 – Emerging Technologies


To receive credit for COMP 210, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent), on the course Portfolio which combines Projects 1-8 and the Learning Resources Conference activity. The course has no examinations.

Activity Weighting
Project 1 10%
Project 2 10%
Project 3 10%
Project 4 10%
Project 5 10%
Project 6 10%
Project 7 10%
Project 8 10%
Learning Resources Conference Participation 20%
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.

The Study Guide and some supplemental materials for COMP 210 are in electronic format. The course materials also include the etext Understanding Computers in a Changing Society (6th edition) by Deborah Morley, from which the majority of the required readings are drawn.

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.

Special Course Features

Delivery of COMP 210 is based on electronic materials formatted for online delivery and on computer mediated communications. The student must have an ISP connection supporting a graphical user interface, a working email account, and must be able to use email to register. Students are required to have their own copy of Microsoft Office.

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 7, February 5, 2016.

View previous syllabus