CSCI100: Intro to Computers

Updated 2020-07-17

Syllabus     Catalog Description     BCU's Academic Integrity Statement     Email Guidelines     Grades Online     Windows Resources     Internet Resources     Word resources     PowerPoint Resources     Excel Resources     Email resources      Finals Schedule       Academic Calendar     Personal gradebook

Final Test:

8:00 class: Wed, 5/06/2020, 8:00-9:50.
9:00 class: Mon, 5/04/2020, 8:00-9:50.
All students are expected to take the final at the day and time scheduled for their class. Make travel plans accordingly.


My Zoom link:

·          Syllabus

·          BCU IT Competency: Requirement, Objectives

·          Getting Office: Office 365 University is now free. Go to It comes with a terabyte of storage on OneDrive.



Mon: XL1-2


Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


1. Basics


Changing Excel's Defaults

Cursor Movement & Shapes 

Cursor Movement

Data Entry and Editing 

Data Entry         Editing

Formatting Fonts 

Formatting Fonts

Formatting Alignment 

Formatting Alignment

Formatting Numbers 

Formatting Numbers

File/Print/Layout Commands 

File/Print/Layout Commands

2. Relative Cell References and Auto-fill


Toolbar functions 

Toolbar functions

Relative cell references

Relative references

Tue: Windows, the Internet

·          Interesting tech: the future of football?

·          OneDrive

·          Skills needed in the workplace, 2015-2020

·          How secure is your password? Check it. Don’t use these: Worst passwords.

·          Useful software: LastPass password manager. For Android. For iPhone.

·          Can you multitask? (no)

Homework due at class time Wednesday:

·          FREE homework assignment: This is an assignment: Computer experience survey, Word Processing skills survey, Spreadsheet skills survey. There is nothing to hand in. I will look at your survey online.

·          Class policies for assignments and tests (print a hard copy, READ, sign, and bring to next class).

·          Memorize Windows keyboard shortcuts (nothing to hand in) in preparation for a quiz next class. The quiz will begin promptly at the class starting time.

Windows, the Internet

·          Quiz over Windows keyboard shortcuts

·          Interesting tech: LastPass on iPhone

·          Interesting tech: What happens on the Internet in one minute

·          More security:

·          Can you tell if you are being phished? Phishing quiz.

·          Protect yourself: Quad9

·          Using the Briar Cliff Network

·          Windows: Windows 10

·          Using the Internet: Internet Resources

Homework due next class at class time:

·         Web scavenger hunt. Hand in a hard copy at class time. No drop box for this assignment.

·         Another free homework assignment: Add your pic to your Briar Cliff email: Go to web email, click on the picture placeholder on the far right (if you don't currently have a picture there, it will have your initials in it). From the drop-down menu, click on your initials (or current photo). When the Change Your Photo dialog box opens, click on the Upload a new photo link and upload a recognizable portrait of yourself (not an avatar or some celebrity or a shot of you on the football field). I am looking for a portrait like this (the head/face fills the circle—with such a small area, you need to zoom in on the face to be recognizable), not like this. Somebody should be able to recognize you by looking at the picture. There is no drop box for this, so send me an email when you are done before class time so I can see your picture.

Wed: XL3-4

Videos Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


3. Absolute and Mixed Cell References

Absolute cell references 

Absolute cell references

Mixed cell references

Mixed cell references

4. Database 1: Sorting and Auto-filtering

Creating a table


Single-key sort 


Multiple-key sort 

Filtering on text fields 


Filtering on numeric fields 

Thu: Word 1-2

Word 1. Short documents.

·          Interesting tech: Project Linda

·          Today's sample file

·          Today's links:


Web Pages

Customizing Word

Customizing Word

Views and Zoom

Views and Zoom

Page Orientation

Page Orientation



Navigation , Selection

Navigation and Selection



File commands and printing

Formatting characters

Formatting characters


Formatting paragraphs





Paragraph Spacing 


Line Spacing







General Word Processing Tips


Word Keyboard Shortcuts


·          Orpheum Calendar. Instructions. Unformatted File. Your result should look like this.
NOTE: I've had several questions about putting the dates in chronological order. While Word does have a limited ability to sort, the way to get the dates in order is to manually drag and drop the events in the correct order.

Word 2: Skills for writing a term paper

·          Interesting tech: Skype translator in the classroom

·          Today's files: Lincoln (find/replace), Red-Headed League (find/replace), Christmas Carol.

·          Today's links:


Web Pages

Creating a cover page

Creating a cover page

Headers and footers



Creating and editing


Inserting page numbers


Inserting the current date

Citations and bibliographies

Citations and bibliographies


Adding a Works Cited list


Endnotes and Footnotes


Citing electronic references

Bulleted Lists

Bulleted Lists

Numbered Lists

Numbered Lists


Checking spelling and grammar

Homework due Monday, 3/30/2020 at class time:

·          The Planets. Instructions. Unformatted file. The first three pages of your document should look like this.

Mon: XL5-6

Videos Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


5. Charts

Bad examples 

Bad chart examples

Good examples 

Good chart examples

Creating a column chart 

Charts overview

Formatting a chart 

Creating a line chart 

Creating a pie chart 

XY charts 


6. Making Decisions, part 1: Logical Tests and Logical Functions

Logical Tests 

IF, part 1     IF, part 2






IFS Nested IF 




Tue: Word 3-4

Word 3. Positioning text with tabs & tables

·          Interesting tech: Biometrics

·          Interesting tech: OneNote

·          Tabs sample data file

·          Table sample data file

·          Today's links:


Web Pages

Page breaks

Page breaks

Line breaks

Line breaks

Column breaks

Column breaks




Fixing a problem with Word tab defaults

Left tab stops


Right tab stops


Center tab stops


Decimal tab stops


Tabs and dot leaders




Creating a table


Table Styles


Table Shading


Table Borders


Changing Table Structure


Re-sizing table cells


Aligning text in a table cell


Homework due next class:

·          Web Hosting. Instructions. Unformatted file. Your result should look like this.

·          This is a free homework assignment. Add a profile picture to your BrightSpace account before class time on Wednesday. Hint: click on the picture placeholder at the top right. Your picture must be a portrait (your face is more than half of the height of the total image). Passport photo requirements. There is no drop box, and no need to notify me when you have added your picture. It will show in BrightSpace.

Wed: XL Test #1, Programming

Thu: Word 5-6

Pics, text boxes, WordArt, etc.

·          Interesting tech: A cool "printer"

·          Interesting tech: Apple patent application

·          Picture tools: Desert (remove sky), overexposed (fix exposure), underexposed (fix exposure)

·          Today's links:


Web Pages

Text boxes

Text boxes

Pictures, part 1


Pictures, part 2

The Format Ribbon

Smart Art

Smart Art

The alignment videos below describe alignment of any object that you can insert in Word: pics, SmartArt, text boxes, WordArt, etc.

Alignment: relative to margins or page

Alignment, part 1

Alignment: relative to other objects

Alignment, part 2



Water marks

Water marks





WordArt, old style

WordArt, old style

Homework due next class:

·          Roger Williams Concert. Instructions. Create from scratch. Your result should look similar to this.

Word 6: Newsletter skills

·         Interesting tech: Computers in medicine

·         Interesting tech: Monitor innovations    

·         Sample file: Alice in Wonderland

·         Today's Links:


Web Pages

Characters, paragraphs, sections

Changing columns/orientation for a part of your document

Characters, paragraphs, sections

Page borders

Page borders

Drop caps

Drop caps

Creating Columns

Creating Columns

Column breaks

Column breaks


Free templates


Free fonts

Homework due next class:

·          Pi News. Instructions. Create from this file. Your result should look like this (your shading may vary).

Mon: XL 7-8

Videos Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


7. Database 2: Pivot Tables


Pivot Tables





Field Settings 

Grouping by Intervals




8. 3D Workbooks


3D Workbooks

Formatting 3D workbooks 

3D Formulas 





Tue: Word 7-8

Word 7: Styles and themes

·          Interesting tech: Project x-ray

·          Today's sample files: Styles: User's Guide, Template: BCU Letterhead, Table of contents, index: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Web pages

Characters, paragraphs, sections


Styles and Themes



Finding document elements

Inserting a table of contents

Inserting a table of contents

Inserting an index

Homework due Wednesday, 4/15/2020 (Monday is Easter Monday):

·          Instructions. Use this file. Your result should look like this.

Wed: XL 9-10

Videos Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


9. Making Decisions, part 2: VLOOKUP and Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting 

Conditional formatting

VLOOKUP, Part 1 


VLOOKUP, Part 2 


10. Database 3: Advanced Filters and Functions

Advanced Filters, part 1 

Advanced filters

Advanced Filters, part 2 


Database functions









Thu: PPT 1-2

PowerPoint 1.

·          Interesting tech: Today's robots

·          PowerPoint Resources for homework (some of the videos are for PowerPoint 2016, but they still apply to PowerPoint 2019)

Creating a new slideshow


Adding slides



Slide show


Slide show

The Design tab


Adding bulleted lists and numbered lists


Adding author notes


Adding pictures


Adding picture effects


Aligning slide elements




Themes and the Design tab


Checking spelling, use thesaurus


Homework due Monday, 4/27/2020:

·          Volcano Tour. Instructions. Begin with this template. Use this pic. Result should look like this.

PowerPoint 2

·          Interesting tech: flea, Sophia

·          PowerPoint Resources for homework

Text boxes: styles, formatting shapes, text




Adding SmartArt


Adding Shapes


Animate a slide show


Charts, creating and formatting


Tables, creating


Tables, formatting


Master slides


Inserting videos


PowerPoint: What NOT to do


Mon: XL 11-12

Videos Watch videos in full screen and HD (1040)


11. Dates and Times

Date Serial Numbers 

Date Functions: TODAY, NOW 



Date functions

Time Serial Numbers 

Time Functions

12. Financial Functions

·          Interesting links: Ben Franklin, Compound Interest, 8th wonder of the world, Average annual stock market return, The millionaire next door

·          Excel Resources

·          Financial functions template

·          Interesting spreadsheet

The example videos use the samples file




Future Value (FV)

PMT (Loan) 

Loan Payment (PMT)

PMT (Savings) 

Savings Payment (PMT)

PV (Loan) 

Loan PV

PV (Savings) 

Savings PV

PV (Lottery) 

Lottery PV

Rate (Loan) 

Loan Rate (RATE)

Rate (Savings)

Savings Rate (RATE)

NPER (Loan) 

Loan time to pay off (NPER)

NPER (Savings)

Savings time to goal (NPER)



Tue: PPT 3

Wed: XL Test #2

Thu: Word Test, PPT Test





Final "Homework" assignment due by noon on Friday, May 1:

Click on the links below and complete all three questionnaires. This is an assignment. If you answer all questionnaires, you will get 100 on the final assignment. If not, you will get a 0. Please consider answering the long questions on the Bright Space questionnaire.

·          Word Post Questionnaire.

·          Excel Post Questionnaire.

·          Evaluation: On BrightSpace.

Earlier classes are below…












·          Useful Chrome extension



Day #02. Monday, 1/27/2020.

Day #03. Wednesday, 1/29/2020. XL 1. Formatting

·          Interesting tech: a "knowledge engine": Wolfram Alpha, examples

·          Useful software: Reader View add-on for Chrome

·          BCU Email: Using Briar Cliff Email from the web, Emailing guidelines, email on your iPhone, email on your Android phone

·          Survey results

·          Excel playlist

·          Excel Resources

·          Sample file

·          Drop boxes

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Excel formatting: Basketball box score. Instructions. Data file. Your result should look like this.

Day #04. Monday, 2/03/2020. XL 2. Formulas, Functions, and Relative Cell References

·          Interesting TV tech from CES: LG Rollable TV, LG waterfall, Samsung 219" TV

·          Using Help in Office 2019

·          Excel Resources

·          Samples file

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Excel formulas: Payroll Instructions. Data file. Result should look like this.

Day #05. Wednesday,2/05/2020. XL 3. Formulas with Absolute/Mixed Cell References

·          Dell's foldable laptop prototype from CES2020

·          Bright Space: Download graded Excel homework and check grades.

·          Excel Resources

·          Sample file. Go to the 3.1 Budget worksheet (its tab is orange).

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Sales. Instructions. Data file. Your file should look like this.

Day #06. Monday, 2/10/2020. XL 4. Databases: Sorting and Filtering

·          Interesting tech: Galaxy Fold

·          Check grades.

·          Excel Resources

·          Sample file: Advising.txt

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Sorting and filtering: Iowa Counties. Directions are in the workbook.

Day #07. Wednesday, 2/12/2020. XL 5. Charts

·          Interesting tech: 200 countries, 200 years

·          Excel Resources

·          Sample file. Go to the 5.1 Football worksheet.

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Charts. Create your charts from scratch.

Day #08. Monday, 2/17/2020. XL 6. Logical Functions

·          First test is Monday, 2/24/2020 over Excel topics 1-6.

o    Review: Practice test. Spreadsheet solution. Video solution: part 1, part 2.

·          Interesting tech: Ambulance drones

·          Excel Resources

·          Samples file

Homework due next class at class time:

·          Logical functions: Computing pay. Instructions. Data file.

Day #09. Wednesday, 2/19/2020. XL 7. Databases: Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts

·          First test is Monday, 2/24/2020, over Excel topics 1-6.

o    Review: Practice test. Spreadsheet solution. Video solution: part 1, part 2.

·          Interesting tech: Amazon Go (video). Amazon Go opens Chicago store 9/17/2018 (news story).

·          Excel Resources

Homework due Wednesday, 2/26/2020:

·          Pivot tables. Orders. Instructions are in the Data File.

Day #10: Monday, 2/24/2020. Test

Day #11. Wednesday, 2/26/2020. XL 8: 3D Workbooks

·          Test results, Personal gradebook

·          Interesting tech: Raspberry Pi 3.

·          Useful software: Belarc Advisor: inventories your computer hardware and software

·          Excel Resources

Homework due next class:

·          3D Workbooks: Sales and returns by city. Instructions. Excel File.

Day #12. Monday, 3/09/2020. XL 9. VLOOKUP, another way to make decisions

·          Interesting tech: Seeing AI

·          Excel Resources

Homework due next class:

·          Auto insurance premiums with VLOOKUP: Instructions. Data file.

Day #13. Wednesday, 3/11/2020. XL 10. Databases: Advanced Filters and "D" Functions

·          Interesting tech: Fake video

·          Excel Resources

Homework due next class:

·          Advanced Filters, "D" functions: Sales (instructions are included in the spreadsheet).

Homework due Wednesday, April 22, 2020:

·          Financial functions. Use the template.

Day #22. Wednesday, 4/22/2020. Homework due Wednesday, 4/29/2020

·          Vikings: Instructions. Starting file. Video. Your result should look like this.

Homework due next class

Day #xx. Monday, 3/23/2020. Programming!

Review for Excel test:

Homework due (Monday, 3/30/2020):

Take a screen shot (press the PrtScr key). This will copy it to the clipboard. Open a Word document. Paste your image from the clipboard into your Word document. Save and submit the Word document in the drop box.

Day #xx. Monday, x/xx/xxxx. PowerPoint 3.

Homework due next class:

Practice tests

Final Test

Monday, 4/13/2020: Easter break












Bell ringers


·          Bud logs in


Augmented reality

·          Interesting tech: Volvo and Hololens

·          Interesting tech: Getting started with Hololens

·          Interesting tech: Augmented Reality (IKEA)


·          Interesting tech: Amazon's robots

·          Interesting tech: Humanoid robots

·          Interesting tech: Robot swarm

·          Interesting tech: Androids


·          Interesting tech: Apple pencil

·          Interesting tech: Surface Pro

·          Interesting tech: Raspberry Pi Zero


·          Interesting tech: Space-X, May 2016. Space-X, May 2016 Day landing

·          Interesting tech: Space-X.

Language translation

·          Interesting tech: Star Trek: Universal translator

·          Interesting tech: Skype: Universal translator

·          Interesting tech: Black Friday.

·          Interesting tech: Star Trek is here!


·          Interesting tech: Flying with Oculus Rift

·          Interesting tech: Virtual Reality in medicine


·          Interesting tech: Singlecue

·          Interesting tech: 3D Printing

·          Interesting tech: Flexible LEDs

·          Interesting tech: 3D printer in action, 3D printer products

·          Computer Hardware

·          Computer myths from TV and the movies

·          Inexpensive smart phone

·          Johns Hopkins closes medical library

·          Pope Benedict vs. Pope Francis: Change in cell phone use in 8 years. Pic

·          Ten things everybody should know how to do in a word processor.

·          Top 5 soon-to-be-obsolete technologies

·          Interesting tech: Samsung batteries

·          Interesting tech: Transformer

Useful software

* Norton Eraser

*       Pixlr: Online photo editor

·          LastPass: password manager. Also: DashLane

·          Audacity: powerful audio editor

· powerful photo editor

·          Office Lens

·          Office online, Office on your phone

·          Awesome Internet application: OneDrive

·          Other search engines: Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, Blekko

·          Free computer security. Don't pay for it.

·          PhotoStory

·          IrfanView

·          Libre Office

·          Lightworks (video editor)

·          Windows 10 User Interface, Windows 10 Edge browser