Required CIS class needs complete overhaul to be useful

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I don’t think it’s possible for one positive thought to enter my mind when I think of my CIS 1200 class.

   I understand the importance of the criteria covered in the class, but I struggle to comprehend its overall layout. 

   The class is difficult because of the extensive hours required to complete all the work, the lack of personal involvement by not meeting with an instructor, and the computer software not completely able to be used on any Mac computer.

   The concepts taught in CIS ought to be taught in smaller increments. Students are required to complete three to four projects each week, one to two concept lessons, and an exam every couple of weeks. 

   The class is a three-credit course, but it often requires more time than what a normal three-credit class should require. 

   On average, I spend at least 10-12 hours per week working on CIS homework, and I still don’t feel ready when the test comes around.


According to the class syllabus, “The course is a self-paced course that provides flexibility of schedule…” The term flexibility is misused in this statement because the CIS schedule is not open to flexibility at all. 

   In fact, I find myself in a state of panic a lot of the time because there is no wiggle room to get behind on assignments. 

   Deadlines place urgency on assignments, forcing students to get them done, but CIS crams too much information into too little of a time frame.

   In addition, it’s easy for some students to independently work their way through college with online classes, but for some students, like myself, it’s anything but easy.  I have a hard time in classes when I can’t communicate with the professor in person. 

   Communicating with an instructor only online is not as personal as talking face to face, nor is it as immediate. 

   The CIS department should make it an option to students to either work independently or with a live instructor.  Professors can make or break a class, and, for a course as tough as CIS, it would be helpful to have motivating professors who can move at a pace that is catered to the needs of their class.

   Another problem would be that it seems the most common computer owned by students on campus are Mac computers and other Apple products.

   Karlee Sprague, a junior general education major from Sandy, said: “It was so inconvenient.  I could do all my homework on my own computer and had to go out of my way to go to the library just to do CIS. I hated that it made me familiar with Word [Processing] on a PC, but I had to learn everything on my own with my Mac.”

   Having insufficient software that is only made for the school computers and computers with a PC makes it difficult for students who live far from campus or who travel often.   

   For example, it’s hard for DSU’s athletic teams. The course is designed to help students keep up with the rapidly changing technology, so why can’t they come up with software designed for students who own Mac computers?

   If the CIS instructors were able to fulfill a few of these suggestions, the class might not be anymore enjoyable, but it sure would be more bearable.