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INFS 4900 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

INFS 4900 - Seminar in Business Data Communications

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course Introduces business data communications terminology and concepts.

These concepts include:

  • the examination of data communication topologies
  • network design and management
  • data communication hardware, software, and standards
  • the internet
  • e-business applications
Course Outcomes:
  • to teach students the fundamentals of data communications concepts;
  • to stimulate student interest in the field of data communications, the Internet, and e-business;
  • to encourage creative thinking in the applications of data communication networks;
  • to help students become more aware of the types of communications networks used in the business world;
  • to encourage independent study in the data communications field. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

 PTMA 3020. This course may be taken concurrently and provides an understanding of the basics of business information systems components, concepts and vocabulary. Basic computer skills are needed.

Course Topics:
  • Introduction to computer networks and data communications
  • Fundamentals of data and signals
  • Conducted and wireless media
  • Making connections
  • Making connections efficient: multiplexing and compression
  • Errors, error detection, and error control
  • Local area networks: the basics
  • Introduction to metropolitan area networks and wide area networks
  • The Internet
  • Voice and data delivery networks
  • Network security
  • Network design and management 
Specific Course Requirements:

Knowledge of any software packages beyond the requirements of the Regents Online Degree Program is not necessary. Students are expected to use e-mail to correspond with the instructor and submit assignments. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Other material may be assigned throughout the course. Typically this will be library/research assignments. 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

You will be expected to take a number of practice quizzes throughout the term. These will be clearly identified as practice quizzes and will not count toward your final grade. You will have 20 minutes and 5 attempts for each practice quiz.

You will also be required to take 6 graded exams including a comprehensive final exam. The graded exams will consist of multiple choice and/or true/false questions and will be taken and graded on- line. The lowest exam grade will automatically be dropped. No late exams will be accepted for this reason! You will have 60 minutes and 1 attempt for each exam. 

ExamChapters Covered
Exam 1Chapters 1, 2, & 3
Exam 2Chapters 4 & 5
Exam 3Chapters 6 & 7
Exam 4Chapters 9 & 10
Exam 5Chapters 11, 12, & 13
Exam 6 (Final Exam)Comprehensive (All Chapters Covered)
Grading Procedures:

The evaluation system is based on points. The required elements are based on the following point system. A total of 6 exams (100 points each), 6 assignments (100 points each), and 5 discussion forums (50 points each) will make up the graded items for the course. The lowest assignment and exam will automatically be dropped. No late submissions are accepted on any graded item related to the
course. The total possible graded points in the course are 1250.

Please note: ALL due dates can be found on the Course Calendar. 

6 Homework Assignments500 points
5 Discussion Forums250 points
6 Exams500 points
Grading Scale:
1125-1250 pointsA
1000-1124 pointsB
875-999 pointsC
750-874 pointsD
0-749 pointsF


Assignments and Projects:

You will be required to turn-in (using the D2L dropbox feature) 6 graded homework assignments. 

AssignmentAssignment Questions
Assignment 1

Chapter 1: Review Questions 1,7,8,9,&10 and Exercises 9,16,&17 

Assignment 2

Chapter 2: Review Questions 2,4,11,&12
Chapter 3: Exercises 7,8,&9 

Assignment 3

Chapter 4: Review Questions 9,12,14,& 15
Chapter 5: Review Questions 1,3,&7 and Exercise 1 

Assignment 4

Chapter 6: Exercises 12,13,&22
Chapter 7: Review Questions 1,4,9,13,&22 

Assignment 5

Chapter 9: Review Questions 1,8,9,10,&19
Chapter 10: Review Questions 2,3,4,5,8,&18 

Assignment 6

Chapter 11: Review Questions 11,12,18,&19
Chapter 12: Review Questions 14,17,&29
Chapter 13: Review Questions 1,10,&17 


Class Participation:

Participation in the discussion forums provided in the following table is expected and graded as part of the course. Thoughtful comments and responses are required on the discussion forums. Quality will be graded!!! Please follow the general guidelines provided under the Discussions section in D2L (General Information Forum / Discussion Rules). Each discussion forum will contain multiple discussion questions pertaining to the material covered. Each forum is worth 50 points for a total of 250 points. 

Discussion ForumTopics Covered in Discussion Forum
Discussion Forum 1

Network Models; Broadband Wireless 

Discussion Forum 2

USB; Multiplexing 

Discussion Forum 3

Project Failures; IEEE LAN Standards 

Discussion Forum 4

Criminals or Heroes; Facebook 

Discussion Forum 5

Future of Local and Long Distance Telephone Systems;
Security and Privacy; Experience and College Degrees


Late Policy:

It is the student’s responsibility to submit all assignments by the date indicated on the Course Calendar. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021