Course Syllabus

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus are subject to change. Instructors will notify students of any changes and students will be responsible for abiding by them. Even if you print this syllabus, please check the online version often.


IST 210: Organization of Data (3 credits) - Introduction to concepts of databases including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data and related issues.

Online IST 210 brings databases to life with a unique approach that focuses not only on constructing databases and using database tools, but also the implications of data uses and issues. This is an introductory course used to teach the fundamentals and basic principles of databases and their related technologies. Throughout this course, students will explore the areas that are fundamental to the design, development, and implementation of enterprise-wide information systems. Throughout their exploration, students will develop an understanding of the social, ethical, and legal issues surrounding such implementations.

Goals for the course include:

  • Provide an introduction to databases and database technologies
  • Provide the steps of the database creation process
  • Demonstrate the fundamentals of SQL
  • Present issues relating to database management and administration
  • Understand the implications and future directions of databases and database technologies

Note: Individual lessons objectives come from the corresponding chapters in the course textbook.


  • IST 110 is recommended as preparation for IST 210


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of data, databases, and database management
  • Describe the various types of databases and database management systems
  • Create a conceptual database design
  • Refine a conceptual database design
  • Implement a database design
  • Design SQL queries that will be used to create and manipulate data from within a database
  • Describe how database data is stored
  • Discuss the major issues revolving around database management systems
  • Explain the role of a database administrator
  • Discuss the major uses and issues around using databases
  • Summarize how the World Wide Web utilizes databases
  • Identify future trends in database management systems



All course-related email, including messages to your instructor(s) and fellow students should be sent within Canvas, using the Inbox. Every attempt will be made for the instructor (or a substitute) to respond to email questions within 24 hours.

Additional instructor information can be found by selecting People and then the Teacher name.


  • Coronel, C. & Morris, S. (2018) Database Systems: Design, Implementation, & Management (13th ed.) Boston: Cengage Learning. ISBN  978-1337627900
  • Please make sure you have the correct text

Assignments & Grading

Course Grading Breakdown
Grading Category Percentage of Final Grade
Labs  40%
Chapter Assessments 30%
Group Project 20%
Final Exam 10%

Course Grading Scale

The following are minimum cutoffs for each grade:

  • 93.00% = A
  • 90.00% = A-
  • 87.00% = B+
  • 83.00% = B
  • 80.00% = B-
  • 77.00% = C+
  • 70.00% = C
  • 60.00% = D
  • less than 60.00% = F

Course Policies and Expectations

  • Logging into Canvas - Students are expected to login regularly to check for course updates, announcements, emails, discussions, etc.
  • Emailing through Canvas - Students are expected to use Canvas for all course email communication.
  • Attending virtual meetings - Students are expected to use specified virtual meeting tool(s) for collaboration, meetings, presentations, etc., as needed.

Late Policy

  • Late work is accepted for up to a day after the deadline for any assignment, at a 50% deduction. Anything turned past 24 hours after the deadline will receive an automatic 0.
  • You are encourage to message me early if you need an accommodation. I will not accept any extension requests within 24 hours of a deadline (except with a valid University excuse).

WinLabs and Deadlines

  • Please note that with many of lab assignments you have two weeks (if not more) to complete the assignments. Experiencing WinLabs difficulties is not a valid excuse for missing a lab assignment -- start them earlier to account for the possibility of WinLab issues.

Group Project Expectations - Slackers Beware

  • Participation in the group project is mandatory.
  • If you choose not to participate in the group project, or have to be removed from your group because of non-engagement, the highest grade you can earn in this class will be a C.
    • You do not get to not participate in projects in a professional environment -- consider this to be similar.

Academic Integrity

Penn State and the College of Information Sciences and Technology are committed to maintaining Penn State's policy on Academic Integrity in this and all other courses. We take academic integrity matters seriously and expect you to become a partner to the University/College standards of academic excellence.

For more information, please review these policies and procedures:

While utilizing additional sources outside of this class is encouraged for gaining a better understanding of course concepts, seeking explicit answers for graded assignments from outside sources (e.g. Course Hero, Chegg, tutoring services like, etc.) is considered CHEATING and will not be tolerated.  Sanctions range from failure of the assignment or course to dismissal from the University. Additionally, sharing course content without permission is a violation of copyright and may result in university sanctions and/or legal ramifications. Contact your instructor with questions related to this topic.  

University Policies

Review current information regarding various Penn State policies (such as copyright, counseling, psychological services, disability and military accommodations, discrimination, harassment, emergencies, trade names, etc.) on the University Policies page.

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated and can be reported through Educational Equity via the Report Bias webpage (


Find extensive information and links to many Penn State and IST resources (including the Penn State libraries, video conferencing tools, technology and software, writing and research help, and much more) on the Resources page.

Technical Requirements

Standard World Campus computer technical specifications are assumed for this course. Please test your computer for requirements. In addition, a webcam and a headset with a microphone are REQUIRED for the course. These may be used for virtual meetings, virtual office hours, interactions with classmates and your instructor, and group presentations - which are all conducted with virtual meeting tools. No special software is required.


The following schedule outlines the topics covered in this course, along with the associated time frames, readings, activities, and assignments. All due dates reflect Eastern Time (ET). Specifying the time zone ensures that all students have the same deadlines, regardless of where they live.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due