Module Outline

Operating System Essentials 

Program Outcomes:


Students who successfully complete the Network Administration program at Oulton College will leave the course with the ability to successfully build and deploy computer systems in a networked environment.  Students will become well-versed in the deployment and configuration of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008.  Students will learn how to setup a computer network and provide the services necessary to maximize the user experience.  Students will possess the troubleshooting skills necessary to identify system and network failures and remedy them.  Focus will also be given to taking the proper steps necessary to secure a computer system and a computer network.


Module Description:


Students will learn the skills necessary to install, configure, manage, and customize computers with the Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista client operating systems.  Students will also be introduced to foundation concepts in computer networking, computer security and customer service.


This module, in combination with the Core Hardware module, is designed to help prepare students for CompTIA’s A+ certification exams (220-701 and 220-702).


This module is 10 weeks in duration and is equivalent to 150 class hours.


Instructor:     James Jackson(


Module Website:


Marking Outline:


The mark for Operating System Essentials is comprised of the following:


Theory Tests/Quizzes             20%

Practical Tests                        20%

Lab Notebook                        10%

Assignments & Projects         10%

Final Exam(s)                         30%

Classroom Participation          10%

Texts Used:


      Mike Meyers’ A+ Guide to Operating Systems Third Edition   


                      Mike Meyers’ A+ Guide to Operating Systems Lab Manual Third Edition


Supplies Needed:   

  Three blank CD-R discs

  Six floppy diskettes

  Two blank DVD-R disc

  LabSim for A+ Exams 220-701 & 220-702 (to be provided in class)


Theory Tests/Quizzes:            


Tests are prescheduled evaluations of a student’s progress in a wide area (usually an entire chapter or multiple chapters).  Students will receive a tentative schedule of tests on the first day of the module.  Tests may be rescheduled at the instructor’s discretion.

Quizzes are smaller evaluations of a student’s progress in a particular area (usually a single small chapter or a section from a chapter).  Students may not receive any notification of an upcoming quiz (i.e. “pop quiz”), although typically at least 24 hours notice will be provided).


Lab Tests:


Lab tests are designed to evaluate a student’s progress over a particular area (usually corresponding to a single chapter from the text book).  Lab tests involve hands-on or verbal testing techniques.

Students are responsible for notifying the instructor when they are ready for the lab test that corresponds to a lab activity.  The instructor will then schedule the lab test at his/her discretion.

The instructor may enforce a deadline by which all students must complete the lab test for a particular lab activity.

All lab tests must be completed by the end of the module.  The instructor may provide an extension at his discretion.


Lab Notebooks:


  All students are required to have a lab notebook that will be evaluated from time to time.

  Students must keep all lab activities and their supporting documentation within the lab notebook.

  The mark for a student’s lab notebook may also incorporate documentation that students are directed to save on a computer.

  Lab notebooks will be collected periodically.  It is a student’s responsibility to have their lab notebook with them at all times.  If lab notebooks are collected and a student does not have his/hers, 10% will be deducted from the mark per late day.


Assignments &Projects:


Assignments are given to allow students to have extra time, outside of class, to work with and better understand the material covered.  Throughout the module, students will receive various assignments.  Unless otherwise instructed, assignments are to be done outside of class time. 

Assignments are due before the first period of instruction on the day specified by the instructor.  Any assignment that is not in the instructors possession at the start of the first period on the date specified will not be eligible for full credit.  The instructor will deduct 10% from the assignment per day the assignment is late.  After three days, no credit will be given for the assignment.


Class Participation:


Class participation marks will be recorded on a regular basis.  Students will be assessed in areas ranging from attendance, discussion in class, following classroom rules, following rules for lab work, preparedness for class, etc.


Final Examination:  


The final examination (theory and practical) will be scheduled for the last day of the module.  The final examination will contain material from the entire module.  The final examination is currently scheduled for November 10, 2010. 


Possible Topics:

o       Number systems

o       Sharing files and printers

o       Formatting a hard drive

o       Web browsers

o       Disk Caching

o       Partitioning a hard drive

o       Executing command-line programs

o       File Systems

o       Installing Operating Systems

o       The Command Line

o       The Registry

o       Printing

o       NTFS permissions

o       The Windows boot process

o       Disaster recovery

o       Backups

o       Viruses and other malicious code

o       Computer Networks

o       Troubleshooting Fundamentals

o       Network troubleshooting

o       TCP/IP protocol suite

o       Firewalls and proxy servers




Mondays and Wednesdays classes are in the afternoon. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays classes are in the morning.


Extra Help:


Every Friday, there are no classes at Oulton College.  Students are invited to use this day for extra help.  Instructors will be available for extra help sessions between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM.  Students should make an appointment with the instructor beforehand if you plan on coming for extra help.  Appointments can be made in person or through email.  From time to time, at the discretion of the instructor, students may be required to attend classes, extra help sessions and/or evaluations on Friday mornings.


Classroom Participation:


Classroom participation will comprise 10% of your mark for Operating System Essentials.


The marks received by individual students will be reduced, by an appropriate amount, on a daily basis, if students are performing any of the following acts:


  • Wandering to other students work areas without adequate reasons
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Using inappropriate software (i.e. instant messengers, email, games, etc)
  • Leaving class early (or turning computer off, putting jacket on before class ends)
  • Arriving to class late
  • Working on other class material instead of lab assignments, lab time is for lab work
  • Having computers on when asked to turn them off
  • Talking during lecture time
  • Sleeping or other inappropriate acts
  • Not being prepared for class (lack of supplies, computer not turned on, incomplete homework, etc)


Lab Marking


When students consider a lab activity to be completed, they will ask Mr. Jackson to sign off their lab activity. Signing off on a lab activity entails the following:


  • Verifying lab activities have been completed (students who have not completed the lab activity will receive a mark of zero)
  • Marks determined by visually inspecting computer configuration
  • Collecting written questions assigned in the lab activity (all written lab activities are to be stored in a lab notebook, that is ready to be collected when the student gets signed off)
  • Marks based on neatness, completeness and accuracy
  • Lab notebook comprises 10% of the final mark for Operating System Essentials
  • Collecting screen shots and other files required by the lab activity.
  • Marks based on accuracy and completeness
  • Considered part of the lab notebook mark
  • Testing the students knowledge of the lab objectives
  • Comprises 20% of the final mark for Operating System Essentials


To test a student’s knowledge of lab objectives, Mr. Jackson will ask students to perform a number of tasks and assign a mark based on whether the task could be completed satisfactorily. Students will be marked down if they cannot perform the designated task in an acceptable amount of time or do not seem confident in their knowledge. Students will receive zero credit if they use help, the Internet or another student to complete the task. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are prepared prior to requesting a lab sign-off.