BA 479 – Business Telecommunications and Networking

Course Syllabus - Winter 2015


Name:                          V.T. Raja                                 Qualification:              Ph.D.

Office:                         Austin 480                              Phone:             541-737-6058 



Office Hours: 

First week, and finals week: By Appointment

For Weeks 2 – 10:

                        Tuesday:           4:15 – 5:15 PM

Wednesday:     2:45 – 3:45 PM (No office hours on Feb 11).

Thursday:         4:00 – 5:00 PM

 and by appointment. 



Class Time/Venue:

 Section 001: CRN#: 34264                MW 4:00 – 5:50 PM in Austin 216

 Section 002: CRN#: 36136                MW 6:00 – 7:50 PM in Austin 216


Course Credits: This is a required course for BIS majors.  This course combines approximately 110 hours of instruction, online activities and assignments for 4 credits. 


Textbook:                   Jerry Fitzgerald & Alan Dennis, Business Data Communications and Networking, 11th edition, John Wiley & Sons (Required Text)

ISBN: 978-1118-086834 



Pre-Requisites:          BA 370 or ACTG 378 and a minimum grade of C- or better.


Course Overview:

Business data communications and computer networking are essential to the functioning of both large and small businesses.  Management and staff need to understand how to effectively leverage this technology to satisfy business requirements, while minimizing associated costs and risks. 

The objective of this course is to provide a framework (5-layer Internet model a shorter version of the traditional 7-layer OSI model) that enables students to gain a fundamental understanding of networks and information communications as they relate to the business environment. 

The course, a required course for BIS majors at OSU, provides an introduction to various fundamental topics in the networking field.  It provides some fundamentals about physical layer, and some major functions of data link, transport and network layers.  An introduction to the different functions of these layers would enable students understand the ‘big picture’ associated with the 5-layer network model, and the functioning of the Internet and e-commerce.  The course includes coverage of both traditional and state of the art network options (e.g., virtualization, cloud computing), and their respective strengths/weaknesses.  This will enable students to make informed choices when selecting network technologies for specific business needs. 


The last two pages of this syllabus outline topics and a tentative lecture schedule. 


The assignments in this course would require students to demonstrate self-learning capabilities.  The assignments typically include in-class presentations and/or a report on miscellaneous topics in the field of networking.  The assignments typically also involve lab exercises on topics such as Ethernet cabling, packet capture/analysis, and server administration in a virtualized cloud environment.  The instructor will provide details about assignments later in the quarter. 


Learning Outcomes:

After completing this course, a student should be able to:

1.      Explain the functioning of Internet using a layered protocol stack model.  Describe major functions of data link, transport and network layer protocols (i.e., Ethernet, TCP and IP). 

2.      Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental network terminology, concepts, (e.g., network architectures, internetworking devices) and their applications. 

3.      Describe a current communication/network technology and its business applications/implications in a non-technical manner. 

4.      Demonstrate basic hands-on skills that can be used to implement a computer network in a small business environment. 

5.      Identify desirable properties of secure communication and ways to achieve them. 


Pedagogy and Learning Resources:

The course will use a variety of means to address the course objectives.  The lectures, readings, lab exercises, quizzes, and assignments will introduce you to a number of key concepts and timely issues in the business communications and networking field.   Lecture handouts will be available on Blackboard.  Depending on availability of guest speakers, some lecture(s) may be delivered as guest lectures by industry professionals. 

Schedule of lectures posted at the end of this syllabus is tentative.  For example, it could change after taking into consideration the contents of the survey completed by students during the first lecture or if the instructor sees any other good reason for changing the lecture schedule. 



Course Readings:

Reading chapter contents from textbook is expected, unless otherwise mentioned in class.  There may be additional online readings.  The first part of the course will introduce students to various computer network related concepts from different chapters of the text. Refer to lecture schedule at the end of this syllabus for assigned readings from textbook. 



Some announcements for this class may be made via Blackboard e-mail services.  Note that it is YOUR responsibility to view these e-mails at least once every day.  You must ensure that your Oregon State University (OSU) related e-mail storage space is not full at any time during the quarter.  If you do not use your OSU related e-mail account regularly, then it is your responsibility to forward OSU related e-mails automatically to the e-mail account you use (e.g., Yahoo, Comcast, Hotmail etc.) on a regular basis.  Please note that e-mails sent to the instructor from off-campus non OSU related e-mail accounts (e.g., Yahoo, Comcast, Hotmail etc.) may at times get filtered by campus servers, and may not be delivered to the instructor.  Please note that you bear responsibility for not using the OSU campus email and COB lab facilities.  If you are sending an e-mail to the instructor or TA, please ensure that your subject line starts with BA479, and you print your name in English at the end of the e-mail. 


Evaluation of Student Performance and Grading Policy:

Individual grades will be based on a ‘weighted’ average as follows:

Exam 1                                    25%

Exam 2                                    35%

Assignments                            20%

Class Participation                    5%

Quizzes                                   15%


Total                                        100%


Individual grades will be assigned as follows:

A:        student's overall score >= 93%                                   C+:      77% <= score < 80%

A-:       90% <= score < 93%                                                   C:        73% <= score < 77%

B+:      87% <= score < 90%                                                   C-:       70% <= score < 73%

B:        83% <= score < 87%                                                  D+:       67% <= score < 70%

B-:       80% <= score < 83%                                                  D:        63% <= score < 67%

F:         Below 63%


Class Participation:

Class participation scores will be evaluated based on several factors such as: attendance, punctuality, classroom conduct, quality and appropriate frequency of verbal participation contributions to classroom lectures/discussions, and (written) quality contributions to the instructor (e.g., a relevant article, a relevant website and a summary of that website, an e-mail message following a class discussion, etc.).  Students are eligible to receive exam feedback only if they maintain at least 75% attendance record during the term.  Also see section on ‘OSU No Show Drop’ rule mentioned later in this syllabus regarding minimum attendance requirements for first week of the term.  If a student is late to class frequently or switch between class sections frequently without informing instructor, or if they use electronic devices for non-class purpose they may forfeit all their participation points.  Also, as mentioned below, behavior in class must be professional at all times.  Discrimination and/or harassment will not be tolerated in the classroom. 


Behavior in Class:

Behavior in class must be professional at all times. The atmosphere within the classroom should be the same as you might expect in a casual business meeting.  People must treat each other with dignity and respect in order for scholarship to thrive.  Behaviors that are disruptive to learning will not be tolerated and may be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for disciplinary action.  Use of electronic devices during lecture is typically not allowed except for accessing or using course related material.  If a student uses an electronic device for non-class purpose they may forfeit all their participation points earned thus far.  The ‘Professional Behavior Standards’ for COB are available at:


Discrimination and/or Harassment: 

Discrimination and/or harassment will not be tolerated in the classroom.  In most cases, discrimination and/or harassment violate(s) Federal and State laws and/or University Policies and Regulations.  Intentional discrimination and/or harassment will be referred to the Affirmative Action Office and dealt with in accordance with the appropriate rules and regulations.

Unintentional discrimination and/or harassment are just as damaging to the offended party.  But, it usually results from people not understanding the impact of their remarks or actions on others, or insensitivity to the feelings of others.  We must all strive to work together to create a positive learning environment.  This means that each individual should be sensitive to the feelings of others, and tolerant of the remarks and actions of others.  If you find the remarks and actions of another individual to be offensive, please bring it to his/her attention in a professional manner.  If you believe those remarks and actions constitute intentional discrimination and/or harassment, please bring it to the attention of your instructor in a timely manner.


Exams and Quizzes:

There will be two exams.  The exam dates are typically announced in class (if not mentioned in the lecture schedule at the end of this syllabus).  The exam venue will be announced in class or via Blackboard announcement or via e-mail at least one class prior to the exam.  Exams are not comprehensive.  However, knowledge of material covered in the first part of the term will be useful during the second exam. 


A student who is unable to take the exams during their scheduled times, must notify the instructor as early as possible, preferably within 10 days of the exam date announcement, and make alternate arrangements for a make-up exam with the instructor.  Every student is individually responsible for confirming the exam dates, times and venues with the instructor.  If a student is late for the exam they can expect penalty points.  A student who is late for the exam by more than 15 minutes may not be allowed to take the exam.  If this student is allowed to take the exam, the student can expect significant penalty points to be imposed. 


Announced and/or unannounced quizzes may be given throughout the quarter.  Quizzes will be based on previous lecture materials and/or assigned readings/class presentations. 


Making up a missed lecture:

Students will be unable to make-up points relating to some BA479 lectures such as any that involve a guided tour on or near campus, or guest lecture.  Switching between BA479 class sections without obtaining prior approval of instructor in a timely manner is likely to be considered as missing a lecture. 


Making up points for a missed class without prior permission and/or appropriate documentation: Typically make-ups of class exercises are not allowed if the instructor does not approve an excused absence for the student in advance.  Students who miss a quiz without prior permission of the instructor may be allowed to make-up the quiz before the next lecture with a penalty of up to 50% deduction.  Initiating the request for a make-up in a timely manner is the student’s responsibility.  Penalty will be waived only if the student had a valid reason such as illness with documentation, or an emergency supported by appropriate documentation.  Typically, there are about 3 to 5 quizzes. 


Illness with appropriate documentation: In case a student misses a regular lecture due to being ill, and wishes to make up a quiz administered in the missed class, the instructor must be notified prior to the commencement of the class via e-mail.  Also, in such cases, medical documentation must be provided to the instructor for making up quizzes and exams.  Notifying the instructor about an absence from a regular lecture, just few minutes before the class session starts is typically not accepted as advance notification.  Appropriate documentation is required for emergency reasons (e.g., family emergency). 


Interview with appropriate documentation: If a student misses a regular lecture due to a job/internship interview and wishes to make up the missed class, then the student must provide the instructor contact information about the organization and about the person who interviewed the student.  Prior permission has to be obtained from the instructor in case the student is interested in making up any quiz that the student may miss due to the interview. 

Missing class due to government related reasons: Appropriate documentation is required if a student wishes to make-up points relating to a regular lecture that they missed due to government related reasons (e.g., jury duty or court summons or other similar reasons). 


Exams cannot be made-up if timely prior permission of instructor has not been obtained, and/or if appropriate documentation is not provided.  As mentioned earlier, if a student is late by more than 15 minutes for an exam, they may not be allowed to take the exam.  If a student is late for the exam and the instructor allows the student to take the exam, then a significant penalty (i.e., deduction of exam points) will be levied.  The instructor will use his discretion to decide the number of points to be deducted. 


If a student is unable to attend a class session, it is the student's responsibility to acquire the class notes, assignments, announcements, etc. from a classmate.  Initiating the request for any make-up in a timely manner is the student’s responsibility. 



Assignments will be given throughout the quarter.  Assignments may include written assignments, presentations, and lab exercises.  Unless otherwise mentioned, in order to receive full credit for written assignments, all written assignments should be typed and must be of a professional quality (e.g., spell check, grammar, use of non-sexist language, stapled etc.).  Late submission of any assignment will result up to a 20% penalty for each day the homework is late.  A computer/printer crash or lack of an Internet connection, or Austin Hall computer lab closure is not an acceptable excuse for late submissions of written assignments. Details on assigned readings, exams, quizzes, lecture handouts, assignments, and/or presentations will be provided later in class. 


Grade Appeals:

If a student is not satisfied with a grade he/she has received for an exam, quiz, or assignment, the student is welcome to discuss it with the instructor after class hours.  Written grade appeals with appropriate justification have to be made within one week from the time the grades are given out by the instructor.  Incomplete grades will be given only under circumstances deemed unusual by the instructor, and will require appropriate documentation. 


Disability Access Services:

Oregon State University is committed to providing equal opportunity to higher education for academically qualified students without regard to a disability. Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Disability Access Services (DAS).  Students with accommodations approved through DAS are responsible for contacting the faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at 737-4098.  Students who are in need of accommodations are encouraged to review the DAS website at Disability Access Services ( immediately to learn more about their rights and responsibilities. Students with accommodations approved through DAS and who have any emergency medical information the instructor should be aware of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible, and no later than the first week of the term. 


OSU 'No Show Drop' Rule:

Note that for this course the OSU 'No Show Drop' rule may be strictly enforced. This rule: Academic regulations AR 9§b reads as follows:

"If it is anticipated that the demand for enrollment in a given course will exceed the maximum number that can be accommodated, the department offering the course may designate it in the Schedule of Classes with the code "NSHD" (no-show-drop). A student who is registered for such a course who attends no meetings of the course during the first five school days of the term will be dropped from the course by the instructor, unless the student has obtained prior permission for absence. If such action is taken, the instructor will send written notice through the department to the Registrar’s Office, which in turn will notify the student that the course has been dropped from his or her schedule. Students should not assume they have been dropped unless they receive notification from the Registrar’s Office. No fee will be charged."


Student Conduct and Academic Honesty:

Relating to academic honesty and classroom behavior, students are expected to uphold the OSU and COB standards of conduct for students. According to OSU student conduct regulations, academic dishonesty is defined as an intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. All cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be handled in strict accordance with University and College Policies.


Students assume full responsibility for the content and integrity of the academic work they submit. The guiding principle of academic integrity is that a student's submitted work, examinations, reports, assignments, and projects must be that student's own work for individual assignments, and the group's own work for group assignments/projects. Students are guilty of academic dishonesty if they:

·         Use or obtain unauthorized materials or assistance in any academic work; i.e., cheating.

·         Falsify or invent any information regarded as cheating by the instructor; i.e., fabrication.

·         Give unauthorized assistance to other students; i.e., assisting in dishonesty.

·         Represent the work of others as their own; i.e., plagiarism.

·         Modify, without instructor approval, an examination, paper, record or report for the purpose of obtaining additional credit; i.e., tampering.

A student submitting their own work from a previous term (even if they are repeating the course) will be considered cheating.  If a student is unclear about whether a particular situation may constitute academic dishonesty, the student must meet with the instructor to discuss the situation, prior to engaging in such situations. 

Please refer to Office of Student Conduct website for more information at:


The instructor may use or require students to use services such as SafeAssign or to check for originality of your work.  The penalty for academic dishonesty is severe.  Any student guilty of academic dishonesty may be subject to receive a failing grade for the exam, assignment, quiz, or class participation exercise as deemed appropriate by the instructor.  Any student guilty of academic dishonesty could be subject to receive a failing grade for the course and can expect to be reported to the appropriate officials in COB and appropriate University Officials. 


Please note that according to College policies, in the event of a second instance of academic dishonesty by a student enrolled in the College of Business, the student will not be allowed to continue progression towards completing their major requirements within the College and will be evaluated for dismissal from the College. 


Students are expected to follow OSU and College of Business (COB) policies. 

OSU policies are available at: and COB policies are available at:



Perspectives of Issues:

A variety of perspectives recommended by the AACSB may be addressed in the BA 479 course wherever appropriate. These perspectives are integrated throughout the course and include: ethical, political/social, legal/regulatory and technological issues. 



A tentative schedule of lectures and assigned readings follow. 


BA479 – Winter 2015 – (Jan 5 – March 20) - Schedule of lectures

The page numbers and chapters mentioned in the schedule below are suggested readings from course textbook (11th edition)



Lecture Topics


Week # 1

Jan 5 (Lecture # 1)

Syllabus; Course Overview; Student Questionnaire;

Introduction – 5-layer protocol stack model: Pages 18-20


Jan 7 (Lecture # 2)

Client-Server Architecture: Pages 18-25, 40-49, 88-90


Week # 2

Jan 12 (Lecture # 3)

Virtualization; Cloud Computing (Pages 41, 47-48,432)


Jan 14 (Lecture # 4)

Topologies, Media Access Control, Ethernet, Hubs and Switches (Pages 208 – 212, 223-227, 273-279)


Week # 3

Jan 19 (Lecture # 5)

No Lecture - MLK Day Observed


Jan 21 (Lecture # 6)

Physical Layer: Digital and Analog signals/transmissions

(Chapter 3: Pages 78-81; Pages 91-104)


Week # 4

Jan 26 (Lecture # 7)

Physical Layer: Introduction to Multiplexers

(Chapter 3: Pages 81 – 87)


Jan 28 (Lecture # 8)

Chapter 4: Data Link Layer – Major Functions; Error Detection


Week # 5

Feb 2 (Lecture # 9)

Chapter 4: Data Link Layer

Error Correction; Message Delineation; Selecting DL Protocols


Feb 4 (Lecture # 10)

Lab Exercise (Chapter 3: Pages 88-91)


Week # 6

Feb 9 (Lecture # 11)

Chapter 4: Data Link Layer - Selecting DL Protocols; Transmission Efficiency and Throughput.


Feb 11 (Lecture # 12)

No Lecture – Field Trip

If a student cannot take exam 1 on the specified date/time for any valid reason, the student must contact instructor as early as possible – no later than Jan 29.

BA479 – Winter 2015 – Schedule of lectures (Continued)



Lecture Topics


Week # 7

Feb 16 (Lecture # 13)

Exam 1 (Closed Book/Closed Notes) – 6 pm – Austin 183. 


Feb 18 (Lecture # 14)

Introduction to Transport/Network Layers - Part 1 – TCP

(Chapter 5 – Network and Transport Layers)


Week # 8

Feb 23 (Lecture # 15)

TCP/IP – Part 2a (IPv4 Addressing; Subnets and Subnet masks)

(Chapter 5 – Network and Transport Layers)


Feb 25 (Lecture # 16)

TCP/IP – Part 2b (DHCP, DNS)

(Chapter 5 – Network and Transport Layers)


Week # 9

Mar 2 (Lecture # 17)

TCP/IP – Part 3 Routing and 5-layer network model – conclusion

(Chapter 5 – Network and Transport Layers)



Mar 4 (Lecture # 18)

Security Module – Part 1


Week # 10

Mar 9 (Lecture # 19)

Security Module – Part 2



Mar 11 (Lecture # 20)

Lab Exercise


Finals Week

Final Exam

Monday of finals week March 16, 2015 at 6 pm – Austin 183. 



If a student cannot take exam 1 or 2 on the specified date/time for any valid reason, the student must contact instructor as early as possible – no later than 48 hours after announcement of exam in class or on Blackboard. 



This is a tentative schedule and subject to change at instructor’s discretion.