COP 1820
Visual Basic, Beginning

Visual Basic, Beginning course syllabus
View Weekly Course Schedule.

View Course Resources.



Spring 2010

Course policies
Time & Place: Ref No. 94816:  Tuesday & Thursday, 5:30–6:45 PM, Dale Mabry Room DTEC–427
Instructor: Name:  Wayne Pollock
E-mail:  Internet:
Office & Phone:  DTEC–404, 253–7213.
DM Office Hours:  Monday–Thursday, 3:55–5:25 & Tues., Thurs. 8:20–8:35;
On-line Office Hours:  Wednesday–Friday, 12:00 PM (noon)–1:00 PMor by appointment.
Contact Information
Instant Messenger ID (Yahoo Messenger):  waynepollocklive
Homepage URL:
          Yahoo Messenger on-line status - click to chat or leave a message
Text: Bradley, Julia Case, and Millspaug, Anita C., Programming in Visual Basic 2008, ©2009 by McGraw-Hill.  ISBN-13 # 978-0-07-351720-9.

HCC bookstore on-line

Description: Provides a basic overview of Windows programming and applications.
Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to write event driven programs to create Windows applications in the .Net framework.  To achieve this objective the student will:
  1. The student will understand the concepts of object-oriented programming and be able to use classes, objects, properties, methods and events to create an object-oriented project.
  2. The student will be able to identify syntax errors, run-time-errors, and logic errors.
  3. The student will be able to use the following controls correctly:
    1. text boxes,
    2. group boxes,
    3. check boxes,
    4. radio buttons,
    5. picture boxes,
    6. access keys,
    7. default and cancel button,
    8. tool tips
  4. The student will be able to differentiate among the various data types and be able to distinguish between variables and constants and understand the concept of scope of variables.
  5. The student will be able to use try/catch blocks for error handling.
  6. The student will be able use the selection control structure including the use of the nested IF structure and data validation.
  7. The student will be able to use menus, submenus, procedures and functions.
  8. The student will be able to use Windows common dialog boxes.
  9. The student will be able to create a two-tier application that separates the user interface from the business logic.
  10. The student will be able to write applications using arrays and data structures.
Prerequisite: CGS 1000 or Permission of the Instructor.  Students enrolled in a degree or college credit certificate program must complete all prerequisites.
Facilities: All assignments can be performed on any computer that supports Visual Studio 2008 (for this course you only need the Express edition, which only supports Visual Basic development).  You will need your own floppy/flash disk, writing materials.  You can use HawkNet (WebAdvisor) or Florida Virutal Campus (Formerly to obtain your final grade for the course.

Microsoft Software Availablity

As a member of the Microsoft Academic Alliance HCC is able to make certain Microsoft products available at no charge to students registered for certain courses in the Computer Science department at the Dale Mabry campus.  This includes Visual Studio 2008 development software.  An account will be created for each student on the MSDN Academic Alliance Software Center which will enable students to download the software (or purchase a CD that will be mailed to your home).  The Lab Techs will create accounts as students come to the counter requesting the software.  Once the account is created students will be sent an email from to their Hawknet email that lets them know what their username, password and the URL to the web site.  See the MSDN Academic Alliance - ELMS Instructions for details.

Please keep in mind that you will only be allowed to download each program once!

Students at HCC also have the ability to purchase Microsoft and other software for heavily discounted prices from retail.  Examples of software available through this program include Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Plus edition, Windows 7, Microsoft Visio, and other related Microsoft products.  These software products are the full academic versions and have the same benefits as software purchased off the shelf at a retail store.

Students will need to access the website at and will need to provide their HawkMail email address to be properly authenticated.  (This may take up to a week.)  This program requires that students pay for their selected software products with a credit card and the software will be mailed to their home address.  Students will be allowed to purchase only one copy of a selected software product.

An additional location you can try is, the official Microsoft student discount program.  One benefit of this is the software is available for immediate download.  Also some software bundles from here may contain more applications than the version.

HCC DM Open Lab

Computers are located in the computer science department open lab in DTEC–462.  Lab hours are:

Dale Mabry campus open lab hours
Monday – Thursday8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Grading Policy
projects (about 10): 200 total points, each worth between 10 and 30 points
Classroom participation: +5%

Grading scale:  A=180-200,   B=160-179,   C=140-159,   D=130-139,   F=0-129
(Or you can elect to audit the class during the add/drop period.)

  • No makeup exams will be offered without the prior approval of the instructor.
  • Exams will be closed book and closed note multiple choice exams.  While the exams are non-cumulative, each does build upon knowledge acquired earlier.  Exams are based mostly upon material presented in class however some questions may be from assigned readings (the textbook and on-line resources).
  • Exams will only cover material discussed in class or assigned as reading before the exam.  Should the class fall behind the course schedule, some topics shown on the syllabus due for an earlier exam will be tested on the following exam instead.
  • Regular attendance is imperative for the successful completion of this class.  The textbook and on-line resources should be considered as required course supplements; in other words the course is not based solely on the text.
  • All phones, pagers, and beepers must be turned off during class time, except with prior permission of the instructor.  No food or drink is permitted in HCC classrooms.
  • Attendance will be taken within 5 minutes of the start of class; after 4 unexcused absences and/or lateness, the student will lose 2 points off the final grade for each additional occurrence.
  • If you miss a class you are still responsible for the material covered in that class.  All students should exchange contact information (name, email address, phone number) with at least one other student in the class.  If you must miss a class, you should then contact another student and request they take class notes for you.  (Note, Hawknet has Hawkmail365 email for HCC students.)
  • Credit for class participation includes attendance, preparedness, and adding to class discussions by asking questions and participating in discussions.  Playing computer games, surfing the Internet, or working on assignments for this or other classes during class time will lose you credit.
  • Additional time outside of class will be required.  For typical students an average of between 8 and 10 hours each week outside of class are required for preparation, practice, projects, and homework assignments.
  • Students are expected to prepare for each class by completing all reading assignments, reviewing examples and model solutions provided, and practicing outside of class.  This is important — you can't learn a skill such as Visual Basic Programming only by attending class and reading books.  You must practice several hours a few days each week!  If you won't have enough time available, consider auditing the course.
  • Students are expected to check the class website regularly.  Any syllabus changes, class cancellations, project assignments, and homework assignments are announced in class and posted to the website and the RSS feed for this class.
  • Working together on individual assignments is considered as cheating!  Turning in someone else's work without giving them credit is also considered cheating (plagiarism).  Cheating will result in an automatic F (zero) for the project for all parties.  Note that some projects may be group projects, where each member of a small group works together on a project.  It is also OK to ask a fellow student for class notes (in the event you miss a class) or for help in understanding the text or material given to the class (e.g., examples on the class website).  It is encouraged to study together as well.
  • You must abide by the HCC Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for computers and services.  In particular, you must not run network scanners, or attempt to obtain administrator (“root”) privileges or otherwise disrupt HCC computers and services.  In some explicitly stated circumstances, some parts of the AUP may not apply.  If in any doubt, ask!
  • You must follow the academic honesty policy for HCC.  A second cheating offense will result in an F for the course, and your name will be turned over to the dean for further handling.  I take these matters very seriously.  You have been warned!
  • Communications Policy:  I will respond to your emails within 48 hours or two business days.  HCC policy is that grades can only be discussed in person during office hours, or via email only if you use your assigned HCC HawkNet (Hawkmail365) email account.
  • Every effort will be made to stick to the weekly schedule for our course.  However it may happen that we will fall behind the schedule at some point.  If so no topics will be skipped.  Instead we will attempt to catch up over the following weeks.
  • Please be aware that if we fall behind on the weekly schedule, the topics discussed may not match what shows on the syllabus.  The weekly schedule may (but probably won't be) updated in this case.
  • In the case we fall behind, homework assignments are automatically postponed until we do discuss that topic in class (i.e., the next class).  Projects and in-class exams will not be automatically postponed.  Should your instructor deem it necessary, projects and exams may be rescheduled; this will be announced in class.
  • Hawk Alert text messaging service allows you to receive important information regarding campus closures or emergencies.  You may also sign up for financial aid notifications and registration and payment deadlines.  This is a free service, although some fees may be applied by your cellular service provider or plan for text messages.  To sign up, or for more information, visit
  • No appointment is necessary to see me during my scheduled, on-campus office hours.  You can just walk-in.  You can make appointments for other times as long as I'm available. 
  • Occasionally my office hours will be canceled on short (or no) notice, for example if the dean calls me for a meeting.  Before driving out to campus just for my office hours, you can contact me the night before to make sure I still plan to be there.
  • Late Policies:  Late assignments (homework assignments, projects, or exams) generally will not be accepted.  An assignment is late if not turned in by the start of class on the day it is due.

    Late assignments will be accepted late only if you obtain the instructor's permission prior to the due date of the assignment, or for a documented serious medical reason.  All late assignments are subject to a late penalty of at least one letter grade (10%) regardless of the reason for the delay.

    Projects and homework assignments later than one week will receive a more severe late penalty; very late assignments without adequate excuses will receive a grade of F (0).  However if you have a very good reason your instructor may waive any or all of the late penalty.  (Examples of good reasons include extended illness that prevents working, being out of town for work, or military service.  Remember documentation will be required.)

  • The dangers of the flu or another contagious disease require some changes to normal policies.  HCC is implementing the recommendations for institutions of higher learning of the CDC.  (See and for guidance from the CDC.)  You won't need documentation if you miss class due to the flu.  (But if you think you have the flu, you should see a doctor as soon as you can.)  In the unlikely event of a school closure, some plan to make up the missed work will be made.

    If you think you have the flu, stay home.  Do not come to HCC until 48 hours after your fever has broken as you are still infectious.  Also people are infectious to others for a day or so before they have any symptoms.  Flu is spread by touching doorknobs, computer keyboards, railings on stairs, etc., that were touched by someone with the flu.  Avoid shaking hands; use the fist shake (touching of fists) if you must use a physical greeting.  The most effective way to avoid catching the flu is to wash your hands frequently, especially after touching something that was touched by others.  Avoid unnecessary touching of eyes, nose and mouth.  While not as good as properly washing hands, hand sanitizers have been installed throughout the campus; use them often.

Projects: Projects will be assigned from the class web page at various times.  You will have sufficient time to complete the projects, at least a week but usually two or more weeks.  Although there will be in-class group exercises, you must work individually on the projects, typically outside of regular class hours.

Programming projects are graded according to their design (25%), how well they compile and run (20%), how well your project meets the requirements specifications (20%), the coding style (15%), the amount (and quality) of your comments (10%), and your creativity in extending the project usefully, or an innovative design that uses the features taught in class well, etc. (10%).

Projects are not graded when turned in.  They are graded all at once, sometime after the project deadline has passed (usually the next weekend).  Further details will be provided with your first project.  (See also submitting assignments below.)

Homework assignments (also known as take-home quizzes) are assigned from the text at various times.  At the end of each chapter there are both review questions and programming exercisesAll homework questions, unless otherwise noted, are from the review questions and not the programming exercises.  Some assignments may be based on on-line readings instead of the text.

You may work together in small groups (two or three people) for the homework assignments, provided the names of all who worked together are listed.  Each student must still submit their own copy.

Homework assignment questions are intended to focus your studying of the readings and to stimulate class questions and discussion.  For this reason they are generally due before the class where that material is covered.  It is not intended that students can answer all the questions assigned, but you must show you have thought about the questions and read the required material in order to earn an B grade or higher.

Submitting Assignments: All assignments (except when noted) should be submitted by email to Please use a subject such as Visual Basic I Homework Assignment #1 Submission so I can tell which emails are submitted work.  Send only one assignment per email message.  Email your projects as zip attachments, except when noted in the assigment directions.)  Make sure you use my email account, since HCC's mail server (and Gmail!) will not accept email with certain types of attachments.  Note: If you use Microsoft Outlook Express or a similar email program, please be aware that this program has a feature that automatically converts slash-slash (//) comments in your email to FILE://.  Make sure your java source is correct before you send the email!  If possible, use the text and not the HTML mode of your email program.

In the event a student submits more than once for the same assignment, I will ignore all but the last one received up to the deadline.  Assignments submitted after the deadline will not count toward your grade except as allowed by the course late policy.

The HCC email server automatically accepts and silently discards email with certain types of attachments.  If you must send email to my email account please avoid using any attachments, but especially zip files.  To send email with a .zip attachment you must first rename the file extension to .zap and then send the renamed file as an attachment.

To avoid having your submitted work rejected as spam, you can use CampusCruiser to send email to professors.  (This doesn't always work either!)

If you have an email problem you may turn in a printout instead.  Be sure your name is clearly written on the top of any pages turned in.  Please staple multiple pages together (at the upper left).

Academic Calendar
Classes Begin: Monday  1/11/10   (First class meeting: Tuesday 1/12/10)
Add-Drop Ends: Friday   1/15/10
Last Day to Withdraw:  Thursday  3/18/10
Classes End: Monday  5/10/10  (Last regularly scheduled class: Thursday 5/6/10)
Grades Available:  Thursday  5/13/10 (from Florida Virutal Campus (Formerly or HawkNet)
HCC is closed on: Monday  1/18/10 (Martin Luther King Day),
Monday  2/15/10 (Presidents' Day),
Friday–Sunday  3/26/10–4/4/10 (Midterm Break),
Thursday  4/15/10 (In-Service Day)

Request For Accommodation

If, to participate in this course, you require an accommodation due to a physical disability or learning impairment, you must contact the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities, Dale Mabry campus: Student Services Building (DSTU) Room 204, voice phone: (813) 259–6035,  TTD: (813) 253–7035,  FAX: (813) 253–7336.  Brandon campus: voice phone: (813) 253–7914.

HCC has a religious observance policy that accommodates the religious observance, practices, and beliefs of students.  Should students need to miss class or postpone examinations and assignments due to religious observances, they must notify their instructor at least one week prior to a religious observance.


Quotes on learning
Quotes:         Tell me and I'll listen.
Show me and I'll understand.
Involve me and I'll learn.
    — Lakota Indian saying
        Learning is not a spectator sport!     — Chickering & Gamson

Course schedule for COP 1820

Day by day course schedule
Tue     Thu
Topics, Assigned Readings, and Assignment Due Dates
1/12   1/14   Course introduction, Personal introduction, LAN use.  Open Lab procedures and hours, virus checking, Role of lab techs.
Overview of computer systems, programming, and Visual Basic.
Readings Due by 1/14:  Programming Overview
Assignments Due by 1/14:  Download and install Visual Studio 2008, either the full or the Visual Basic Express edition, 0 points.
  1/18 (Mon) Martin Luther King Day  —  HCC Closed
1/19   1/21 Learning Visual Studio and MSDN help.  Learn how to develop both GUI and console VB programs.  Discuss the differences between syntax, logic, and runtime errors.
Readings Due by 1/19:  Chapter 1 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 1/21: Due date extended until 1/26  Programming exercise #1.1 (page 62) and the Very Busy (VB) Mail Order case study (page 64), 10 points.
1/26   1/28 Learning Visual Studio User Interface controls and styles: text boxes, multi-line text, grouping, check boxes and radio buttons, picture boxes (images); borders, styles, colors, andlines; control alignment and positioning a form on the screen.  Keyboard access and tab order.  Tool tips, setting the focus, visible/invisible and enabled/disabled.  Using with to simplify code; concatenating text (with &); continuing long lines (with _).  pop-up dialog windows (MessageBox); Shape controls.
Readings Due by 1/26:  Chapter 2 (work through all hands-on projects and examples), also pages 140–141 (MessageBox)
Assignments Due by 1/28:  Programming exercise #2.2 (page 103–104), 10 points.
2/2     2/4

2/9     2/11
Structure (code organization) of a program.  Using and declaring variables and constants (literal values) of different types, understanding scope of variables and objects, converting text to numbers and vice-versa.
Readings Due by 2/2:  Chapter 3 (work through all hands-on projects and examples) pages 109–120, 129–136, Program Structure
Presidents' Day  —  HCC Closed
2/16     2/18 Using math operators and functions (calculations and assignment statements), error handling (try/catch blocks).
Readings Due by 2/2:  Chapter 3 (work through all hands-on projects and examples) pages 120–129, 137–153
Assignments Due by 2/18:  Programming exercise #3.4 (page 155), 20 points.
2/23     2/25 Boolean expressions, if statements, and case statements.  Valdidating (user input) data.  Working with Event handler procedures.  Using Visual Studio 2008 debugging features.
Readings Due by 2/23:  Chapter 4 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
3/2     3/4

Menus and Dialog boxes.  Creating and invoking procedures; parameter pasing, function return values
Readings Due by 3/2:  Chapter 5 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 3/4:  Case study Very, Very Boards (Ch. 4, pages 210–211), 25 points.
Assignments Due by 3/9:  Programming exercise #5.4 (page 250), 20 points.

Updating assembly information, creating and using splash screens.  Working with Multi-form projects,showing and hiding forms, form events.  Scope and Lifetime review.  Namespaces.
Readings Due by 3/11:  Chapter 6 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 3/16:  Programming exercise #6.4 (pages 284-285), 20 points.
3/16     3/18

3/23     3/25
List Box and Combo Box controls.  Do loops, For-Next loops, Early exiting from loops: exit and continue statements.  Printing.  Using and With statements.
Readings Due by 3/16:  Chapter 7 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 3/25:  Programming exercise #7.1 (page 324), 15 points.
3/25   Introduction to arrays.
Readings Due by 3/25:  Chapter 8 (pages 330–333)
3/26 – 4/4 Midterm Break  —  HCC closed
4/6       4/8 Uses of arrays, arrays with ListBoxes.  Structures and arrays of structures.  Multi-dimensional arrays and jagged arrays.
Readings Due by 4/6:  Chapter 8 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 4/8:  Programming exercise #8.3 (page 356), 25 points.
  4/13 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming:  Objects and Classes, Abstraction and Encapsulation.
Readings Due by 4/13:  Chapter 12 (pages 470-475)
4/15 Faculty In-service Day  —  HCC closed
4/20     4/22

Object-Oriented Programming:  Class (instance) variables and shared class variables, properties, methods, constructors and destructors, inheritance and overriding methods, polymorphism, abstract base classes (using MustInherit), Working with multi-class projects, mult-tier applications.
Readings Due by 4/20:  Chapter 12 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 4/27:  Programming exercise #12.11 (page 522), 25 points.
4/27     4/29

Using databases in, XML, Using ADO.NET.  Data binding.  Using LINQ.
Readings Due by 4/27:  Chapter 10, pages 401-423, 431-437 (work through all hands-on projects and examples except the web form example).  You will need to download RnrBooks.mdf.
Assignments Due by 4/29:  Programming exercise 10.1 (page 437), 25 points.
5/6   Using files in VB and in .net.
Readings Due by 5/6:  Chapter 11 (work through all hands-on projects and examples)
Assignments Due by 5/10:  Programming exercise 11.2 (page 466), 25 points.  This is an optional, extra-credit project.


Class name: COP 1820 (Visual Basic, Beginning)     Day: Tuesday and Thursday 

Student Information Sheet

Student Name: ________________________

Student ID: ___________________________

Phone (optional):  ______________________

Email (optional):  ______________________

Student Certification Statement

I have read and understand all of the information contained in the syllabus,
and agree to abide by the conditions of this course, especially the
following areas (initial each area):

		_____  Test Policy

		_____  Honesty Policy

		_____  Attendance Policy

		_____  Grading Policy

		_____  Class Conduct

							Student Signature



Class Resources
MCPD Certification Information about Microsoft's entry level programming certification     Photo of PDP-11 console The old way to enter programs was via switches on a console
Assembly Demo Shows a C program with its assemby and machine code (in hex)     Soft Skills Discusses the non-technical skills needed to find and keep a job
Programming Overview Programming background information, not in the book     Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition Download Microsoft's free version of Visual Studio 2008 for Visual Basic
Visual Basic Developer Center Information, tutorials, and additional downloads for VB     Visual Studio 2008 Professional You can download the full Visual Studio 2008 here for a 90 day evaluation, almost long enough for our course
Visual Basic Beginner's Guide A video tutorial showing VB programming (requires Mircosoft Silverlight to view)     ConsoleAppModule.vb The code for a non-GUI console application, ConsoleAppDemo.exe.
Form1.Designer.vb (Before) The code generated using the designer for a Windows project, before adding any controls     Form1.Designer.vb (After) The code generated using the designer for a Windows project, after adding a Label and changing its Text
Visual Basic Power Pack 3.0 download Adds additional controls to your palette     HelloWorld.exe Model Solution of the Hello, World! Project (view screen capture)
Visual Basic .Net Program Structure a description of how code is organized Good site for basic math and algebra tutorials (something all technology workers need to know)
Custom Mask Reference Defining a custom mask for a MaskedTextBox control     InvisibleButtonDemo.exe Demo of the invisible button technique to hide the initial focus (view: screen capture, InvisibleBtnForm.vb, InvisibleBtnForm.Designer.vb)
Visual Basic .Net data types A chart describing the various data types in detail, for different versions of VB and .net Operator Chart Operators, precedence rules, and other information
ConversionDemo.exe Demos various conversions from Double to String.  See:  screen capture ConversionDemo.vb ConversionDemo.Designer.vb     Formatting Data Describes how VB formats data as Strings by default, and how to customize the ToString method to control the formatting
ASCII Collating Sequence A chart showing the ordering of ASCII characters     Test Case Self-Assessment Attempt to generate sufficient test cases for a simple program
Validation Demo A project showing various validation techniques     Validation Demo 2 A project showing additional validation techniques such as tool-tips
Event Handling Demo Shows a good technique for handling events from a group of RadioButtons        
Standard Windows Accelerator Keys Lists the common menu (and some other) accelerator key assignments     Standard Windows Shortcut Keys Lists all the standard accelerator and shortcut key assignments for Windows
Modal and Modeless Dialog Boxes Shows using a second form for dialog boxes     Common dialog box: BrowseFolder Shows a screen capture of the Browse Folder common dialog box
Common dialog box: OpenFile Shows a screen capture of the Open File common dialog box     Common dialog box: SaveFile Shows a screen capture of the Save (as) File common dialog box
Creating and Invoking Procedures (PDF) Some notes on designing, creating, and using procedures     Using Forms and Assemblies (PDF) Some notes on using multiple forms, project and assembly properties, and related topics (lecture notes)
ComboBoxDemo.exe Shows some features of ComboBox controls, including how to intercept the Enter key (Return key) to add new items to the list.  View ComboBoxDemoForm.vb and ComboBoxDemoForm.Designer.vb     PrintingDemo.exe Shows how to use common print dialogs.  View PrintingDemoMainForm.vb and PrintingDemoMainForm.Designer.vb.  Download whole project

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