Course Introduction

Ed Discussion

This video was recorded before I decided to switch to Ed Discussion instead of using Discord. All discussions of “Discord” can be applied to “Ed Discussion” instead. Sorry for the confusion! - Russ


Video Script

Welcome to CIS 527 - Enterprise System Administration and CC 510 - Computer Systems Administration. Even though these are two different courses in the catalog, they teach the same content and will use the same Canvas course. So, anywhere you see CIS 527 in this course, you can also mentally substitute CC 510 in its place.

My name is Russell Feldhausen, and I’ll be your instructor for this course. My contact information is shown here, and is also listed on the syllabus, and on the home page of the course on K-State Canvas. My email address is , and it is the official method of communication for matters outside of this course, since it allows me to have a record of our conversations and respond when I’m available. However, I’ll also be available via the K-State CS Discord server, so you can easily chat with me there. There is a channel already created for this course that I encourage you to make use of throughout this course.

We also have one teaching assistant this semester - Matt Schwartz. He’ll also be available to answer questions, help with lab assignments, and will be doing some of the lab grading as well.

For communication in this course, there are two basic methods that I recommend. For general questions about the course, content, getting help with labs, and any other items relevant to the course, I encourage you to use the course channel on Discord. This allows all of us to communicate in a single space, and it also means that any questions I answer will immediately be available for the whole class. For personal issues, grading questions, or if you have something that is a “to-do” item for me, please email the course email, which is . While I will strive to check Discord often, I’ve found that sometimes tasks can get lost in the discussion, so having an email in my inbox to prompt me to follow up is very helpful.

I am working remotely out of my home in Kansas City, so I won’t be available on campus very often during the semester. I do have an office, and I will be there usually on Mondays to meet with folks on campus and hold office hours. I’ll be sure to announce those times as they are scheduled.

In addition, I must give credit to several people for helping me develop the content in this course. First and foremost is Seth Galitzer , the CS system administrator, as well as several of my former students and teaching assistants.

For a brief overview of the course, there are 7 lab modules, plus a final project, that you’ll be responsible for completing. The modules are configured in K-State Canvas as gated modules, meaning that you must complete each item in the module in order before continuing. There will be one module due each week, and you may work ahead at your own pace. When you are ready to have a lab graded, you’ll schedule a time to meet interactively with me either in person or remotely. Finally, all work in this course must be completed and all labs graded by no later than the Friday of finals week.

Looking ahead to the rest of this first module, you’ll see that there are a few more items to be completed before you can move on. In the next video, I’ll discuss a bit more information about navigating through this course on Canvas and using the videos posted on YouTube.

One thing I highly encourage each of you to do is read the syllabus for this course in its entirety, and let me know if you have any questions. My view is that the syllabus is a contact between me as your teacher and you as a student, defining how each of us should treat each other and what we should expect from each other. I have made a few changes to my standard syllabus template for this course, and those changes are clearly highlighted. Finally, the syllabus itself is subject to change as needed as we adapt to this new course layout and format, and all changes will be clearly communicated to everyone before they take effect.

The grading in this course is very simple. Each of the 7 lab assignments will be worth 10% of your grade, for a total of 70%. Likewise, there are 15 quizzes, each one worth .66% for a total of 10%. We’ll also have a few guided discussions throughout the class, and your participation in each discussion will be 2% of your grade for a total of 10%. Finally, the final project is worth another 10% of your grade. There will be some extra credit points available, mainly through the Bug Bounty assignment, which you will review as part of this module. Lastly, the standard “90-80-70-60” grading scale will apply, though I reserve the right to curve grades up to a higher grade level at my discretion. Therefore, you will never be required to get higher than 90% for an A, but you may get an A if you score slightly below 90% if I choose to curve the grades.

Since this is a completely online course, you may be asking yourself what is different about this course. First off, you can work ahead at your own pace, and turn in work whenever you like before the due date. However, as discussed before, you must do all the readings and assignments in order before moving on, so you cannot skip ahead.

In addition, due to the flexible online format of this class, there won’t be any long lecture videos to watch. Instead, each module will consist of several short videos, each focused on a particular topic or task. Likewise, there won’t be any textbooks formally used, but you’ll be directed to a bevy of online resources for additional information.

What hasn’t changed, though, is the basic concept of a college course. You’ll still be expected to watch or read about 6 hours of content to complete each module. In addition to that, each lab assignment may require anywhere from 1 to 6 hours of work to complete. If you plan on doing a module every week, that roughly equates to 6 hours of content and 6 hours of homework each week, which is the expected workload from a 3 credit hour college course during the summer.

Also, while some of the quizzes will be graded automatically, much of the grading will still be done directly by me. This includes the lab assignments. For each lab assignment, you’ll schedule a time to meet with us either in person or remotely to review your work for that lab. Finally, we’ll still be available to meet with you online for virtual office hours as needed. Of course, you can always contact me via email if you have any questions. In fact, since I regularly work from home anyway, I’ll probably be easier to contact than some of my fellow faculty!

For this class, each student is required to have access to a personal computer. It should have plenty of RAM and CPU power to host several virtual machines concurrently. In addition, you’ll need some virtual machine software, which is available for free to K-State CS students. I’ll discuss how to acquire and install that software in the first lab module. Finally, you’ll also need access to a high-speed connection capable of web conferencing with video. If you have any concerns about meeting these requirements, please contact me ASAP! We may have options available through some on-campus resources to help you out.

Finally, as you are aware, this course is always subject to change. While we have taught this class several times before, there may be a few hiccups as we get started due to new software and situations. The best advice I have is to look upon this graphic with the words “Don’t Panic” written in large, friendly letters, and remember that it’ll all work out in the end as long as you know where your towel is.

So, to complete this module, there are a few other things that you’ll need to do. The next step is to watch the video on navigating Canvas and using the YouTube videos, which will give you a good idea of how to most effectively work through the content in this course.

To get to that video, click the “Next” button at the bottom right of this page.