CAWT-140 - Survey of Microsoft Office Programs - Alan Strozer


Course: Survey of Microsoft Office Programs
Professor: Alan Strozer

Format: Online
Length: 16 Weeks
Textbook: MindTap access code



In this day and age, we are fortunate to be able to offer distance learning courses in order to accommodate so many of you who may not have the time or resources to attend classes on campus due to modern societal pressures, including professional obligations, familial responsibilities, and financial or health concerns. It should not, however, be assumed that a distance learning class is in any way easier than an on-campus class. In fact, just the opposite may be true since, to be successful, students in online classes must rely more on their own resourcefulness, discipline, good time management and study habits, as well as finding within themselves the means to remain motivated.  Although this course is taught entirely online with no campus attendance requirement, my hope is to get to know each of you the same as if we interacted face-to-face in a classroom.

Course Description 

This full-semester (16 weeks) class introduces students to the major applications in the Microsoft Office 2016 Suite (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint) for Windows. The Microsoft Office Suite is the most widely-used collection of productivity applications employed by all manner of businesses and organizations in the modern office workplace. Microsoft Office skills are in great demand and taking this course represents a major step forward in advancing your job market viability. Microsoft Office

Students will work on a variety of interesting productivity exercises that simulate those projects encountered in a real, modern office environment. Students will be able to assess their progress by using the Cengage Skills Assessment Manager (SAM), an engaging and interactive online simulator that transforms students into Microsoft Office concept masters. SAM is not only powerful and effective, but it is also fun to use. SAM is NOT fully compatible with the Apple Macintosh operating system. Use of a PC and Microsoft Windows is required for this course. SAM is integrated with MindTap, also a Cengage Learning product, offering access to training videos, related content, grade reports (including explanation of errors), and links student SAM performance with the Canvas Gradebook, so that students will always be able to view their grades conveniently in Canvas.

The course will be administered 100% online, including all exams. All course content will be organized into modules within Canvas, the online classroom management system used at College of the College. Some student assignments will be submitted in Canvas, but most, such as simulation drills and exams, will be submitted directly to the SAM website.

This course requires proficiency with Microsoft Windows, computer file management, the Internet, a browser (especially Google Chrome and Firefox), and the ability to send e-mail. The SAM application is optimized for use with the Google Chrome browser. Please do not use either the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge browser for this class.

CAWT 140 is required for the AS Degree and Certificate of Achievement programs in either Computer Applications or Administrative Assistant offered by the Department of Computer Applications & Web Technologies.


Course Requirements

SKILL REQUIREMENTS -- Prior to taking this course, students should have acquired the following skills:

  1. Proficiency with Microsoft Windows, Ver. 7 or higher (especially file management).
  2. Proficiency with the Internet and browsers (especially Google Chrome and Firefox)
  3. Proficiency with e-mail, including the ability to send and receive attachments.
  4. Proficiency with the creation and extraction of zip archives (.zip files)

SOFTWARE and HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS – Prior to taking this course, students must have in their possession or access to the following:

  1. The complete Microsoft Office Professional 2016 Suite application (Free through the COC Bookstore as supplies last and Special student pricing at
  2. Reliable access to broadband Internet
  3. A PC computer with Windows 7 or higher. An Apple Macintosh cannot be used for this class.
  4. Browser software (Latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox). SAM is optimized for use with the Google Chrome browser. Do NOT use the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge browsers for this class.
  5. Adobe Reader, Version 9 or higher (free download at
  6. Adobe Flash Player, latest version (free download at
  7. A media player that is compatible with mpg4, mov, wmv, and swf formats (free VLC media player is recommended:
  8. A College of the Canyons e-mail account
  9. IMPORTANT: Students must have access to a Windows-compatible desktop or regular laptop computer to work effectively with SAM. Use of the Surface Pro, tablets, or smartphones is problematic with SAM and these devices are not adequate for this class. SAM, as we use it, is also incompatible with the Macintosh operating system. 

Canvas Accounts

Student Canvas accounts are created automatically once course fees are paid. During the first week of class, it is important that all students log into Canvas to update their Profile and to change their password, if necessary. Students who have already used Canvas in previous semesters should still have an active password, which they may continue to use. Make sure that the e-mail address recorded in Canvas is your correct MyCanyons e-mail account. If you are new to Canvas, make sure that you change your password immediately after initial login. Passwords are case-sensitive and must be entered exactly as created. Store your password in a safe place. I do not have access to your password.

The course can be accessed via Canvas at on the first day of class. Follow the login instructions at the bottom of the log in page. Here, you can also access Canvas user guides with helpful tips for navigating and using Canvas. For any Canvas related issues please call the Canvas Student Support line at (661)362-3344 during college business hours, or (877)889-9052 for 24/7 support.

Students must log into Canvas daily and are responsible for reading all content posted in Canvas. Please do not share passwords with others. The integrity of your Canvas account is your responsibility.


All students must use their e-mail account created for them by the College. In order to authenticate student identities and comply with FERPA regulations, instructors have been asked by the College to respond only to student e-mail originating from a account. The account is integrated with Microsoft’s Windows Live, which includes a free 7GB One Drive account for cloud data storage. All students must make sure that they have activated their e-mail account. To activate your account, log into MyCanyons (WebAdvisor) on the college web site and follow the appropriate links related to student e-mail. 

Please always insert your course number (076) in the Subject header of your e-mails and identify yourself at the end of your e-mail messages with your full name.

For class-related issues, all e-mail correspondence to me should be sent to the e-mail address posted in Canvas ( and NOT to my general COC account. If you send your e-mail messages directly through Canvas, they will be routed to the correct account.

MindTap Access Code and Textbook Information

All students must purchase a MindTap code to access all course materials and the Skills Assessment Manager (SAM). In addition, students will need access to the textbook and may choose from one of the options below.

NOTE: A free digital copy of the textbook is included with the MindTap code purchase and, consequently, a hard copy of the textbook is not required. There are advantages to using the free digital copy of the textbook.

  • Errors, such as typos, are much more efficiently corrected.
  • Additional resources, course content, and modification of course content can easily be included.
  • Students can annotate the digital textbook.
  • Students can print from the digital textbook.
  • The digital textbook is free with the purchase of a MindTap code.


Option 1 - Cengage Unlimited subscription only, as a printed access code from the COC Bookstore.

Cengage Unlimited access code only may be purchased from the COC Bookstore as a printed access code (or from the Cengage website as an instant access code – see Option 2). The code permits the student access for all courses at COC that utilizes Cengage textbooks or other products.

ISBN: 9780357700037    Printed Access Code for one Term (6 months) = $119.99

This option will carry over to a continuation courses during the following semester at no extra charge. (An example of a continuation series of courses would be Word 1 and Word 2).

ISBN: 9780357700044    Printed Access Code for One Full Year = $179.99

ISBN: 9780357700051    Printed Access Code for Two Full Years = $239.99

NOTE: Students may purchase a one-term subscription and then upgrade to a longer subscription at any time during their subscription period for the difference in the price of the two subscriptions. 

When a subscription expires, students can keep up to six ebooks in a digital locker and access them any time for up to a year at no additional cost.


OPTION 2 – Cengage Unlimited Instant Access code, purchased from the Cengage website.

An Instant Access code provides students with immediate access to MindTap over the Web. Price is the same as for a printed access code, but students will be required to pay over the Internet. Note that ISBN numbers for printed and instant access codes are not the same.

ISBN: 9780357700006      Instant Access Code for one Term (six months) = $119.99

ISBN: 9780357700013      Instant Access Code for One Year = $179.99

ISBN: 9780357700020      Instant Access Code for Two Years = $239.99


OPTION 3 – Textbook Bundle ($178.55) Microsoft Office 2016

Students may purchase both the Cengage Mindtap printed access code AND a hard copy of the textbook (loose-leaf version to minimize cost) for a single price at the COC Bookstore.


Freund, S.M.,  Last, M.Z., et al.  Microsoft Office 365 – Office 2016, Brief, Loose-leaf Version + Sam 365 and 2016 Assessments, Trainings, and Projects with 1 MindTap Reader and Multi-Term printed Access Code (Bundle). Cengage Learning (Shelly Cashman Series), 2017.

ISBN: 9781337212519


OPTION 4 – Option 1 or 2 plus a hard copy rental.

Students who purchase the Cengage access code may also choose to rent a hard copy of the textbook for six months directly from the Cengage website for $7.99, which includes shipping costs from and back to the publisher. For students who feel that they need a hard copy of the textbook, this is the best and most economical option.

NOTE: Previous-year versions of the SAM code will not work in this class.



Additional Resources


The course can be accessed via Canvas at on the first day of the course. Follow the login instructions at the bottom of the screen to log in. Here, you can also access Canvas user guides with helpful tips for navigating and using Canvas. For any Canvas related issues please call the Canvas Student Support line at (661) 362-3344 during college business hours, or (877) 889-9052 for 24/7 support.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE tutoring resource to COC students including:

  • Face-to-face & ONLINE tutoring
  • Testing Center: offers test proctoring services for courses that have required proctored exams
  • Study Jam Review Sessions
  • Computers with over 300 software programs For more information visit the TLC Website.

Disabled Students Program & Services (DSPS)

College of the Canyons DSPS provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC.  A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Disabled Students Program & Services website. 

If you are a student with a documented physical or learning disability, which requires special consideration and are registered with the Disabled Students Program & Services (DSPS) Office, please submit the required paperwork to me as soon as possible so that the necessary accommodations can be provided. If you are not registered with DSPS, please register as soon as possible and submit the required, stamped accommodations form to me.

More details on these topics will be found in the course syllabus, which can be accessed once the course is activated in Canvas.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress – it could save someone’s life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text “Courage” to 741741. It’s free, available 24/7, and confidential.



If you have further questions regarding the course or need to contact me, please e-mail me at and insert the course number (140) in the Subject header of your e-mail.

I hope that you find this online course a worthwhile experience and look forward to meeting you online.

Alan Strozer, Professor

Computer Applications & Web Technologies

College of the Canyons