Introduction to Cobol Programming
I. Course Prefix/Number: CIS 123
Course Name: Introduction to Cobol Programming
Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 2 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course introduces programming using the COBOL programming language to solve business-related problems. Content includes program development and design using arithmetic calculations, decision making, looping, reports, subroutines, data validation and file systems.
IV. Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Use the COBOL programming language to design, code, execute, and debug business applications.
- Develop programming logic for using appropriate tools such as TOE (Task, Object and Event) charts, hierarchy charts, flowcharts, and pseudocode.
- Write code that will generate reports with totals, multilevel reports, single and multilevel tables using subscripting, and reports with multiple input files.
- Write structured code for subroutines and modular design.
- Use COBOL’s debugging tools to debug programs.
- Prepare internal and external documentation.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Basic composition of a COBOL Program
- Organization of elements
- Purpose of each element
- Program Design
- Structured/modular program design
- An introduction to linear design
- Problem Classifications
- Creating reports with title lines and page breaks
- Data validation
- Output editing
- Control Breaks - single and multilevel
- Table handling - single and multilevel tables using subscripting
- Multi input file merging
- Systems flowchart
- Program flowchart
- Problem definition
- Processing information
- Input/output layout forms
- Debugging Techniques
- Using debugging statement within the program
- Using the COBOL debugging options (CBL statement)
- Introduction to the Operating System
- Relationship of COBOL STATEMENTS TO I/O device assignments
- Using the System libraries
- Program execution
- Data Representation and Storage descriptions
- Internal date representation
- Display format
- Computational-3 format
- Types of data
- Data description
- Levels of data - 01; 77; 88
- Value clause
- Storage layout
- Group items
- Elementary items
- Internal date representation
- Instructions for the Procedure Division
- Input/output instructions
- Arithmetic operations
- Data manipulation
- Procedure branching
- Conditional - 'IF' statement
VII. Methods of Instruction
Methods of presentation include lecture and class discussion covering the syntactical rules of COBOL as well as the COBOL instruction set.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
Designing, coding, testing, and debugging at least 6 programs, using on-line terminals. Taking quizzes/exams as required by the individual instructor. Creating at least 3 sets of written documentation.
IX. Instructional Materials
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.