Visual Basic for Applications

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CIS 208

       Course Name: Visual Basic for Applications

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommended: CIS 103, or CAB 135 and CAB 140, ability to manage files using Windows, and MAT 070, or one year of high school algebra.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces programming using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to automate or customize operations in Word, Excel, and Access.  The Visual Basic editor will be used to code, compile, execute, and debug programs. Content includes programming logic and writing VBA code that uses variables, looping, decision-making, functions, procedures, and SQL.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate how to create, execute, and debug programs using the Visual Basic for Applications programming language
  • Integrate VBA programs with Word, Excel, and  Access
  • Demonstrate how to use the Visual Basic editor to view, modify, execute, and debug programs
  • Apply the use of programming principles to VBA programs
  • Use variables
  • Develop sub and function procedures
  • Use message boxes, dialog boxes, and input boxes
  • Use decision control and looping statements to control program execution
  • Demonstrate the use the SQL SELECT statement
  • Use error-handling statements to handle run-time errors
  • Explain the difference between objects, properties, and methods
  • Develop code that will access data in one application and use it in another application


V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• 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

A.    Introduction
       1.    What is Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
       2.    Difference between VB and VBA
       3.    Creating and executing macros
              a.  Macro basics
              b.  Running macros in Excel and Access
              c.  Editing macros
       4.    Working across applications
              a.  Word
              b.  Excel
              c.  Access
       5.    Using the Visual Basic Editor
       6.    VBA terminology and syntax
              a. Events
              b.  Objects
              c.  Methods
B.    Programming Logic
C.    Variables and Constants
       1.    Standards
       2.    Declaring a variable
       3.    Choosing the scope and lifetime
       4.    Data types
       5.    Syntax and usage for constants
D.    Custom dialog boxes
E.    Using message boxes and input boxes
       1.    Displaying messages
       2.    Buttons
F.     Controls
       1.   Adding, renaming, moving, copying, pasting, deleting
       2.   Toolbox control properties
       3.   Working with groups of controls
G.    Decisions
       1.   If...then
       2.   Select case
H.    Looping
I.     Using and creating functions
       1.   Definition
       2.   Passing arguments to a function
       3.   Create new functions
       4.   Built-in functions
J.     Introduction to SQL
K.    Creating Procedures
L.     Debugging
M.   Automating tasks for Office applications

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Reading, lecture, discussion, group work, demonstration of programs, hands-on exercises and projects, assignments, quizzes, and/or tests.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading: Students will be expected to read text book and research appropriate manuals as needed.
Writing:  Interactive programming requires student to be able to write screen and other instructions using clear and syntactically correct English.
Computer:  Students will use computers to create, test and debug a variety of programs.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

A. Quizzes to be determined by instructor
B. Exams (essay, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank) to be determined by instructor
C. Evaluation of lab exercises
D. Evaluation of other homework assignments (e.g. student presentations, research papers)

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
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at