Introduction to the MS-Windows Operating System

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CIS 116

       Course Name: Introduction to the MS-Windows Operating System

       Credits: 2 (2 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents theoretical and hands-on instruction using the Microsoft Windows operating system environment.  Content includes customizing the environment, optimizing performance, managing file systems, optimizing disks, performing file and folder operations, evaluating system performance, exploring the Windows registry, using troubleshooting tools, enhancing the computer’s security, and evaluating installation issues.  Recommended: CIS101 or CIS103 or comparable experience.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the underlying theory of the Windows environment and interaction with the operating system as well as the major features and accessories of the Windows program and objects
  2. Customize the desktop, screen displays, printers, mouse, and keyboard usage
  3. Use disk optimization tools (e.g. check disk, defrag, encrypt, compress)
  4. Create, organize, manage, search, and customize folders and files
  5. Install, update, and troubleshoot software applications
  6. Use commands to backup and restore files
  7. Enhance the computer’s security
  8. Evaluate the system’s performance and use various utilities to troubleshoot
  9. Examine the Windows file system including the Windows registry
  10. Discuss issues related to installing Windows operating systems

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

  1. Windows operating systems
    1. Why operating system software
    2. History of PC operating systems
    3. Command line
    4. Windows desktop
    5. Viewing and searching the help menu
    6. Objects and their properties
  2. Customizing Windows
  3. Creating, organizing and managing files and folders
    1. Secondary storage devices
    2. Filename standards
    3. Formatting
    4. Rename
    5. Delete
    6. Cut, copy, and paste
    7. Restoring computer settings
  4. Creating and customizing shortcuts
  5. Windows Gadgets
  6. Backing up and restoring files
  7. Maintaining and optimizing disks
    1. Properties
    2. Disk Cleanup
    3. Disk defragmenter
    4. Compressing and uncompressing folders and files
    5. Encrypting and decrypting folders and files
  8. Windows security
    1. Firewalls
    2. Spyware
    3. Viruses
    4. User accounts security
  9. Search strategies
  10. System performance
  11. Troubleshooting tools
  12. Windows registry

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, demonstration of software and hands-on exercises.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will use the computer to complete a variety of exercises and assignments to demonstrate their knowledge of the Windows software environment.  Quizzes will be given to evaluate theoretical as well as practical knowledge.

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

Students will be required to complete assignments and quizzes as specified by the instructor.

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

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.