Assembly Language for the Microcomputer

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CIS 215

       Course Name: Assembly Language for the Microcomputer

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces Intel microprocessor assembly language instruction set. Content includes assembly, link and executing code to write business-oriented programs and subroutines to include such concepts as screen manipulating, table searching, disk processing, calling assembly language subroutines, communicating with programs written in higher-level languages, debugging techniques and machine language execution. Recommended: Knowledge of any programming language.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to code, assemble, link, and execute business-oriented programs in assembly language for a microcomputer.  Programming concepts include:

  1. Perform arithmetic operations using binary, ASCII and BCD data
  2. Manipulate screen operations
  3. Perform table searching
  4. Access sequential disk files
  5. Call assembly language procedures from high-level languages and from other assembly-language routines

The student will be exposed to machine language coding and the use of DEBUG to detect program errors.  The student will learn the theory of binary, decimal, and hexadecimal numbering 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. Introduction to a Microcomputer
    1. Advantages of the Assembly Language
    2. Hardware
      1. Architecture
      2. Storage Elements
      3. Segments
      4. Registers
      5. Memory
    3. Software
      1. Machine language
      2. Assembly language
    4. Disk Representation
  2. Data Representation
    1. Decimal numbering system
    2. Binary numbering system
    3. Conversion between decimal and binary
    4. Hexadecimal number system
    5. Conversion between decimal and hexadecimal
    6. Conversion between hexadecimal and binary
    7. Data Storage Directives
      1. Define Byte – DB
      2. Define Word – DW
      3. Define Doubleword - DD
      4. Define Quadword – DQ
      5. Define Tenbytes – DT
  3. Machine Execution
    1. DEBUG program
    2. Machine language program using immediate data
    3. Machine language program using defined data
    4. Machine addressing
  4. Assembly Language Requirements
    2. Coding format
    3. Pseudo-operations
    4. Preparing a program for execution
      1. Assembling
      2. Linking
      3. Executing
    5. Program listing layout
  5. Instruction set
    1. Data movement instructions
    2. Arithmetic instructions
    3. Conversion instructions
    4. Control and iteration instructions
  6. Structured programming in Assembly Language
    1. Assignment statements
    2. Selection statements
    3. Loops
  7. Screen Processing
    1. Interrupt instruction
    2. Setting the cursor
    3. Clearing the screen
    4. Displaying on the screen
    5. Accepting input from the keyboard
  8. Printing
    1. Print Control Characters
    2. Printing using DOS NT 21H
  9. String instructions
    1. Features of string operations
    2. Moving character strings
      1. MOVSB
      2. REP
    3. Comparing character strings
    4. Searching character strings
    5. Accessing and changing string characters
      1. LODS
      2. STOS
  10. ASCII and BCD data arithmetic
    1. ASCII format
    2. BCD format
    3. Conversion of ASCII to Binary format
    4. Conversion of Binary to ASCII format
    5. Shifting and rounding
  11. Table searching
    1. Defining tables
    2. Direct table accessing
    3. Table searching
    4. Table searching using string comparisons
    5. Translate instruction
  12. Calling Assembly Language Procedures
    1. Linking BASIC and Assembler
    2. Linking Assembler and Assembler
      1. Call
      2. Ret
  13. Disk Processing
    1. The directory
    2. File control block
    3. Creating a disk file under DOS
    4. Sequential reading of DOS disk file
    5. File allocation table
    6. DOS files
    7. BIOS Disk I/O
  14. BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)
    1. I/O
    2. Interrupts
      1. BIOS interrupts (pre-defined)
      2. DOS interrupts (pre-defined)
      3. Users-defined interrupts
  15. Generation of sounds (error-message awareness)

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, class discussion, demonstration of programs
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

8-10 Programs to include:
  1. Registers and Memory
  2. Screen Display
  3. Keyboard Entry
  4. Printing text and numbers
  5. Sequential disk files

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

Evaluation will be based upon the grades received on programming assignments and quizzes/exams 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.