Syllabus: IST 430

Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce), online course
Department of Integrated Science and Technology | College of Science
Fall 2006


Brian M. Morgan


Prichard Hall 212

Phone Number

(304) 696-6469

Fax Number

(304) 696-6533

Office Hours

You can email me with the VISTA Mail Tool or use the Who's Online tool. Should you ever find yourself on campus during the semester, you can also look me up in person.


This course begins on August 21, 2006 and ends on December 12, 2006.

Please note that all times are Eastern.

Please see the University Academic Calendar for course withdrawal dates.

Course Materials and Cost

There are no required textbooks for this course, but the following textbooks are recommended:

Professional PHP4 Programming, by Rawat, Thomas, Choi, Sani, et al; Wrox Publishing; ISBN: 1-861006-91-8, 2002.

PHP Professional Projects, by Wilfred, Gupta, and Bhatnagar; Premier Press; ISBN: 1-931841-53-5, 2002.

Programming Data Driven Web Applications with ASP.NET, by Donny Mack and Doug Seven; Sams Net; ISBN: 0672321068, 2001.

Beginning ASP.NET 1.1 E-Commerce: From Novice to Professional, by Cristian Darie and Karli Watson; Apress; ISBN: 1590592549, 2004.

The books can be found online at sites such as or in bookstores such as Borders.

Technical Requirements

  • For minimum hardware/software requirements please see:
  • Be sure to run the free web browser Tuneup: or
  • If you have technical problems, please go to the Help Desk:
  • Help Desk Phone Numbers:
    (304) 696-3200 (Huntington, WV)
    (304) 746-1969 (Charleston, WV)
    (877) 689-8638 (Toll free)
  • Supplemental materials can be found contained within the Vista environment ( I will be sending class announcements, updates, etc. using your Vista account. Access to a WWW browser is required (Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher or FireFox 1.0 or higher) and Adobe Acrobat Reader (available for download free from Marshall University's Computing Services download page at It is also recommended that you download and install MySQL 4.1 or higher, mySQL Administrator, and PHP 4.4 or higher (5.0.x will be fine) onto your local computer to work on course projects from your home PC. Links and instructions to these software packages are found under the "Steps for Configuring Software for IST430" link on the course's homepage within Vista.

Course Details

Course Description:
This course examines electronic commerce with group decision making and collaborative applications through the Internet. Student will also develop applications that retrieve and store information in distributed databases.

The course is three (3) credit hours. It includes lectures (online notes), a final exam, and a number of programming projects utilizing mySQL, PHP, and ASP.NET. Students will participate in projects that illustrate the implementation of concepts in creating a general Electronic Commerce application.

IST160 or IST163 or permission (student should have taken at least one programming course in the past).

Desired Objectives/Outcomes:
By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the design and management issues related to E-commerce sites.
  • Discuss the challenging issues encountered when building E-commerce sites.
  • Identify proper E-commerce strategy and design, and its incorporation into E-commerce architecture.
  • Employ modern scripting languages (PHP and ASP.NET) to develop an E-commerce web site
  • Possess necessary technical skills to assist real world business in migrating from a traditional business model into contemporary E-commerce model

Course Grading

Instruction method:
In the traditional classroom setting for this course, there are 3 contact hours of classroom lecture and hands-on development projects each week. Since this is an online course, you should spend at least three hours per week reading over lecture notes and working through the examples presented in the Course Content section of the course. A number of projects throughout the semester will bring together a complete E-commerce site covering the major topics of the course. Students may work on their projects in University computing facilities or from home.

Evaluation method:
Evaluation of student's performance will be based on the quality of your performance on the course projects and a comprehensive final exam.

Grading Policy:
Final grades are based on performance on projects and a final exam as indicated below.

Final Exam


Project 1 - E-Commerce Site Write-Up


Project 2 - Product and Customer Database Design


Project 3 - Site Template


Project 4 - Product Listing (Catalog)


Project 5 - Customer Friendly Features


Project 6 - Shopping Cart Application


Project 7 - Additional Product Listing Features


Project 8 - Customer Checkout System


Project 9 - Customer Account Page


Project 10 - Administrative Web Site


Attendance & Participation


Assessment of Projects:

The grading of all projects will take into account the following:

  1. Although the most important attribute of a project is correctness, grading will take into consideration such items as efficiency, documentation, etc.
  2. Programs must have proper inline documentation and must be properly indented. 10% will be deducted for poorly documented and/or poorly indented code.
  3. Code that contains syntax errors will receive a grade of 0. Code that contains logic errors will receive partial credit.
  4. Although interactions with other students are encouraged, you must compose your own answers, unless otherwise noted.

Individuals who utilize other people's code, thoughts, or ideas must provide appropriate references to said resources. Failure to provide such documentation will result in a failing grade for the project, and may result in a failing grade for the course.

Final letter grades are determined based on the following grading scale:









Below 60


The instructor reserves the right to change these values depending on the overall class performance and/or extenuating circumstances.

Exams and Quizzes

There will be only one exam this semester, a comprehensive final examination. This exam can be taken at any time once you have completed project 10, but must be completed before the end of the day on December 12, 2006. This exam will be sent to you via e-mail. You will have to e-mail me with the date and time that you wish to take the exam and once I receive this e-mail, I will send you a Microsoft Word document containing the questions for the exam. After receiving the exam and reading over all of the questions, type each of your answers in Microsoft Word (you can use the same file that I send you) and Submit the Word file back to the Vista dropbox area that is labeled Final Exam. A proctor will not be required for this exam, nor will any other special arrangements be required other than access to a computer with Internet access for a minimum of 2 hours to take the exam. The exam will be essay and short answer in nature and will be open note and open book.


The course includes a number of projects. All projects should be completed by the suggested due date that is listed within your course syllabus. By doing so, you will ensure that you will complete the course on-time without having to be rushed at the end of the semester. All projects must be submitted through the Vista Assignment Tool, and the description of each project/assignment is currently found within Vista's Assignments Tool, linked to the course homepage. Please do not procrastinate in working on your projects or trying to submit through Vista as many others have done in the past. If you wait until the last night to start on the project or the last minute to submit, chances are, you will fail. For projects two through 10, you will add your work to the course's project workspace on (see the link entitled Steps for Configuring Software for IST430 on your Vista course homepage for information on how to submit your project files to this server). You will then add your files to the Vista dropbox when you are ready to have the files graded so that I will know when you are ready for me to look over the files. As with the exam, all projects must be completed and submitted by the end of the day on December 12, 2006.


The Discussions tool within Vista will be used to make any general announcements, last minute changes, etc. It is mandatory that you monitor your Vista course messages at least once a day. You as a student can also use the discussions tool to post any questions/comments that you have about the course content, projects, specifics of what is to be done, etc.

On-Campus Requirements

Because this is an online course, there is absolutely no requirement that you come to campus. You can communicate with me via the course Mail tool or the Who's Online tool.

Course Policies

My Academic Honesty Policy

Academic Dishonesty is defined as any act of a dishonorable nature which gives the student engaged in it an unfair advantage over others engaged in the same or similar course of study and which, if known to the classroom instructor in such course of study, would be prohibited. Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated as these actions are fundamentally opposed to "assuring the integrity of the curriculum through the maintenance of rigorous standards and high expectations for student learning and performance" as described in Marshall University's Statement of Philosophy.

If you are found cheating on projects or plagiarizing answers from the Internet or other sources (among other things), there will be no second chance. Your penalty is that you will receive a failing grade for the course. In those cases in which the offense is particularly flagrant or where there are other aggravating circumstances, additional, non-academic, sanctions may be pursued through the Office of Judicial Affairs. Notice of an act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Department Chair, Dean of the College of Science, and to the Office of Academic Affairs. Please refer to the Marshall University Undergraduate Catalog for a full definition of academic dishonesty.

Make-up Exams and Late Penalty: A Make-up final exam after December 12, 2006 will not be given except under unusual circumstances and satisfactory written justification. Any student who fails to complete the exam by this date due to an unexcused reason will receive a grade of zero for that exam with no opportunity for make-up or substitution. University excused absences or those occurring with a good reason will be excused. The decision whether to give a make up exam rests with the instructor.

Passing grade: Programming projects and the final exam are required parts of the course and must be satisfactorily completed to pass this course. A student must have a passing grading in each area. A failing grade in either area may result in a failing grade in the course.

Withdrawal Policy: The University withdrawal policy is followed in this course. The last day to drop an individual course for the Fall of 2006 is October 27, 2006.

Topics and Methodologies / Schedule

A detailed schedule of topics covered in this course can be found under the schedule link on the course homepage in Vista. Please refer to this schedule as it contains the suggested dates for which you should read over the notes, complete the course projects, and the final exam.

For each topic discussed in the notes, specific experience of other students and the instructor will be posted to the discussions forums to enhance the characteristics involved. Projects for the course will be based on creating a fully-functional E-Commerce solution. Additional material may also be covered in the class.

Effort Required:
As a 400-level course, a considerable amount of development and research effort is required of the student. Students are expected to put in an effort of at least 10 hours per week studying, trying examples, and programming. Upon background and preparedness, some students may have to put in additional effort. Please do not procrastinate. Procrastination and the placing of blame on other factors than yourself has become very large problems for college students. Prioritize, schedule, and take responsibility for your actions and you should do very well in this class.


Me: Don't hesitate to contact me directly with questions or concerns. You can reach me through the VISTA Mail Tool or if necessary by phone at (304) 696-6469. Please don't let your questions hang out there and simmer. If you are not sure about something the best thing to do is to ask about it right away! Something that may seem obvious to me may not be obvious to you at all! I answer e-mails every evening before going to bed, so if you do not hear from me within 24 hours of sending your message, it may not have reached me.

Support Services
Marshall University
offers a variety of support services to students enrolled in online courses:

About Me - Biography


Assistant Professor, Integrated Science and Technology

Brian Morgan is a resident of Proctorville, OH and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Marshall University and a Master of Science Degree in Technology Management from the Marshall University Graduate College.

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Integrated Science and Technology Program, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (July 2000-Current).

Director, Center for Instructional Technology, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (October 1997-June 2000). Responsible for everyday duties of the Center, as well as managing Instructional Technology and World Wide Web Development on both the Huntington and South Charleston campuses of Marshall University, and coordinating faculty and staff IT development training programs.

Part-Time Faculty, Marshall University Community and Technical College, Huntington, WV. (August 1997-Current). Have taught Computer Technology 107, 107E, and 108; Information Technology 107E, and have designed the electronic versions of Computer Technology 107E and Information Technology 107E.

Instructional Technologist, Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (November 1996-October 1997). Responsible for working with Information Technology staff and faculty from a variety of disciplines on the selection and production of CD-ROM-based and WWW-based multimedia instructional materials, assist faculty and staff, through training and consulting, in integrating computing and information resources into the curriculum, track current and emerging Internet and development technologies, and aid in the progression and completion of technology grants. I have created distributable Computer Based Training modules for both Distance Education and Faculty Training, as well as worked with several Internet course creation tools for placing classes "on-line."

Computer Programming, Marshall University College of Liberal Arts and College of Science, Huntington, WV. (April 1996-May 1997). Responsible for developing and programming multimedia tutorial programs for the University as well as programming multimedia modeling software for science laboratory courses.

Computer Programming and Research, NASA and National Science Foundation Grant through Marshall University, Huntington, WV. (Spring 1996-Fall 1996). Responsible for developing and programming lecture-room demonstration educational project programs through a NASA and NSF grant for Marshall University.

Marshall University