Course Introduction – Custom Applications with VBA (CMIS 312)

If you’re like me, your curiosity has been piqued by the puzzling acronym in this new AU course’s title, “Custom Applications with VBA.” What could this mysterious “VBA” refer to? My less-than-stunning computer science background certainly didn’t help me out. Succumbing to my curiosity, I quickly opened my AU course calendar, and began to read:

“Custom Applications with VBA”, or CMIS 312, a type of Computers and Management Information Systems course, just opened at the end of this October.” (If you enroll right away, you might have the honour of being one of the first students!) “A 3-credit course in Applied Studies, Custom Applications with VBA (CMIS 312) delves into the world of computer programming, exploring potential applications between Microsoft Office and Visual Basic, a prominent programming language in the computer science field.

“Students will have the opportunity to gain experience with the rudiments and concepts of computer programming in Visual Basic, and be able to make simple custom programs in Microsoft Office” (hence the name of the course, “Custom Applications”!). “Additionally, they will also become familiar with the “basic background” of other computer programming languages currently on the market.”

CMIS 312 consists of 9 tutorials, available through AU’s “regular” independent study online format, or through the exciting e-class format (where students work together in a paced online class). The first tutorials provide students with a basic background, since no pre-requisites are required for the course. Students are then introduced to variables, logic, and control structures required for Visual Basic programming.

By the 5th tutorial, students are able to program simple applications in Microsoft Word; then they branch out to programming basic applications for Excel, Power Point, Access, and more.

CMIS 312’s evaluation is in several parts. Students complete 3 assignments related to the course materials; the first 2 assignments are worth 15% of the final grade, and the last assignment is weighted more heavily: 25%. 15% of the course mark is also devoted to how effectively students participate in CMIS 312’s online discussion board. The remaining 30% of the course grade is determined by the final exam.

Well, how does the course “Custom Applications in VBA” (CMIS 312) sound? Exciting and interesting, right? Be sure to check out the course syllabus at: And by the way, “VBA” stands for Visual Basic Applications:if you hadn’t already guessed:

To review more information about this course, and other courses offered by the AU School of Business, see the faculty website at:

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