The Scope Of Computing And Information Technology Developments Education Essay

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Computing and information technology is a very dynamic, constantly evolving area with innovative applications emerging on a daily basis. Some like the World Wide Web have led to rapid global adoption and fundamental changes in the way people do business and conduct their lives. These developments are often represented, particularly in the popular media, as the result of great insights or flashes of inspiration. The fact that these insights generally occur to people who have spent considerable time in painstaking systematic study and investigation is less generally appreciated. It is therefore important that students embarking on a career as computing and IT professionals are given a clear understanding of these developments in their socio-economic, historical and ethical context along with a firm grounding in the fundamental professional skills that will help them contribute effectively to its future development. This unit aims to provide grounding in key professional based skills such as the comprehension, analysis, evaluation, and recording of information, data determined decision-making, and the design of evaluative investigations in the context of some of the most exciting current developments in computing and IT. The importance of professionalism, honesty, integrity, fairness, due care, and attention to detail is emphasised throughout.

Aims of the Unit

The aim of this unit is to introduce students of the scope and range of computing and information technology developments and give them an understanding of the basic principles, knowledge, tools and techniques necessary for the development of professional self-managed practice in computing and information technology and to provide the support and guidance that will enable them to aquire confidence in planning and managing their work both individually and collectively as part of a group. The emphasis of the unit will be on understanding computing and information technology as a professional discipline with the respect of, and responsibilities to, the general public, relevant authorities and the profession. As well as developing understanding of personal and group management skills the unit will provide experience in their application by introducing students to the basics of systematic investigations, data collection, analysis, evaluation and presentation. Specifically, the unit aims to:

• provide students with a broad knowledge of the scope of the field and its current developments and their socio-economic, historical and ethical context;

• give students a general appreciation of the value of standards and experience in interpreting, applying and evaluating conformance to particular standards;

• familiarise students with techniques for effectively managing team and group based work;

• help students acquire autonomy in managing their own learning and provide experience in techniques of personal time management;

• introduce the basic concepts of systematic investigation and problem solving;

• assist students in understanding computing and information technology within its socio-economic, historical and ethical context.

• explain the importance of academic integrity and how to ensure that their own work avoids charges of misconduct

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed the unit, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

Socio-economic, historical and ethical context of computing and information technology;

The design, analysis and evaluation of systematic investigations;

Academic and professional integrity.

Intellectual Skills

Having completed this unit, students will be able to:

Evaluate documents in terms of their purpose, structure and style;

Pose evaluative questions and devise fair means for testing them;

Assess the veracity of information in a variety of forms;

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time related targets individually and in groups;

Practical Skills

Having completed this unit, students will be able to:

Develop documentation in accordance with a given house style.

Present data and statistics to effectively convey information;

Interpret the level of confidence data provide for a hypothesis;

Transferable Skills

Having completed this unit, students will be able to:

Demonstrate organisational and time management skills;

Work with others to achieve common goals

Effectively present novel ideas to an audience of their peers;

Take effective notes from spoken and written presentations;

Maintain a portfolio that effectively records essential information related to their study and practice.

Assessment of the Unit

Weekly Lecture Reflections and semester 1 skills activities (36 marks) Students will record their reflections from the CCP lectures throughout the semester using the template provided. This will be looked at regularly by the tutor. Students will be expected to evidence completion of specific tutorial activities from the CCP and other units in their portfolio.

Reflective Commentary (12 marks). Students will be expected to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and identify their short/medium/long term goals and how they have been able to achieve them, to date. Marks will be awarded for the critical evaluation of their progress and personal development for semester 1.

Integrated assessment (15 marks) this component will be assessed as part of the integrated assessment in weeks 13, 14 & 15.

Personal Development Plan (12 marks). The student will begin a personal development plan at the start of the unit, and the tutor will discuss it periodically throughout the unit with the student. It will be assessed periodically throughout the two semesters.

Group Report and Presentation in small groups (25 marks). Students will be formed into groups and conduct an investigation into a given topic and write a formal report, as well as give a presentation on the topic that they have investigated using techniques introduced in the unit.


Feedback will normally be given to students 15 working days after the submission of an assignment.

Introduction to Studying the Unit

Overview of the Main Content

Finding relevant sources of information in the library and on the internet

Analysis and evaluation of document architectures and styles

Comprehending, analysing and evaluating documentary sources of information

Effective note taking and journal keeping

Techniques for personal planning and time management

Group work management techniques - consensus building, goal-setting, ensuring commitment and compliance dealing with conflict

Asking evaluative questions and determining a fair test

Designing questionnaires and interviews

Analysis of questionnaire data

Effective presentation of data and information

Academic integrity, house style, citing and referencing of sources

Overview of Types of Classes

There will be a one hour lecture followed by a two hour tutorial in semester one and two hour tutorials in semester two with some one hour lectures. Lectures will primarily focus on introducing students to some of the broader issues in computing and information technology and will also act as a 'laboratory' in which students can experiment with developing effective note taking skills.

Tutorial time will be divided between working on individual and group projects, exercises and whole class activities and one-to-one support sessions with the tutor.

Students will be encouraged to develop a personal development plan and individual support sessions will be organised around these plans.

Importance of Student Self-Managed Learning Time

The unit introduces a number of techniques and skills based exercises that need to be practised on a regular basis for the student to be able develop competence and become skilled practitioners. It is important that students practice these techniques in all their learning throughout the week. The personal development planning and one-to-one support sessions with there tutor will help students plan and manage their time effectively.


Professional behaviour is fundamental to earning the respect of employers and colleagues and the basic skills and good habits developed in this unit are highly regarded by employers. In particular, being able to manage their own time and work effectively in groups and teams is frequently cited by employers as an important discriminator when selecting staff. Being able to demonstrate competence in these areas therefore clearly improves a student's chances of gaining and retaining good employment opportunities.

The Programme of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Week Beginning

Semester Week Number


Assessment Points

27 Sep 2010


Introduction to the unit


Semester 1 begins

04 Oct 2010


Library Information Skills

11 Oct 2010


Personal Development Planning

18 Oct 2010


Can my fridge talk to my washing machine?

25 Oct 2010


Identifying your skills

PDP review by tutors

01 Nov 2010


Learning Styles

08 Nov 2010


Note-taking &studying

15 Nov 2010


Assuring Academic &Professional Integrity

22 Nov 2010


Critical Review

PDP review by tutors

29 Nov 2010


Effective Writing

06 Dec 2010


CV Preparation

13 Dec 2010



Reflection &Activities

20 Dec 2010

27 Dec 2010

03 Jan 2011

Christmas vacation

10 Jan 2011


Integrative Assignment

17 Jan 2011


Integrative Assignment

24 Jan 2011


Integrative Assignment

Semester 1 ends

31 Jan 2011


Integrative Assignment

Semester 2 begins

07 Feb 2011


Assuring Academic &Professional Integrity

Group Work hand-out

14 Feb 2011


Report Writing

PDP review by tutors

21 Feb 2011


Making the most of your time at University

28 Feb 2011


Importance of p/time and temporary work

07 Mar 2011


Putting it all together (applying for jobs)

14 Mar 2011



21 Mar 2011


28 Mar 2011


PDP review by tutors

04 Apr 2011


11 Apr 2011

18 Apr 2011

25 Apr 2011

Easter Vacation

02 May 2011


Bank Holiday Monday

09 May 2011


Group Work Presentations

16 May 2011


PDP Hand-in

23 May 2011


Semester 2 exams, week 1

30 May 2011

Recess Week

06 June 2011


Semester 2 exams, week 2

REMEMBER - Your tutor on this unit is also your personal tutor for the first and second years of your course.

Hand Out

Hand In







16 hours

Study Skills assessment and activities





Reflection on personal development to date





Integrative assessment element




8 hours

Group work investigation and presentation.




4 hours

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

The tutorial activities that should be included are:

Information Searching Skills - completed tasks with answers

History of Computing article and feedback (Fintan Culwin)

Mail Merge (photocopy of marked assignment and feedback from BAD unit. Students not doing the unit should do the task and submit the work as part of the portfolio)

Short-term/medium-term/long-term targets/goals

Weekly reflection on all the lectures, using the given template.

Integrated Assignment

In weeks 13 - 15 you will undertake an integrative assignment. The majority of the work for this will be group-based, and will assess learning in: Computer and Communications Architecture, Commercial Information Systems Development, Quantitative Analysis/Methods and Computing Culture and Practice units. Additionally there will be an individual element in week 12 requiring you to choose one of a number of jobs and prepare an application. The material in the folder will be of help in all parts of the assignment but particularly with the job application. The assignment is worth 60% in total for all four units (15% for each unit).

Reflection and PDP

Students should be able to demonstrate they have successfully planned their personal development. The students should provide a comprehensive list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a wide range of relevant areas and be able to use their experiences whilst undertaking the first year to successfully plan their personal development. There should be evidence of periodic review of their PDP and indication of their progress.

0 - 3

Minimal attempt - little evidence that PDP is understood, with limited attempts at identifying their own personal development

3 - 6

Some evidence that PDP is understood, with limited attempts at identifying their own personal development.

6 - 9

Clear evidence of comprehension of PDP, presented in a clear and systematic way. Some work that goes beyond what has been introduced in the unit.

9 - 12

Excellent evidence of comprehension of PDP. Planned for their initial and/or continuing personal development and reviewed their practice and evidenced from a variety of sources.


Generally the students found the unit useful for preparing for them for theirstudies at university and also for work.

Learning Resources

Core Materials

Tony Buzan The Buzan Study Skills Handbook. BBC Active, 2006

S. Cottrell The Study Skills Handbook. Third Edition. Palgrave, 2008.

L. Lee Davis Developing Work and Study Skills, First edition, Thomson Learning, 2007.

G. Fairbairn & C Winch Reading, Writing and Reasoning, Second edition OUP, 1996.

A. Britton & A Cousins Study Skills: A guide for lifelong learners

The Distant Learning Centre, London South Bank University, 1998

N Stanton Mastering Communication Palgrave Macmillan, 1996

Cameron, Sheila Skills Business student's handbook: Learning skills for study and employments. 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall, 2005

McMillan, K & Weyers, J The Smarter Student, First Edition, Prentice Hall, 2006

Jay, Ros & Jay, Anthony Effective Presentation, third edition, Prentice Hall, 2004