What you will study
The module is structured into three study blocks, each based upon a key area in computing and IT, and the development of a portfolio which forms part of your final assessment.
You will study both OU materials and third party materials that support your learning in the three key topics. The module is practical and activity-based, and much of the study material is delivered online. You will therefore be working at your computer for significant periods of time.
Block 1 – Robotics and the meaning of life
This first block will introduce you to robotics and the design of intelligent machines. Robots are no longer the stuff of fiction; they are found in factories, on the battlefield and in our homes. You will learn how robots work and how to program and control robots using the specially written software we provide. You will also examine the relationships between humans and robots, the impact robots will have on our lives, and the ethical issues surrounding the use of robots.
Block 2 – Introduction to computer networking
Networking computers provides a sound grounding in the basic principles of computer networks and the challenges in setting these up and maintaining them. Topics covered include protocol models and layering; IP addressing; basic network design and network devices. A third party book will be used to introduce these concepts and your learning will be supported through computer-based practical exercises.
Block 3 – Introduction to Linux
Finally, this block introduces you to one of the most extensively used operating systems worldwide. You will examine the many similarities that exist between Linux and other popular operating systems and also the diverse technology available in the Linux community. You will be provided with tools to use free versions of Linux on your computer to carry out practical activities.
As you progress through the module, you will develop a portfolio of your work for the various practical activities which relate to each block. This will help demonstrate your skills and understanding in the areas you have studied. The portfolio will also be a significant component of the end-of-module assessment. Working on the portfolio will help you to think about your future career interests and will inform decisions you need to make on your future areas of study.
You will learn
This module will enable you to:
increase your knowledge of robotics, computer networks and the Linux operating system
develop a variety of skills appropriate to a career in the computing and IT industry
demonstrate your understanding of technical subjects and your technical skills through the development of a portfolio.
This module has particular vocational relevance to those wishing to develop a career in the IT industry. It provides many opportunities to demonstrate relevant technical knowledge and practical IT skills.