What you will study
The module is structured into three study blocks, each based upon a key area in computing and IT, followed by the development of a portfolio on which your final assessment will be based.
You will study both OU materials and third party materials that support your learning in the three key topics.
Block 1 – Linux: an introduction introduces you to one of the most extensively used operating systems worldwide. You’ll examine the many similarities that exist between Linux and other popular operating systems and also the diverse technology available in the Linux community. The study materials for this block are all online and you’ll be provided with tools to access free versions of Linux to install on your computer in order to carry out associated practical activities.
Block 2 – 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 source will be used to introduce these concepts and your learning will be supported through computer-based practical exercises.
Block 3 – Robotics will introduce you to robotics and the design of intelligent machines. Robots are no longer the stuff of fiction: they are found not just in factories, but 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. (This software was written for Microsoft Windows but will run under emulation on recent Apple Mac and Linux computers after the installation of additional software – instructions will be provided.) You will also examine the relationships between humans and robots, the enormous impact they will have on our lives, and the ethical issues surrounding robots.
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 to potential employers your skills and understanding in the areas you have studied. The portfolio will also be the main 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 operating systems (in particular the Linux operating system); computer networks, robotics and intelligent machines
develop a variety of skills appropriate to a career in the computing and IT industry
demonstrate your understanding of technical subjects and technical skills through the development of a portfolio.
This module has a vocational relevance to those wishing to develop a career in the IT industry as you have the opportunity to demonstrate practically, how operating systems allow robots to be programmed and computers exchange information.