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Introduction to computing and information technology 2

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This module builds on Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and prepares you for further study of computing and IT modules. You will:

  • learn about a variety of information technologies – including basic computer architecture, the cloud and mobile computing – while training your numerical skills;
  • develop problem-solving skills as you get familiar with the Python programming language, analyse real-world data and carry out a programming project;
  • practise your communication and analytical skills as you explore the profound legal, social, ethical and security challenges posed by information technologies.

What you will study

This module consists of three themes:

  • ‘Essential information technologies’;
  • ‘Problem solving with Python’;
  • ‘Information technologies in the wild’.

Theme 1 ‘Essential information technologies’
You’ll learn, among other things, about:

  • how computers store and process data – and why they use binary;
  • the hardware components of your computer;
  • different types of cloud;
  • the parts of a mobile device, from sensors to batteries;
  • how to use latitude and longitude to look up locations on online maps;
  • what happens under the bonnet when you delete a file on your computer.

You’ll also develop your numeracy skills – from using scientific notation and percentages to calculating with binary representations.

Theme 2 ‘Problem solving with Python’
You will:

  • learn to use the Python programming language;
  • analyse, with Python, health and well-being data from the Office for National Statistics;
  • complete a small programming project.

You’ll also be introduced to a range of problem solving strategies, which you’ll practise as part of your project.

Theme 3 ‘Information technologies in the wild’
You’ll study:

  • how hackers pose a threat beyond the digital world;
  • how you can secure your data;
  • how the Internet is enabling crime, surveillance, and digital freedom.

You’ll also develop your analytical and communication skills – including collecting and using evidence to argue a point.

Each theme consists of parts – you’ll study one part per week. The themes are interleaved throughout the module. So, you may study a part on ‘Essential information technologies’ in one week and another part on, say, ‘Problem solving with Python’ in the next week and then another part on ‘Essential information technologies’ the following week. This allows you to revisit and strengthen your understanding of the concepts and skills of each theme over the course of the module. Problem solving and programming skills especially can’t be learned in a few weeks; they require continued practice throughout the module.

Entry requirements

You’ll need to have knowledge of digital technologies and networking; and skills in programming, algorithmic thinking, digital information literacy and communication. Providing you have the appropriate background knowledge, you should expect to spend, for the duration of the module (21 weeks), about 10 hours each week working on the module and its assessment and a further 4 hours each week on self-directed study.

You’ll be prepared if you’ve passed Introduction to computing and technology 1 (TM111), normally as part of one of our computing and IT qualifications. If you’ve not received your result for TM111, review your scores on TMA01 and TMA02 as soon as they're available; we recommend proceeding with TM112 only if you’ve scored 40% or more on each.

Are you ready for TM112? is an interactive quiz to help you decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the module.

If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

What's included

Each theme is supported by a printed book. Your study will be guided from the module website, which includes your study calendar, software resources, interactive online activities, practice quizzes and media clips. You’ll communicate and work online with other students through online forums.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS 10.7 or higher
  • a modern Linux version

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor who’ll help you with the study material, and mark and provide feedback on your work. Your tutor is your first point of contact for any queries on the module and you can ask them for advice and guidance. Your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We may also offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students. In addition, there will be online tutorials and other collaborative activities which will take place in your tutor group’s online forum. Throughout your study you can use this forum to keep in touch with your tutor and with other members of your tutor group.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM112 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112) starts twice a year – in April and October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018 and April 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No examination
No residential school

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