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Introduction to computing and information technology 1

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This module is the first of two introducing computing and information technology concepts, such as digital technologies, programming and networking. It equips you with a comprehensive toolbox of relevant knowledge, understanding and skills. It also introduces issues encountered in computing and IT, including the profound social and ethical challenges these technologies pose. You’ll develop key skills, including communication, numeracy, and digital and information literacy (DIL). These skills provide a solid foundation for further study, especially Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112).

What you will study

This module is presented in three blocks:

  • ‘The digital world’ – the digital technologies that pervade our home, work and social lives;
  • ‘Creating solutions’ ­– programming skills for creating solutions to simple problems;
  • ‘Connecting people, places and things’ – the computer networks that allow us to interact with others.

Block 1 ‘The digital world’
You’ll start with your own experience of using computing and IT systems, covering a range of topics. You’ll explore how computers and networks developed; how analogue images and sounds are converted into digital formats; and how data is stored and managed in databases. You’ll also gain practical experience of constructing webpages, and consider how interfaces help us to interact with computers successfully.

Block 2 ‘Creating solutions’
You’ll develop programming and problem-solving skills as you work within a graphical programming environment to create programs involving animation, sounds, numbers and text. Since programs don’t always work the first time they are run, or don’t work as expected, you’ll also develop skills in testing and debugging your programs.

Block 3 ‘Connecting people, places and things’
You’ll be introduced to communication networks, including the structure and operation of the Internet, and wired and wireless systems. You’ll also discover how these technologies are combined with connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). The block ends with a discussion of how people interact with each other online, and also how computing and IT systems relate to modern society.

Throughout the module, you will develop your study skills, digital and information literacy skills and employability skills.

Entry requirements

You’ll need to be able to use a word-processor; save and locate files; follow instructions for basic computing tasks; access websites; and download and install software. No previous programming experience is required, but you will need to have an interest in using a computer for problem solving and a desire to learn how to create programs. You should expect to spend, for the duration of the module (21 weeks), about 11 hours each week working on the module and its assessment and a further 3 hours each week on self-directed study.

You should also be able to perform simple calculations; and read, understand and write clearly in English.

Are you ready for TM111? 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 block 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

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part.


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

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM111 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 1 (TM111) starts twice a year – in April and October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024 and April 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in April 2027.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No examination

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