Introduction to computing and information technology 2
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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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 (11 'Big Sur' 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.