A new approach to the introductory teaching of Computing and IT at the Open University UK

Bissell, Christopher (2017). A new approach to the introductory teaching of Computing and IT at the Open University UK. In: Proceedings of the HEAd’17. 3rd International Conference on Higher Education Advances (Domenech i Soria, Josep; Cinta Vincent Vela, Maria; de la Poza, Elena and Blazquez, Desamparados eds.), Editorial Universitat Politècnica de València, València, pp. 101–108.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4995/HEAD17.2017.6713

URL: http://ocs.editorial.upv.es/index.php/HEAD/HEAD17/...

Abstract

The Open University of the United Kingdom is a distance-teaching university with no entrance requirements; modules are available world wide. This paper presents a novel approach to the teaching of introductory Computing and IT at the University (level 1 / first-year bachelor’s degree). The new module covers: digitization; elementary programming; fixed and mobile communication networks; webpage design; the Internet of Things; and socio-technological aspects of ICT (such as the ‘information society’, gender issues, health care, and the ‘digital divide’). The rationale and structure of the course are presented, with an outline of the content and assessment strategy. Major aims of the new module are: to improve skills development; redress the current gender imbalance in the subject area at the Open University; and improve general completion and progression rates. The module also makes widespread use of on-line activities and forums in support of learning and the development of a sense of a ‘community at a distance’.

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