Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Software Tools for Academic Practice

Course summary

Course code: COMP1020
Level: 0
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Computing and Information Sys.
Course Coordinator(s): Maria Pretorius


Pre and co requisites



All students need to be able to use computers and on-line information sources to support their studies in higher education. This course aims to provide the basic skills required in order to achieve this.

These skills are:
1. To introduce the students to word processing, electronic mail and windows based software;
2. To give students an appreciation of the range of problems that can be solved by a computer;
3. To give students an understanding of information that is available to them on electronic media;
4. To inculcate a discipline of experiential and discovery based learning in the use of computers;
5. To enable the student to exploit advances in resource based learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Use a word processor proficiently.
2 Demonstrate an awareness of the breadth of on-line information sources.
3 Produce effective presentations using a tool such as PowerPoint.
4 Be conversant with basic spreadsheet concepts.

Indicative content

Computer skills: Logging onto networks; Windows, backups etc.
Basic file management: hard discs, CD Rom, network files, file safety (virus scanning software), file naming conventions.
Word Processing skills for academic practice: creating files, formatting text, tables of contents, headers and footers, simple graphics, appropriate to academic writing.
Creating presentation slideshows: templates, slide transitions, animation effects.
Use of a spreadsheet: formulae, macros, built in functions, graphics, embedding a spreadsheet in a word processor, customising the toolbar.
Networks: The Internet and Intranets, Use of Web browsers, searching the WWW, FTP.

Teaching and learning activity

Concepts will be introduced through lectures supported by tutorials and a structured programme of laboratory sessions. Student time will be divided as: Lectures 1/3 Tutorial or Laboratory work 2/3.


Coursework 1 - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 3.
An individual coursework assessing learning outcomes 1, 2, 3. This coursework requires the preparation of a research report, using a variety of sources. 1,900 words.

Coursework 2 - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcome 4.
An individual coursework assessing learning outcomes 4. The assessment requires basic data analysis, using a spreadsheet and an associated report of 1,100 words.

Students are not required to pass all elements of assessment in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment:
One research report and presentation using MS Word and MS PowerPoint
Using MS Excel spreadsheet and research report