MODULE 1 - Basic Concepts of Information Technology (IT)

This module tests the student's understanding of the key concepts of computers and their use in society. The student is required to demonstrate a knowledge of computer basics.

The module consists of six sections. The test will contain questions from each section.

Section 1: Basic Concepts of IT

  • Identify the component parts of a computer.
  • Understand the concept of an operating system and the function of a computer program.
  • Understand the concept of storage and memory.
  • Understand the relationship between the basic units of stored data -- bit, byte, record and file.
  • Understand how the systems are developed -- analysis, programming, implementation.
  • Understand what is a graphical user interface.
  • Understand the concepts of multimedia.

Section 2. Applications and use of Computers

  • Recognise and understand the importance and growing use of computers and the opportunities offered by their use.
  • Identify the types of systems used in business.
  • Identify systems used in industry.
  • Identify systems used in education.
  • Identify the types of systems used in the home -- for hobbies, household accounts, working at home.
  • Identify the types of systems encountered in everyday life -- for example -- in supermarkets, libraries, in the doctor's surgeries, the use of smart cards.
  • Distinguish between systems software and applications software.

Section 3. IT and Society

  • Understand the impact of the increased use of computers.
  • Understand the concept of the "Information Society".
  • Express an opinion on circumstances where the computer might be appropriate than a person and vice versa.
  • Develop good habits in the use and care of the computer and equipment, know what to do if the computer breaks down.
  • Recognise and avoid potential dangers to health and safety -- e.g. ensure that cables are safely secured, power points are not overloaded.

Section 4. Security, copyright, law

  • Understand software copyright, copying and sharing/lending discs.
  • Be cognisant of privacy -- responsibility in protecting data to which the holder has access, legitimate uses of such data.
  • Outline the main points of the Data Protection Act (or relevant Act in your country).
  • Security -- protecting the machine/data and passwords, taking backups of data.
  • Viruses and anti--viruses measures -- the student must understand how viruses can enter a computer system, what they do, and how to avoid them.
  • Understand what happens within the computer if there is a power cut.

Section 5. Hardware and systems software, ergonomics

  • Know the difference between hardware and software.
  • Distinguish between various type of computer memory, e.g. RAM and ROM -- say why they are used.
  • Understand the purpose of backing store -- describe this, and understand storage capacity.
  • Understand the functions of input and output devices -- name some of these and their purpose.
  • Understand the different types of printer and where they are used in different situations.
  • Discuss what effects the speed and capacity of the computer, e.g. clock speed, memory, processor.
  • Understand the problems which can occur due to a bad working environment and know what to do about them. For example repetitive strain injury, glare from screens, bad posture.

    Section 6. Information Networks The student will understand the concepts of data communications and its role in modern information systems.

    • E--mail -- why is it useful?
    • E--mail -- what is needed to use if from your own PC/MAC.
    • What is needed on your machine to connect to a communications network.
    • What is the Internet -- how is it useful?
    • What is the function of the telephone systems in computing? How would you connect to it?
    • Understand the technology of workgroup computing.
    • Understand LAN/WAN.

    Assessment Six questions will be asked -- one from each section.

    The time allowed is 45 minutes. The pass mark is 60%. In answering questions, the student must demonstrate that he/she understands the concepts.

    The student should be given a guideline of the expected length of the answer. All questions and answers must be taken up at the end of the test.

    Module-Contents Module 2