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Computer Studies Syllabus

451 - COMPUTER STUDIES

GENERAL OBJECTIVES

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

-appreciate computers and their components;

develop basic skills in the safe use and care of computers and their devices; be acquainted with the fundamental concepts of computing; appreciate the use of computers in different areas of application;  appreciate the impact of computer technology on society; develop the skills to use application packages; - appreciate programming and acquire the knowledge to write and run programmes; identify different educational and occupational opportunities available computing field;
 

INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTERS

Specific Objectives

By the rend of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) state the different parts of a computer;
b) explain how computers have developed;
c) Classify the various types of computers;
(d) state the safety precautions and practices in a computer laboratory;
(e) Demonstrate basic hands-on-skills on the use of a computer.

123 Content

111 Definition of a computer
122. Parts of a computer
I 23 Development of computers
124 Classification of computers
Physical Size Functionality

Purpose

125 Areas where computers are used
126 Definition of a computer laboratory

127 Safety precautions and practices in a computer laboratory
Behaviour
Handling of materials and equipment
Fire
Cabling
Stable power supply
Burglar proofing
Ventilation
Lab layout
Dust / damp control
Lighting
Standard furniture

1.2.8 Hands-on skills

Start-up, restarting and shut-down (Booting)
Keyboard layout
Practical keyboard and mouse skills

2.0.0 COMPUTER SYSTEMS

2.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) describe a computer system;
b) explain the functional organization of the elements of a computer system;
c) describe input devices of a computer system;
d) describe the central processing unit (CPU);
e) describe the output devices of a computer system;
f) describe the types of secondary storage devices and media;
g) distinguish between power and interface cables;
h) explain basic computer set-up and cabling;
I) distinguish between system software and application software;
j) evaluate the criteria for selecting a computer system.

2.2.0 Content

2.2.1 Description of a computer system
2.2.2 Functional organization of the elements of a computer system
Hardware
Software
Live-ware
2.2.3 Input devices e.g.
Keying devices
Pointing devices
Scanning devices
Speech recognition devices
Other digital devices

2.2.4 Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Control Unit
Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)
Memory
Processors
(i) types
(ii) clock speeds

22.5 Output Devices
Soft copy output devices e.g.
I) Visual display unit - Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), flat panel, cathode ray
tube (CRT)
ii) Sound output
iii) Light emitting
Hard copy output devices e.g.
I) printers (impact, non-impact)
ii) plotters

226 Secondary/Auxiliary Storage Devices and Media
Fixed e.g. Hard disk
Removable e.g.
I) floppy disks
ii) tape
iii) optical disks (CD-R, WORM, CD-RW, DVDs)
iv) zip disks

2.2.7 Power and Interface Cables
Power cable
Parallel cable
Serial cable

2.2:8 Basic computer Set-up and Cabling
Connecting basic computer components
Connecting other computer peripherals

2.2.9 Classification of software
Purpose
a) System software
i) firmware
ii) networking software
iii) operating system
iv) utilities
b) Application software
Acquisition
(I) standard software (ii) user developed (in-house)

2.2.10 Criteria for selecting a computer system (specifications)

Hardware considerations
Processor speed
Memory capacity
Warranty
Upgradability
User needs
Cost
Portability
Other considerations

Software considerations
Authenticity
User needs
User friendliness
System requirements
Cost
Compatibility
Portability
Documentation
Other software considerations

3.0.0 OPERATING SYSTEMS

3.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define an operating system;
b) state the functions of an operating system;
c) describe types of operating systems;
d) describe how operating systems organize information;
e) manage files using an operating system;
f) manage disks using an operating system;
g) identify internal and peripheral devices under Operating System control.

3.2.0 Content

3.2.1 Definition of an operating system
3.2.2 Functions of an operating system
Job scheduling
Resource control
Input/output handling
Memory management
Error handling
Interrupt handling

3.2.3 Types of Operating Systems

Number of users
i) single user
ii) multi user
Number of tasks
i) single tasking
ii) multi tasking
Interface
1) command line
ii) menu driven interface
iii) Graphical user interface (GUI)

3.2.4 Organization of Information using an operating system
Files
Directories/folders
Storage media

3.2.5 File management using an operating system

Description of files
Types of files
i) system files
ii) application files
Functions of files
i) storage of data
ii) organization of information
Creating files
Manipulating files
i) viewing files and directories
ii) organization of information
iii) creating files/directories
iv) opening
v) editing
vi) renaming
vii) finding/searching
viii) sorting
ix) copying
x) moving
xi) deleting

32.6 Disk Management using an operating system
Formatting
Partitioning
Defragmentation
Disk diagnostics/Disk compression
Backup

3.2.7 Devices under operating system control
Processor
Memory (Rain)
Storage devices
Input1output devices and ports
Communication devices and ports

3.2.8 Installation and configuration of an operating system
Trouble shooting

4.0.0 APPLICATION PACKAGES

4.1.0 Word processors
4.2.0 Spreadsheet
4.3.0 Database
4.4.0 Desktop publishing
4.5.0 Internet and E-Mail

4.1.0 WORD PROCESSORS

4.1.1 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define a word processor;
b) state the purpose of word processing;
c) use a word processing package;
d) format and edit a document;
e) create and edit a table;
create and update a mail-merge document;
g) print a document;
h) insert and edit objects.

4.1.2 Content

4.1.21 definition of a word-processor
4.1.22 Purpose of word processing e.g
Letter preparation
Reports
Newsletters


4.1.23 Using a Word processing package
Getting started
Screen layout
Running the program
i) Creating a document
ii) Saving
iii) Retrieving
iv) Closing
v) Exiting

4.1.24 Editing and formatting a document
Editing a document
Block options
1) Selecting
ii) Moving
iii) Copying
iv) Deleting
v) Inserting and type over

Find and replace
1) Search/find
ii) Replace

Proof-reading
i) Spelling and grammar checking
ii) rhesaun.is
iii) Auto-correct
iv) Undo and redo

Formatting a document
a) Text formatting
1) Bolding
ii) Italizing
iii) Underlining
iv) Fonts
v) Drop caps
vi) Change case
vii) Superscript/subscript
h) Paragraph formatting
i) alignment
ii) indenting
iii) spacing
iv) section breaks
v) bullets and numbering
c) Page formatting

Layout
i) columns
ii) headers/footers
i) Margins
ii) Orientations
iii) Paper size
iv) Tabs 4125 Creating and Editing a Table

Create a table
i) Rows
ii) Columns
Enter data
Editing tables
i) Resizing rows/columns
ii) Inserting rows/columns
iii) Deleting rows/columns
iv) Merging rows/columns
v) Splitting rows/columns

Formatting tables
i) Borders
ii) shading

Table conversions
i) Converting text to table
ii) Converting table to text
iii) Importing
Arithmetic calculations
i) Perform calculation
ii) Insert formulae
Sorting
4.1.26 Sorting creating and updating a mail merge document

Creating main document
i) Form letters
ii) Labels
iii) envelopes
create/import data source
i) editing
ii) saving
Merging Fields

Main and data source to
i) Printer or
ii) New window or
iii) Fax or
iv) E-mail
Updating merged document

4.1.27 Printing a document
i) Printer setup
ii) Print preview
iii) Print option
- printer selection
- orientation
- page and copies
iv) Printing


4.1.28 Inserting Graphics

Types of graphics
1) Drawing
ii) Pictures
iii) Charts
Inserting
i) importing
ii) drawing
Editing graphical objects
i) Updating
ii) Resizing
iii) Enhance

4.2.0 SPREAD SHEET

4.2.1 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define a spreadsheet;
b) describe the components of a spreadsheet;
c) state the application areas of a spreadsheet;
d) create and edit a worksheet;
e) explain different cell data types;
f) apply cell referencing;
g) apply functions and formulae;
it) apply worksheet formatting;
1) apply data management skills;
j) apply charting and graphing skills;
k) print worksheet and graph.

4.2.2 Content

4.2.21 Definition of a Spreadsheet

42.22 Components of a spreadsheet
i) worksheet
ii) database
iii) graphs

4.223 Application areas of a spreadsheet
Statistical analysis
Accounting
Data management
Forecasting (what if analysis)
Scientific application

4.2.24 Creating a worksheet/workbook
Getting started
Worksheet layout
Running the program
i) creating a worksheet
ii) editing a cell entity
iii) saving
iv) retrieving
v) closing a worksheet
vi) exiting from spreadsheet

4.2.25 Cell Data Types

Labels
Values
Formulae
Functions
4.2.26 Cell referencing
Cell addressing
Absolute referencing
Relative referencing
4.2.27 Basic functions and formulae
Functions
I) statistical (average, count, max, mm)
ii) logical (if, count-if sum-if)
iii) mathematical (sum, product, div)
Arithmetic formulae (using operators brackets)
4.2.28 Worksheet form fling
Text
Numbers
Rows and columns
Global
4.2.29 Data management Sorting
Filtering
Total/subtotals function
Forms
4.2.30 Charts/graphs
Types
Data ranges
Labels
Headings and titles Legends
4.2.3 1 Printing
i) page set-up
ii) print preview
iii) print options
select printer
selection
worksheet/workbook
orientation
pages and copies
v) printing

4.3.0 DATABASES

4.3J Specific Objectives
By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define a database;
b) explain the concepts of a database;
c) explain data organization in a database;
d) create a database;
e) edit a database;
f) design a form;
g) apply basic concepts of queries;
h) create report and labels;
i) print queries, forms and reports.

4.3.2 Content

4.3.21 Definition of Database
4.3.22 Database concepts
Traditional filing methods (manual flat files)
Functions of databases
Types of database models
Database software
Features of a database (e.g. data structures, report generating, querry language, modules)
4.313 Data Organization
Character types
Fields
Records
Files
Database
43.24 Creating a database
Design a database structure
Field properties and data types
Key-fields and index
Data entry
4.325 Editing a database
Modify structure
Updating database
4.3.26 Form design
Form layout
Data manipulation
Formatting fields
4.3.27 Qrries
Creating
Updating
Viewing
Printing
4.328 Reports layout
Creating (using relational and logical operator, local operators - AND OR, NOT)
Modifying
Sorting and grouping
Labeling
Printing

4.4.0 DESKTOP PUBLISHING (DTP)

4.4.1 Specific Objectives
By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define desktop publishing;
b) state the purpose of DTP;
c) identify types of DTP software;
d) design a publication;
e) edit a publication;
format a publication;
g) print a publication.
4.4.2 Content
4.4.21 Definition of Desktop publishing
4.4.22 Purposes of DTP
Graphic design
Page layout design
Printing
4.4.23 Types of DTP software
Graphical based
Layout based
4.4.24 Designing a publication
Types of publications e.g. newsletters, cards, brochures, posters etc
Running the program
Screen layout
Setting up a publication
Manipulating text and graphics
4.4.25 Editing a publication
Editing tools
4.4.26 Formatting a Publication
Text
Graphics
4.4.27 Printing
Page setup
Print options

4.5.0 INTERNET AND E-MAIL

4.5.1 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define internet;
b) explain the importance of internet;
c) describe internet connectivity;
d) identify internet services;
e) access internet;use e-mail facilities;
g) state the moral, social and spiritual issues that may emerge through access to the internet.

4.5.2 Content

4.5.21 Definition of internet
4.5.22 Development of internet
4.5.23 Importance of internet
4.5.24 Internet connectivity
Telecommunication facilities

Modems
Internet services providers (ISP) Internet software

4.5.25 Internet services e.g.
World Wide Web (www)
Electronic mail (e-mail)
Electronic Commerce (c-commerce)
Electronic Learning (c-learning)

4.5.26 Accessing Internet
Log-in/sign-in
Surflbrowse
Search engines and hyperlinks
  Downloading/saving/printing

4.5.27 Electronic Mail (e-mail)
Definition
E-mail software
E-mail facilities
i) Mails (checking, composing, forwarding, sending, saving and printing)
ii) Fax
iii) File attachment
iv) On-line meetings
v) Telephone messages
vi) Contact management

NB: Emphasis is on the procedure and not necessarily on on-line connectivity

4.5.28 Use the intemet to access information on emerging issues eg.
HIV/AIDS
Dnig abuse
Environmental issues
Moral integrity

5.0,0 DATA SECURITY AND CONTROLS

5.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define the terms data security and privacy;
b) identify security threats on ICT and possible control measures;
c) identify types of computer crimes.

5.2.0 Content

5.2.1 Definition of data security and privacy

5.2.2 Security threats and control measures
Threats e.g.
i) virus
ii) unauthored access
iii) computer errors and accidents iv) theft
Control measures e.g.
i) anti-virus software
ii) password
iii) user access levels
iv) backups

5.2.3 Computer crimes e.g.
i) trespass
ii) hacking
iii) tapping
iv) cracking
v) piracy
vi) fraud
vii) sabotage
viii) alteration
Detection and Protection e.g.
i) audit trail
ii) data encryption
iii) log files
iv) firewalls
5.2.4 Laws governing protection of information systems

6.0.0 DATA REPRESENTATION IN A COMPUTER

6.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) explain concepts and reasons for data representation in a computer
b) define the terms bit, byte, nibble and word
c) explain types of data representation in the computer
d) perform binary arithmetic operations.

6.2.0 Content

6.2.1 Concepts and Reasons of data representation
6.2.2 Definition of terms: bit, byte, nibble and word
6.2.3 Types of data representation.
Number Systems and their representation of integral values
i) decimal
ii) binary
iH) octal
iv) hexadecimal
Symbolic representation
i) Binary Coded Decimal Code (BCD)
ii) Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC)
iii) American Standard Code for Information Interchange Code (ASCII)

6.2.4 Conversion between binary and decimal


6.2.4 Binary arithmetic operations

Binary addition
Binary subtraction
(i) ones complement
(ii) twos complement

7.0.0 DATA PROCESSING

7.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:

a) define the terms data, information and data processing;
b) describe data processing cycle;
c) explain types of errors in data processing;
d) explain the various methods of data processing;
e) describe data integrity;
1) describe a computer file;
g) describe types of computer files;
h) describe file organization methods;
i) describe the various data processing modes.

7.2.0 Content

7.2.1 Definition of the terms data, information and data processing
7.2.2 Data processing cycle
Data collection
1) stages of data collection
ii) methods of data collection
Data input
Processing
Output
7.2.3 Description of errors in data processing e.g.
Transcription errors
Transposition
7.2.4 Data processing methods
Manual/conventional
Mechanical
Electronic
7.2.5 Data Integrity
Accuracy
Timeless
Relevance
7.2.6 Computer files
Elements of computer file
Logical and physical files
7.2.7 Types of computer processing files e.g.
Master
Transaction
Report
Sort
Backup
Reference
7.2.8 File organization methods
Sequential
Random/direct
Indexed sequential
7.2.9 Electronic Data processing modes
Real-time

8.0.0 ELEMENTARY PROGRAMMING PRINCIPLES

8.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) define Programming;
b) describe the various levels of programming languages;
c) state the advantages and disadvantages of each level of language;
d) define the terms assembler, compiler, interpreter, source program program;
e) describe the stages of program development;
f) describe the program control structures;
g) define and develop algorithm, pseudo-code and flowchart.

Content

Definition of Programming
Levels of programming languages
Low level language
i) machine
ii) assembly
High Level languages
i) third Generation Languages (3GLS)
ii) four Generation Languages (4 GLs)
iii) Object Oriented Programming (OOP5)
Serial
On-line
Distributed
Time-sharing
Batch processing
Multi-processing
Multi programming/multi-tasking
Interactive processing
iv) Internet (scripting) Programming Languages

8.3.3 Advantages and disadvantages of low and high level languages

8.4.4 Description of terms
i) assembler
ii) compiler
iii) interpreter
iv) source program
v) object program
8.4.5 program development
problem recognition
problem defmition
program design
program coding
program testing
implementation

8.4.6 Program Control Structure
Sequence
Selection
Iteration (looping)

8.6.7 Definition and development of Algorithm
Pseudo-code
Flow chart

9.0.0 SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

9.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) describe a system;
b) define an information system;
c) state the purpose of an information system;
d) identify the stages of system development;
e) develop a system using a case study;
f) write a report on the case study.

9.2.0 Content

9.2.1 Description of a system
9.2.2 Definition of an Information System
9.2.3 Purpose of an Information System
9.2.4 Stages of system development
Problem recognition and definition
Information gathering e.g
i) investigation
ii) observation
iii) interviews
iv) questionnaires
Requirement specification for the new system
System design
System construction
System implementation
System review and maintenance
(*A number of theories exist on system development. The above is a general
guide to the stages)


9.2.5 System Documentation
Reports on fact finding/information gathering
System flowchart
Table/file structure/descriptions
Sample data
Output reports
User manual

10.0.0 INTRODUCTION TO NETWORKING AND DATA COMMUNICATION

10.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:

a) define computer networking TERMS;
b) state the purpose of computer networks;
c) describe the elements of a network;
d) describe various types of networks;
e) describe various types of network topologies.

10.2.0 Content

10.2.1 Definition of terms
i) computer networks
ii) data communication
10.2.2 Purpose and Limitations of networking
Purpose
i) resource sharing
ii) remote communication
iii) distributed processing facilities
iv) const effectiveness
v) reliability
Limitations

10.2.3 Elements of Networking
a) Data communication media
Communication with cables
i) twisted pair cables
ii) coaxial cables
ii) fibre-optic cables
Communication without cables (wireless) e.g.
1) Microwave ii) satellite
iii) radio transmission
b) Data Signal
Analog
Digital
c) Communication Devices e.g.
Modems
Network cards
Hubs
d) Network software
Operating systems
Protocols

10.2.4 Types of Networks

Local Area Network (LAN)
Metropolitan area Network (MAN)
Wide Area Network (WAN)

10.2.4 Types of Network topologies e.g.
Ring
Star
Bus

11.0.0 APPLICATION AREAS OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

11.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to

describe the use of computers in different application areas.

11.2.0 Content

11.2.1 Application Areas of information and Communication Technology

Financial Systems
a) accounting
b) banking
c) payroll
Retail Systems
i) point of sale systems ii) stock control
Reservations Systems
i) hotels
ii) air-lines
Communication Systems
i) fax and telex
vi) radio
vii) television
viii) video conferencing
ix) e-mail
x) telecommuting
xi) internet
Education
i) Computer Aided Learning (CAL)
ii) e-learning
iii) computer based simulation
Industrial systems
i) simulation
ii) process control
iii) CAD (Computer Aided Design)/CAM (Computer Aided
Manufacture)
Scientific and Research Systems
i) weather forecasting
ii) medical research
iii) military/space exploration
Transportation Systems
i) air-traffic control
ii) shipping control
iii) automobile traffic control

Entertainment Systems i) computers and movies ii) multi-media
Virtual reality i) uses of virtual reality ii) visor
Library Systems Library lending system
Home use
Health
Expert systems
Offices Expert systems
Offices Expert systems
Marketing i) e-commerce ii) business

11.2.2 Fieldwork Report

12.0.0 IMPACT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICE) ON SOCIETY

12.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
a) identify’ issues resulting from the use of ICT; b) discuss future trends in ICT.

12.2.0 Content

12.2.1 Issues resulting from use of ICT
a) Effects on employment
job creation
job replacement
job displacement
b) Automated production
pros & cons
c) Issues of workers health
d) Breakthroughs
Health care
Education
Communication
Research
Commerce
Arts
Entertainment
Transport
e) Cultural effects
Computer crimes
Moral effects

12.2.2 Evolution of computer systems

Possible future trends in capabilities, physical size, price, software e
Artificial intelligence
i) expert systems
ii) natural language processing
iii) artificial neural networks
iv) robotics

13.0.0 CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN ICT

13.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to
describe career opportunities in ICT.

13.2.0 Content
13.2.1 Description of careers in the field of ICT e.g.
i) Computer Operators
ii) Programmers
iii) Software Engineers
iv) Database Administrators
v) System Administrators
vi) Computer Technicians
vii) Computer Engineers
viii) Information Systems Managers
ix) Computer Trainers
x) Web Administrators
xi) Systems Analysts

13.2.2 Identification of further Educational Opportunities

i) Colleges
ii) Institutions
iii) Polytechnics
iv) Universities
v) Research Institutions

14.0.0 PROJECT

14.1.0 Specific Objectives

By the end of the Project, the learner should be able to:
a) identify’ and define a problem;
b) carry out fact finding through either or all of these methods:
i) investigation
ii) observation
iii) interviews
iv) questionnaires;
c) define systems hardware and software requirement;
d) design a system;
e) construct a system that would:
i) input data through forms or screen
ii) update: modification, deletion of existing data
iii) carry out data validation
iv) search/filter/query/retrieve records
v) generate/print reports.
0 test the system;
g) prepare a project report
(documentation) that includes
I) reports on fact finding system flowchart/flow diagram
ii) system flowchart/flow diagram
iii) table/file structure descriptions
iv) sample input and test data
v) output reports
vi) user manual.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Schools intending to offer Computer Studies are expected to have the following minimum equipment: Computer Laboratory/classroom(s)

ii) Computer desks that accommodate monitor at eye level
iii) At least one computer per every four students (1:4) in Forms one and two
and one computer for every two students (1:2) for Forms three and four.
iv) At least one printer for every four computers
v) Printing Stationery
vi) Appropriate storage devices e.g. diskettes
vii) Storage facilities for diskettes and other consumables e.g. disk banks
viii) Appropriate software for the curriculum
ix) Relevant reference materials

Note: The computers to be used for the course should preferably be IBMs or IBM- compatibles due to their low maintenance costs and availability of spare parts. In addition to the above, the following facilities though not mandatory will  greatly assist in achieving the objectives of the course.

1. HARDWARE

ij The PCs should be Pentium II or higher
ii) The PCs should have a CD-ROM drive
iii) At least one of the PCs in the school should be full multimedia
iv) A network environment
v) Internet connection
vii) Printers with graphic capabilities (not necessarily in colour)

2. SOFTWARE

i) It is recommended though not necessary that the operating system be a  Graphical User Interface (GUI)
ii) Software for the application packages may also be GUI - based which supports pointing devices
iii) Up to date anti-virus software are highly recommended



 

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