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Knec Kcse Computer Studies Syllabus

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Knec Kcse Computer Studies Syllabus



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 • Size Functionality


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



2.1.0 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



3.1.0 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



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


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) Mars 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) Merg 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

  • Merg 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


4.2.1 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


4.3J 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


4.5.1 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 connectivity

  • Telecommunication facilities
  • Modems
  • services providers (ISP) software

4.5.25 services e.g.• World Wide Web (www)• Electronic mail (e-mail)• Electronic Commerce (c-commerce)• Electronic Learning (c-learning) 4.5.26 Accessing • Log-in/sign-in

  • Surflbrowse
  • Search enes and hyperlinks


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 emerg issues eg.• HIV/AIDS

  • Dnig abuse
  • Environmental issues
  • Moral integrity


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



6.1.0 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



7.1.0 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



8.1.0 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) (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



9.1.0 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




10.1.0 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



11.1.0 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 • 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
  • use
  • • Expert systems
  • Offices Expert systems
  • Offices Expert systems
  • Marketing i) e-commerce ii) business

11.2.2 Fieldwork Report



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

  • care
  • • Communication
  • Research
  • Commerce
  • • 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



13.1.0 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 Eneers iv) Database Administrators v) System Administrators vi) Computer Technicians vii) Computer Eneers viii) Information Systems Managers ix) Computer Trainers x) Web Administrators xi) Systems Analysts

13.2.2 Identification of further al Opportunities

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



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 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) 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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