Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module EDUC44230: Improving Computer Education

Department: Education

EDUC44230: Improving Computer Education

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To give students an appreciation of industrial software development practices to help teachers develop better strategies for select technology to use in educational setting and to help them apply and use realistic case studies support computing education


  • Programming Fundamentals: algorithms and problem-solving, fundamental data structures, recursion, event-driven programming
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): principles of HCI, building a graphical user interface (GUI), HCI aspects of multimedia, and collaboration
  • Software Engineering: metrics, requirements, specifications, design, validation, tools, management
  • Net-centric Computing: Introduction to Net-centric computing, the Web as a client-server example, network security, data compression, multimedia, mobile computing
  • Operating Systems: concurrency, scheduling and dispatch, virtual memory, device management, security and protection, file systems, embedded systems, fault tolerance

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students will:
  • Have a knowledge of at least five areas of the ACM K-12 curriculum and know how these content areas relate to industrial practice
  • Have experience of applying agile software practices in the production of learning objects
  • Be able to identify how core computing concepts are used in everyday life such as searching the web, making a phone call and playing a computer based game.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • At the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Apply software evaluation techniques to select high quality and rigorously developed software tools designed for use in the classroom
  • Be able to identify age appropriate projects and case studies to demonstrate core computing topics for use in an education setting
Key Skills:
  • IT Skills
  • Evaluation and problem solving
  • Engaging with the professional world

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Twilight teaching sessions will be a mixture of lectures, practical classes and small group activities. Lectures will give up-to-date knowledge of computing and technology enhanced learning and help structure students’ own study and learning towards the learning objectives. Seminars will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with themes and issues raised in the lectures. The practical classes will be supported by task based activities and workbooks. On-line materials / tutorials will also support self study activity. Seminars will also be linked to field work, either conducting evaluation in learning institutions/ agencies or working with data from Durham’s VLE. The format of lectures and in particular seminar exercises will enable students to critically discuss assessment issues.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 hour 10
Seminars, practical activities 10 2 hours 20
Self-guided learning and fieldwork experience 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lesson Plan Up to 10 pages 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Learning object 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive feedback to compulsory seminar tasks. Students will produce preliminary outline of the lesson plan, and design of their learning object, and receive feedback to these.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University