Computer Applications for the Workplace – Course Update

It’s now just passed mid-May and our full-time Computer Applications for the Workplace programme has been running for nearly seven months.  During this period we have completed seven modules and are currently in the middle of our eighth.  The time has passed very quickly and it won’t be long before course participants have to consider where they will be undertaking their work experience.


Introductory Module

As mentioned in a previous post, the course started last October with a general introductory module focusing on ICT, getting used to the computer systems used here in MEC and also a crash course in report writing.  This was a very important module for course participants as many had never previously had to write reports.


Word Processing Module

Following on from that, the QQI Level 5 Word Processing module was delivered.  This module took four weeks and included various assessments (reports and exams). Although most people know a little word processing, the complete range of functionality provided by such applications always amazes course participants.


Spreadsheet Methods Module

This module commenced in mid-November of 2015.  It is one of the mandatory modules of the Information Processing Major Award, and, as such, is quite important.  Again, spreadsheets play an important role in most business and the ability to both design and use spreadsheet solutions is key. Some course participants expected this module to be difficult, and it can be for some, but in general, when used to solve real-world problems, everyone made sense of it and saw how important an application it is.  Assessments for this module included a project and a final exam.


Presentation Skills

Although this module is not a QQI-certified module we always include it in our programme as we consider it to be an extremely effective way of improving course participant’s confidence when delivering a talk to groups of people.  The module involved participants devising a number of slideshows using PowerPoint and then delivering the presentations to the class.  Various presentations were given over the course of the module ranging from 2 minutes to ten minutes in duration.  By module completion, all students were comfortable in talking to a group of people.


Database Methods Module

As with spreadsheets, knowledge of the workings of databases is of critical importance when working in office environments.  Databases are one of the office applications that many class members had not previously been exposed to.  Another mandatory module for the Major Award, students learned both how to design and use databases.  Participants learned that the initial database design is of great importance, because if not done correctly, it can lead to loss or corruption of data.  The module lasted four weeks and was assessed by means of project and examination.


Information and Communication Systems

The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence in a range of information and communication systems to enable the learner to use information and communications systems, effectively within a range of contexts.  As part of this module, participants were required to set up a blog, carry out a Skype call, record videos for YouTube and create podcasts.


The Internet

This module covered the history of the internet from the 1960’s up to the present.  It gave participants an insight into the development of the web and also the current trends driving the growth of the internet.  This primary focus of this module was web languages with much time being spent learning and using HTML and CSS.  These essential web languages were used by course participants to design a website based on a topic of their own choosing.  This module gave participants an appreciation of the knowledge and effort required in manually creating web content.

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