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  1. 1. T324 - Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies - Open University Page 1 of 5 Undergraduate Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies Course code Credit points OU Level T324 30 3 SCQF level QAA level 10 6 3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) Examination No residential school Summary Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies (ICT) not only means keeping up to date with rapidly changing technologies. It also means successfully using these new technologies in complex systems in which people play a major part. Therefore this course addresses the two important questions: How do you keep up to date and how can you analyse ICT systems and take account of social factors? This course will equip you with the skills to tackle these questions, in the context of studying several contemporary ICT systems. By the end, you should be well-placed as an independent learner to keep ahead in ICT . Course content The course consists of three 10-point Blocks, with the precise content changing from year to year as the technology changes. In addition to studying some specially written material you will research the subject for yourself. The course structure is as follows: Block 1: Wireless technologies. The rapid development of mobile digital wireless communications (which includes wi-fi, Bluetooth etc.), is made possible by a range of factors ranging from scientific principles to economic and regulatory constraints. Block 1 looks at some of these factors - specifically, electromagnetic radiation and its spectrum, modulation and multiplexing, spectrum regulation and networking protocols. Block 2: Wireless sensor networks: an investigation. This block guides you through a search for technical documents and provides an opportunity for and help in reading specialist, technical articles and reports. The focus for the enquiry is on systems that use large numbers of wireless sensors, their applications and technical issues that arise in deploying them. The in-depth reading will not only update your technological knowledge and understanding, it will also help you develop your researching skills. Block 3: ICTs in context. In this block you will investigate how social, cultural and political environments influence the ways ICTs have evolved and are used. You will develop your skills of critical analysis of ICT systems, including an examination of why so many large-scale systems fail, and you will also look at ICTs in the developing world. http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t324.htm 2/17/2010
  2. 2. T324 - Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies - Open University Page 2 of 5 You will learn After completing this course you should, among other things: understand the basic principles of wireless technologies have a knowledge of one or more emerging standards in the wireless area understand the technologies of large-scale wireless sensor systems understand how ICT systems are influenced by their social, cultural and political contexts understand the structure of a typical specialist document dealing with an ICT topic be able to extract useful information from highly technical documents, including journal articles, product information, websites, etc. be able to learn independently from such materials, in order to keep up to date in ICT be able to evaluate critically a range of resource materials originating from third parties, including news items and general interest publications have improved your written communication skills in a range of ICT topics. Entry This is a Level 3 course. Level 3 courses build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at Levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably with the OU. You need familiarity with the language and modelling techniques used by technologists, such as you would get from appropriate courses at Level 2 offered by the Technology Faculty. Communication and information technologies (T215) (or the discontinued courses T209, T293) would be particularly useful. You should be experienced in using a computer for working with documents, spreadsheets and accessing the World Wide Web. You also need basic mathematical skills so that you can work with algebraic equations and carry out numerical calculations. T324 assumes that you are already familiar with communication technology at a level equivalent to successful study of T215, T209 or T293. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. Preparatory work Unless you have studied the discontinued course T305 you should revise the material on communication technology in any Level 2 courses you have already taken (Modules 1 and 2 in T209 and Block 2 in T293). T529, the ICT CD-ROM distributed with a number of ICT courses, is also a useful source of revision material. Qualifications T324 is a compulsory course in our BSc (Honours) Information and Communication Technologies (B38) BA (Honours) Business Studies (B04) (with Information and Communication Technology) http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t324.htm 2/17/2010
  3. 3. T324 - Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies - Open University Page 3 of 5 T324 is an optional course in our BSc (Honours) Information Technology and Computing (B13) Diploma in Information Technology (D39) BSc (Honours) Technology (B20) It can also count towards most of our other degrees at bachelors level, where it can help to weight your degree towards a BSc. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this course can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change. If you have a disability or additional requirement The course uses complicated diagrams extensively, so it could be demanding if you have impaired sight. Text descriptions of graphical material developed by The Open University are provided, but these will not necessarily be available for third-party materials. Written transcripts are available for audio material. The printed course materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Nevertheless, not all components may be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical expressions may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Large print versions of the course material can be provided on request. You will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability. If you are a new student, or new to courses using a computer or the internet, you will need to inform us of your particular needs as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Details of how to do this and our range of support services are described in our booklet Meeting Your Needs which you can download or request from our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. You can also find information about accessible course materials, financial support and the Disabled Students' Allowance, equipment and other services, on our Services for disabled students website. It also includes our contact details for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying. Course materials What's included Course books, other printed materials, DVD, online forum, course website. N.B. Some (assessable) material may be provided only in electronic form via the course website. Computing requirements This course includes online computer activities you can access these using a web browser that can play Flash and Shockwave. Some of your course software will be provided on disk. http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t324.htm 2/17/2010
  4. 4. T324 - Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies - Open University Page 4 of 5 You will need internet access and a computer. If you have purchased a new Windows computer since 2002 it should meet your course computing requirements. Check our Technical Requirements section if your computer is older than this or is otherwise unusual. Please note that you cannot use an Apple Mac or Linux computer unless it is running windows Boot Camp or similar. Teaching and assessment Support from your tutor You will have a tutor who will help you with the course material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register. Assessm ent The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above. You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper. Assessment is an essential part of the teaching, so you are expected to complete it all. Substitution does not apply in T324. Professional recognition This course may help you to gain recognition from a professional body. Ask our Student Registration & Enquiry Service for Recognition leaflets 3.3 Professional Engineering Institutions or 3.7 Computing. Students also studied Students who studied this course also studied at some time: Computers and processors (T224) Data, computing and information (M150) Networked living: exploring information and communication technologies (T175) Technologies for digital media (T325) Future availability The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2011. We expect it to be available at the same time once a year. http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t324.htm 2/17/2010
  5. 5. T324 - Keeping ahead in information and communication technologies - Open University Page 5 of 5 How to register To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button. For more information and advice about registration see OU Study Explained. © The Open University +44 (0)845 300 60 90 http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/course/t324.htm 2/17/2010