Computer Studies VIT203

Learn to Understand and Use a Computer

Computers are machines made from tangible components that you can physically touch (eg. electronic circuits, a case, keyboard).

Computers do not work alone though. They are no more than an electronic tool. An operating system is a set of instructions, very complex instructions, enables the computer to work. In some ways an operating system is like a language. It provides a framework within which other functions can happen. 

The solid part of a computer which you can touch is  called the hardware. The operating system or language, is stored on a recoding device (eg. a hard drive) - just like music can be stored on a recording device.

This course will help you to get a much better understanding of both hardware and software and in doing so, provide a deeper and more solid foundation for anyone who wants to work with computers, but might be struggling to get their head around what a computer is and how to use one as well.

The course does this with a focus on microsoft operating systems and software.

Course Structure

There are 13 Lessons in this course as follows:

Lesson 1.   Hardware Components

  • Introduction
  • Input devices – keyboard,  mouse, trackball, trackpad, microphone, webcam, touchscreen, digitizer, scanner, optical reader, OMR
  • Output devices – displays, printers, plotters, audio speakers, speech synthesiser, GPS
  • Storage devices
  • Memory types – RAM, ROM, CMOS
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Microprocessor and motherboard architecture
  • Processor sockets, Zero insertion force, Dynamic ram, Cache memory
  • Bus type
  • BIOS
  • Memory capacity
  • Built in interfaces, Input/Output (I/O)
  • Computer terminology

Lesson 2.  Peripherals

  • Introduction
  • Peripheral devices
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • Modems
  • Printers
  • Monitors
  • Removeable storage devices
  • Scanners

Lesson 3.  Operating Systems

  • Introduction
  • What are operating systems
  • Types of operating systems - batch, multitasking, real time, distributed, network, server, mobile
  • Background
  • Start up
  • Formatting
  • File types
  • Comparisons – versions of windows
  • Software applications

Lesson 4.  Files, Folders & Data

  • Managing data
  • Data storage and cloud
  • Smartphones and tablets – the ‘app’ concept
  • Metadata and searching
  • Data management in Windows
  • Windows metro
  • Windows desktop: file explorer
  • Directory tree structure
  • Files
  • Basic file/ folder manipulator
  • Making different selections
  • Drag and drop
  • Using a shortcut menu

Lesson 5.   Office Applications

  • Accessing tools and commands
  • The ribbon
  • Saving files and documents
  • Where to save files
  • Common tasks and short cuts
  • Multiple applications, multiple users
  • Working collaboratively

Lesson 6.  Windows Accessories & Programs

  • Introduction
  • The changing workplace
  • Paid vs free
  • Single payment vs. subscription
  • Windows built in software
  • Selecting office software
  • Word processing, spreadsheets, data bases, desktop publishing
  • Communications and scheduling
  • Email programs
  • Calendars and project management

Lesson 7.  Disk Management

  • Disk properties
  • Managing hard disks
  • Formatting a storage device
  • System tools
  • Disk fragmentation
  • Back ups

Lesson 8.  Installation Of Software

  • The gold rules
  • Installing software and device drivers
  • Boot disks
  • Device drivers
  • Technical support
  • Using manuals

Lesson 9.  Trouble Shooting

  • Introduction
  • Determining what caused an error
  • Power on self test
  • Hard disk problems
  • Defragmentation
  • Bugs and viruses
  • Motherboard battery
  • Logical approach to trouble shooting
  • Computer stress syndrome – causes, technical failures, not investing enough in upgrades and repairs, etc
  • Handling computer stress

Lesson 10.  Word Processing

  • Introduction – open office, libre office
  • Forms and templates
  • Create a document from a template
  • Filling in details
  • Replace wizard text
  • Styles
  • Create template for standard documents
  • Tables
  • Mail merge

Lesson 11.  Spreadsheets and MS Excel

  • Introduction
  • Using excel
  • Absolute and relative references
  • Using Formulae
  • Display and presentation
  • Charts and other tools

Lesson 12.  Databases and Microsoft Access

  • What is a database
  • DBMS
  • Microsoft access
  • MS Access database structure
  • Creating a simple database
  • Working with forms

Lesson 13.  Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Introduction
  • Creating presentations using templates
  • Key concepts in powerpoint
  • Layout
  • Content
  • Slide views
  • Animation and backgrounds
  • Viewing your presentation
  • The slide master
  • Background styling
  • Create a structured presentation


  • Identify different hardware components of a computer system
  • Assemble peripherals for a computer system
  • To obtain a generic (general) understanding of common computer operating systems.
  • To become aware of further more advanced features that are available with Microsoft Windows.
  • To provide an introduction to commonly used office applications.
  • To describe common Windows accessories programs.
  • To describe techniques used in computer Disk Management
  • Install different software programs into computer systems, in accordance with manuals.
  • Determine the cause of common problems which occur with computer systems.
  • To explain how to use MS Word, Excell, Access and Power point


Below are some activities you will do in this course

  • Explain the role of the motherboard and the CPU in a computer system.
  • Briefly, describe the evolution computer systems, starting from the first IBM PC through to the most currently generally available systems available today. Make special reference to changes that you deem to be 'significant' leaps in this evolutionary process.
  • Name five things that the motherboard is responsible for supporting.
  • Explain how modems measured in terms of performance.
  • Compare three different types of printers (i.e. inkjet, laser and dot matrix) and explain how they differ in the ways that they produce a printed page.
  • Define the following computer terms: screensaver, wallpaper, device driver, sound card
  • Discuss ‘Brief case’, when might you use this feature, and how a brief case can be added to your desktop.
  • List the advantages and disadvantages of having several windows open at the same time and describe two situations that either illustrates advantages and/or difficulties than might be encountered when you work with more than one window open.
  • In order to install or set up a new printer, write down what you would click on or type for each step and what would happen when that was done on the computer.
  • Choose a software program (different to your set task) of your choice, and write about the steps involved with its installation onto a hard drive.
  • You are trying to run a DOS program and you get an Insufficient Expanded Memory error message in a DOS window. If expanded memory on your computer is set to Auto, how can you correct this problem?
  • A computer stopped working after a violent electrical storm so the customer stopped using it for a year, he has finally brought it to you to look at because the keyboard isn't working and it will not boot. List the steps you would take to determine what is wrong with it and write what your opinion of what is damaged.

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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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