Course Title: Operate a personal computer

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: COSC5379C

Course Title: Operate a personal computer

School: 155T Life & Physical Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3209 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact : Geoff Moss

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4852

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

The use of a range of functions with a variety of software applications will enable students to become more competent in their use of the computer.  While this course defines the competency required to start up, identify and select icons, correctly navigate and organise the desktop environment and use a range of functions, it is used to support other courses within the Certificate 111 Science program.  Students will develop PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets in relation to other courses while developing the necessary skills for their personal use.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ICAU1128A Operate a personal computer

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop competency in the basic operation of a computer and the maintenance of directories and sub-directories. 

They will also learn how to use, and develop skills in using, the software packages: MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint to produce documents and reports.  

The use of a range of functions with a variety of software applications will enable students to become more competent in their use of the computer.

Students will develop PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets in relation to other courses while developing the necessary skills for their personal use.

Details of Learning Activities

Activities in this course is aimed at enhancing student skills in the use of their personal computer to meet the needs of their program in Certificate III in Science.  Depending on the initial skills of the students, activities will be varied to meet the skills of students and the requirements in other courses.

Students will learn the basic functions of operating a personal computer, including saving files; copying files; management of their files and folders; management of the desktop and the creation of desktop shortcuts; etc.

Students will learn how to crop images (and/or text) and wrap text around images to improve their presentation of reports and assignments in other units within the Cert. III in Science course.

Students will produce a PowerPoint presentation for their Cell Biology course which will be assessed in both this course and Cell Biology.  The task will involve Internet research on a topic assigned in the Cell Biology class and the preparation of a PowerPoint presentation in this course.  The student will be expected to deliver a talk (of approx. 5 minutes duration) with the presentation.  They will be required to produce notes within their presentation.

Students will learn the basic arithmetic operators in Excel as well as drag and fill functions, relative and absolute cell referencing.  As students progress they will also learn IF and nested IF functions, Lookup functions and produce charts for the visual presentation of results produced in their Excel spreadsheets.  A range of problem-solving tasks will be presented to test the student’s understanding of Excel and its basic functions.

Teaching Schedule

The teaching of this course and the course titled: Information Using a Web Browser and Email (COSC5380C) will be taught and assessed throughout the semester, rather than being a term-long unit.  The teaching schedule is for both courses as they are taught conjointly throughout the semester.

The teaching schedule is a guide only and will be amended as needed by the student group and the requirements of related courses within the Cert III in Science program.


WeekTopicSoftwarePractical ExercisesAssessment
1Introduction.  Basic operation of computer; file and folder managementWindows ExplorerAs per class handoutPracticals
2Internet search; search engines.  Copying and cropping images. Text wrap; layout of documents for reportsBrowser; search engines; MS Paint; MS WordAs per class handoutAssignment 1
3Introduction to PowerPointMS PowerPoint; search engine  
4Inserting YouTube videos into PowerPoint presentationsGoogle search engine; YouTube; MS PowerPointAs per class handoutPractical
5PowerPoint presentation developmentYouTube; MS PowerPoint Practical
6PowerPoint presentationsMS PowerPoint Assignment 2
7PowerPoint presentationsMS PowerPoint  
8Internet Research; Copyright; Privacy; SecurityBrowser; search engines  
9Communication on the Internet researchBrowser; search enginesAs per class handout 
10Communication on the Internet PowerPoint presentation Browser; search engines; MS PowerPoint  
11Excel basic functionsMS ExcelAs per class handout; S:Drive Excel folderAssignment 3
12Excel: If and Lookup functions; Charts; dynmaic linksto MS WordMS Excel; MS WordAs per class handout; S:Drive Excel folderExcel Practicals
13Excel: Problem-solving exercisesMS ExcelAs per class handout; S:Drive Excel folder 
14Excel AssignmentMS Excel Excel Assignment

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Varied resources will be available on the student share drive (S: Drive) and the Learning Hub as the semester progresses.

Various classroom handouts.

PowerPoint presentations presented in class.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will consist of the following:

  • PowerPoint presentations and talk
  • Practical tasks
  • Assignments
  • Problem-solving activities

Assessment Tasks

  • Assignment 1:  Search Engine – Print Screen, Crop, Image placement
  • Assignment 2:  Cell Biology PowerPoint presentation and talk.
  • Assignment 3:  Communication on the Internet PowerPoint presentation
  • Excel practical tasks
  • Excel assignment

Assessment Matrix

ElementAssignmentPractical TasksObservationClass TestingIndividual/Group Discussion
1.2 xxx 
1.2 xxx 
1.3    x
1.4 xxxx
2.1 xxxx
2.2 xx x
2.3 xxxx
2.4 xx x
3.1xxx x
3.2xx xx
4.2xx x 
4.3xx xx
4.4xx xx
4.5x  xx
5.1    x
5.2    x
5.3    x
6.1 xxx 
6.2 xxx 

Other Information

For information on late submission of work or absence on the day of assessment, please go to the Program site on the Learning Hub for C3209 Certificate III in Science or contact the Program Co-ordinator, Judi Mc Cann.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview