Course Title: Operate computing packages

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C6068 Advanced Diploma of Computer Science

Course Title: Operate computing packages

Portfolio: SEH Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 60

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.

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet or Workplace

Term1 2010,
Term1 2011

Course Contact: Geoff Moss

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4852

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

This unit provides the participant with the knowledge and skills required to identify, select and correctly operate desktop applications for a range of purposes while observing OH&S practice: to use a word processing software package to produce documents in the most efficient manner; to use a spreadsheet package to create, to edit and format a worksheet effectively; to create, and to manipulate and maintain a database package for common scientific application.
This semester length course consists of 4 separate modules. These are: Word Processing (MS-Word) Spreadsheets (MS-Excel); Scientific Databases (MS-Access); and Introduction to HTML Design.  (Introduction to HTML Design is taught as a separate course within the semester:  Use Development software and IT tools to build a basic website to specification, Course Id: 035329)
The Word Processing module is a short introduction to the course and is aimed at providing students with basic skills useful in their TAFE / University courses for producing word-processed documents.  It is also designed to develop skills in mail-merging and the layout and presentation of documents.
The Spreadsheets module provides students with an understanding of the main concepts of a spreadsheet at an Intermediate level, and the necessary skills to create tables, charts, formulae and Macros.  Students will use a range of functions to perform a set of tasks.
The Scientific Databases module provides students with an understanding of the main concepts of a database, and the necessary skills to create and maintain a database, using MS Access as the application software.  Students will produce forms and reports and undertake basic queries.
There are no pre-requisites for this unit, however, it is assumed that students will have a basic knowledge of computer systems and basic keyboard skills.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

ICAITU006C Operate computing packages


Access and use help functions within each application

Access, retrieve and manipulate data

Use appropriate software

Use keyboard and equipment

Learning Outcomes

Students will learn how to use, and develop skills in efficiently using, the software packages: MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access to produce documents and reports to an intermediate standard.

Students will be provided with classroom &/or tutorial instruction in each of the three software packages and tasks associated with the topics above including the use of relevant software.
Self-paced materials and tasks will be provided on a network drive. Self-paced materials to be supported by active teacher supervision, guidance and consultation during lessons.
Learning of theoretical concepts of each topic using provided and recommended materials.
Individual exercises for each software application (MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access) will be presented in handouts and/or provided as part of the class materials on the network drive.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will require demonstration of:

  • Consistent performance of each element of the unit across a representative range of applications, autonomously and to requirements
  • Performance criteria for each element of competence
  • Underpinning knowledge and skills specified.

This is a competency-based course. Each assessment task specifically relates to demonstration of knowledge, skills and/or attitudes relevant to an element of competence. To achieve a Grade of ‘Competent’, the student must be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required in each assessment task of the course to the level required by industry.
Students will be assessed on whether they are competent by demonstrating their skills and underpinning knowledge in practical tasks in the labs, as well as demonstrating broader skills and knowledge in analysing and designing assignments and tests. In general, the assessment of the student level of competence is made through continuing evaluation of their level of work and their progression in the development of skills.

The style of assessments will provide them with:

  • Opportunities to demonstrate application of the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills not just recall information. 
  • Information on their progress through the course with emphasis on encouraging them to monitor their own progress and plan their program of study.
  • An open system where standards are specified and the required level of competence is known beforehand

Assessment method:

MS Excel

  • Practical tasks
  • Class Tests and Observation
  • Assignments 
  • Examination

MS Access

  • Practical tasks
  • Class Tests and Observation
  • Assignments
  • Examination

Each element of competence will be assessed twice during the course