Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Computing and Digital Technologies permeate most aspects of our professional lives, providing information and entertainment, facilitating commercial transactions and generally enhancing our personal interactions. To utilise these technologies effectively, students need to know about them, understand them, both practically and theoretically, and also appreciate the social implications of their application. This requires a more sophisticated view of the digital world than is presented in the popular media: students need to develop their capacity to see beyond the hyperbole and be alert to the potential pitfalls as well as benefits of these technologies.

This unit will introduce students to computers as collections of hardware, software, data, and applications and show you how they are configured to meet the needs of organisations and end-users. Students will be introduced to data analysis and problem solving skills using spreadsheets and databases and acquire a real-life understanding of the strategic and social impacts of computers.

The aim of COMP104 is to learn about the computing technologies, understand them and develop data analysis and problem solving skills using spreadsheets and databases.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - describe and develop effective skills to define, locate, select, organise, present and assess information (GA5, GA8, GA10) 

LO2 - explain the principles and structure of computer hardware (GA5, GA10) 

LO3 - exhibit proficiency and understanding of computing software (GA5, GA10) 

 LO4 - understand the roles and functions of people in computing systems (GA1, GA3, GA5, GA10) 

LO5 - evaluate the strategic and ethical impacts of computers on organisations and diverse societies (GA2, GA3, GA5, GA10) 

LO6 - apply data analysis skills using spreadsheet and database software to solve real world problems (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Introduction to information processes  
  • Scope and function of digital hardware 
  • Software solutions 
  • Data representation and processing 
  • Introduction to networks and the internet 
  • The role of people in computing and information systems 
  • Digital society, ethics and globalisation 
  • Problem solving and data analysis using spreadsheets and databases. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

While COMP104 is designed primarily for students who are non-computing majors enrolled in the Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts (Technology) degree program, the concepts presented will be of use to students from any non-computing discipline. Students will find that the computer concepts taught here, including spreadsheets and database software, will help them to improve their analytical skills and provide them with practical tools to assist them in their professional work. 


The weekly two-hour lectures will focus on specific aspects of computing and digital systems. The weekly two-hour tutorials will provide in-depth and more interactive coverage of selected topics from the week’s lecture and also introduce spreadsheet and database concepts. Assessable tests, including student presentations, will take place in some of these tutorials. 


COMP104 comprises 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 4 hours per week of directed study (lectures and tutorials). The balance of the hours becomes private study and includes the completion of assessable assignments and on-line practice of non-assessable spreadsheets and database problems. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. These have been designed so that they use a variety of tasks to measure the different learning outcomes of the unit. The schedule provides scaffolded learning with opportunities for you to monitor your own progress, practise your skills and receive feedback. 

In particular, the assessment tasks allow students to display their knowledge of computer concepts and analytical skills: 

  • A tutorial quiz will assess students’ understanding of data communications concepts through theory quizzes during tutorial classes. The purpose of these quizzes is to provide students with feedback on their understanding of the early course content. This quiz will be conducted before week six to provide early feedback to students.  
  • The Quiz/Computing Challenge will be undertaken in class and will provide students with feedback on their understanding of the course content as the unit progresses, which covers data-transmission, network protocols and hardware. 
  • Hema SoundranayagamGroup Assignment: a group assignment will enable students, as team members, to demonstrate their research and presentation skills through knowledge of the principles and structure of computer hardware and software and also evaluate the strategic and ethical impacts of computers on organisations and diverse societies. 

In order to pass this unit, students are required to: 

  1. Submit completed tutorial quizzes within the allocated time. Partial completions will result in partial marks;  
  2. Submit the group assignment within the allocated time. Marks will be allocated based on the scoring rubrics; 
  3. Obtain a pass mark (or better) for each of assignment 1 and 2.). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Tutorial Quiz: the quiz will be held before week 6 to provide early feedback to students. It will be facilitated by the tutor in a computer lab.   


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA5, GA9, GA10 

Tutorial Quiz/Computing Challenge: the quiz/challenge will be facilitated by the tutor in a computer lab. Learning activities during tutorials will provide opportunities to develop an understanding of the course content covering data-transmission, network protocols and hardware and the quiz/challenge will test the level of achievement of that understanding. 


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA5, GA9, GA10 

Group Assignment: will demonstrate students’ ability, as team members, to show their research and presentation skills through the in-depth exploration of selected aspects of data transmissions including network protocols, hardware, and their social impact.  


Prior to the commencement of the group assignment, students will clarify their individual role and responsibilities and will confirm this with the lecturer. An individual mark will be assigned to each student, for their part of the assignment. 


LO4, LO5 

GA3-GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Baltzan, P., & Phillips, A. (2015). Business driven information systems (3rd ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.  

Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2017). Management information systems (15th ed.). Sydney: Prentice Hall.  

Marakas, G., & O'Brien, J. (2014). Introduction to information systems (16th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. 

Morley, D., & Parker, C. (2017). Understanding computers: Today and tomorrow (16th ed.). Stanford: International Edition Cengage Learning.   

Parsons, J. (2018). Computer Concepts. Sydney: Course Technology (Cengage). 

Rainer, R. K., & Prince, B. (2016). Introduction to information systems (6th ed.). Sydney: Wiley. 

Valacich, J., & Schneider, C. (2017). Information systems today: Managing the digital world: Global edition. (8th ed.). Sydney: Pearson Higher Education.Vermaat, M. E., Sebok, S. L., Freund, S. M., & Frydenberg, M. E. (2016). Discovering computers. Boston: Course Technology.  

The websites for the following professional organisations provide further in-depth information and opportunities to explore related topics and ongoing professional issues. 


The “Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers” (IEEE)  

The “Association for Computing Machinery” (ACM)  


In particular, the ACU Library provides a portal to the “ACM Digital Library” database accessed via (Access requires your current ACU username and password)  


This ACM database contains the full text of all papers presented at ACM conferences or printed in ACM journals. It also contains abstracts for computing related papers from the IEEE conferences. 

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