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COMP108 Fundamentals of Programming Design

Unit rationale, description and aim

Skills in object-oriented programming are a crucial component of practical expertise in digital technology (computing).

This unit provides the foundations of object-oriented programming through real-world examples and problems. Students acquire practical skills in object-oriented programming and software project management and apply their computational and design-oriented skills to the creation of interactive software designed to address real-world challenges. Students will develop their design solutions in the context of their growing awareness of the social impact of computing technologies.

The aim of this unit is to give students the opportunity to extend their experience in software design and programming skills and to explore the application of this knowledge in a variety of settings.

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       Define object-oriented programming principles and apply them to solve real-world problems (GA5, GA8)

LO2       Design class diagrams and algorithms (GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3       Select and use an object-oriented programming language in the development of software programs (GA5, GA10)

LO4       Evaluate algorithm and programming code using test data to check for desired outcome (GA2, GA4, GA8).

LO5       Plan and manage software projects using an iterative and collaborative approach, identifying risks and considering ethics, safety and sustainability (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10).

Graduate attributes

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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:

Module 1-Programming techniques – LO1

  • Sequence, selection and repetition,
  • Inheritance, Polymorphism, Recursion
  • Arrays
  • Classes and methods

Module 2-Program Design- LO1, LO2

  • Class diagram
  • Algorithms

Module 3- Software Development Life Cycle -LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

  • Software Project Management -design, development, evaluation and documentation of software solutions

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. This enables the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skills that allow students to practise design and computational thinking skills.

In this unit students encounter object-oriented programming concepts through interactive lecture demonstrations, concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific real-world problems and further informed by research during development of software projects. In tutorial classes students design, develop and evaluate software solutions. Issues in software design and development are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development and documentation of software solution. Students combine conceptual knowledge in object-oriented programming design, procedural knowledge of software development methodologies to work on software development projects.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an opportunity to apply computational thinking to develop solutions to real-world problems, enabling them to design, develop, communicate and evaluate software solutions. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment tasks completed at critical points in the students’ learning.

Initially students acquire knowledge in object-oriented software program design by undertaking tutorial exercises and they develop skills in design and development through practical tutorial classes. Practical tutorials provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge of knowledge.

Summative assessment aims to assess students’ competencies and application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) holistically using an integrated approach to design.

In this unit, students’ problem-solving skills are assessed by means of a quiz and a problem-solving test that evaluates students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and the application of programming skills to a software project. The software design project will assess students’ project management skills in object-oriented software design and development and will require evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of object-oriented programming techniques and the application of these techniques to the solution of real-world problems.



GA5, GA8

Problem-Solving Test

Requires students to demonstrate competence in developing a class diagram and algorithm for an interactive computer game.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA8, GA9

Software Design Project

Requires students to demonstrate competence in software project management: design, development, testing and documentation of an interactive computer game.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Farrell, J. (2013). An object-oriented approach to programming logic and design. Cengage Learning.

Gaddis, T. (2019). Starting out with programming logic and design (5th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Higher Education.

Kak, A. C. (2015). Designing with objects: Object-oriented design patterns explained with stories from Harry Potter. Retrieved from

Kolling, M. (2015). Introduction to programming with Greenfoot: Object-oriented programming in Java with games and simulations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Liu, Y.A. (2013). Systematic program design: From clarity to efficiency. Retrieved from

Makzan (2014). HTML5 game development hotshot. Retrieved from

Morelli, R. (2016). Java, Java, Java: Object-oriented problem solving. Hartford, CT: Ralph Morelli, Ralph Walde.

Weisfeld, M. (2019). The object-oriented thought process (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.

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