KV4006 - Computational Thinking

What will I learn on this module?

Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires solving problems at multiple levels of abstraction. Before any programming begins the solution to the problem must be understood. Using real world case studies, in this module you will develop skills to decode client’s problems developing skills of abstraction and systems design to specify solutions. A key skill employers seek is the ability to solve problems, in this module you will develop computational thinking to achieve this. Computational thinking is a range of mental tools such as algorithms, modelling, logic, generalisation, decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition and others that reflect the full breadth of Computer Science. Computational thinking is about solving problems, designing systems and understanding human behaviour. This module will teach you to reformulate seemingly difficult problems into solvable ones by using processes such as reduction, embedding, transformation or simulation.

Computational thinking can be applied to a wide variety of subject areas beyond computing, to the sciences, the arts and business. Whether developing a start-up for the latest sustainable product or fighting for social justice you will learn to be able to apply computational thinking’s vocabulary (for example algorithm, precondition, non-determinism, etc.) to many non-digital problems. In this module you will learn not to program but to conceptualize. You will learn not by rote skill, but instead by leveraging fundamental principles, by engaging with ideas not artefacts, and by embedding learning and exploration in your experience. Computational thinking has implications for everyone, everywhere and it will be integral to your future in both digital and real-life endeavours.

During ‘Computational thinking’ you will work through a series of exercises, making use of Northumbria’s state-of-the-art computer labs and digital security lab. You will also critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning. The principal element of assessment will be a workbook that will hold your responses and reflections to a number of exercises and assessment points.

How will I learn on this module?

Supported by a number of lectures and workshops, you will learn primarily through the process of solving a collection of structured problems. Lectures will support you by articulating a number of approaches and strategies. These, in combination with your independent learning, personal style and approach, will be developed in hands-on sessions in the fully equipped computing labs.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Successful academic achievement requires a system of robust support and guidance to help you focus on your learning needs.
Lectures and seminars will be delivered by the module team and will focus on key concepts introduced within the main topics and subject areas of the module. The tutors involved in delivering this module will provide guidance and academic direction to ensure that you are able to confidently engage with the academic rigour of this module. Extensive support is also accessible online as part of the University’s commitment to technology enhanced learning. This employs the use of the e-learning portal (Blackboard) and social networking and collaborative tools. The Library offers support for all students the range of books and other electronic resources. A central feature of the academic support available to you is the service provided by the University Library. This 24/7 service caters for all your learning needs, has extensive access to electronic texts and has tutorials that will directly support the development of academic skills aimed at improving your critical thinking and study skills.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
ML01 – Demonstrate skills required for de-coding briefs, design specifications and understanding human behaviour.
ML02 – Develop ability for problem decomposition and abstraction.
ML03 – Develop knowledge of and, practical approaches to, algorithmic thinking.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
ML04 – Demonstrate ability to solve problems using a structured approach.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
ML05 – Develop cultural awareness and interpersonal skills.

How will I be assessed?

The main element of summative assessment will be a final assignment that brings together all your new skills and techniques. This will be comprised of a series of practical tasks. These tasks will be reviewed in the course. This will allow you to receive feedback on your progress. The word limit will be 3,000 words, and the final assignment will be submitted as one summative assessment worth 100% of your mark for the module.

This assessment addresses Module Learning Outcomes –ML01, ML02, ML03, ML04 and ML05.

On an on-going basis you will also receive formative feedback on tasks you are required to complete.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Thinking like a computer scientist means more than being able to program a computer. It requires solving problems at multiple levels of abstraction. Before any programming begins the solution to the problem must be understood. Using real world case studies in this module you will develop skills to decode client’s problems developing skills of abstraction and systems design to specify solutions. A key skill employers seek is the ability to solve problems. In this module you will develop computational thinking to achieve this. Computational thinking is a range of mental tools such as algorithms, modelling, logic, generalisation, decomposition, abstraction, pattern recognition and others that reflect the full breadth of Computer Science. Computational thinking is about solving problems, designing systems and understanding human behaviour. This module will teach you to reformulate seemingly difficult problem into solvable ones by using processes such as reduction, embedding, transformation or simulation.

Course info

UCAS Code G415

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.

 

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