Computers and Computer Systems OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Computer Systems Class by The Open University

Published Feb 10, 2009

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Learn how advances in technology have led to the development of smaller, more powerful and less expensive computers through the free OpenLearn unit 'Computers and Computer Systems.' This intermediate-level, online course in IT and computing is offered through the Open University. It takes approximately 20 hours to complete.

Computers and Computer Systems: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No Yes Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Computers and Computer Systems: Course Description

Trace the history of computers from the 1940s through today - and even catch a glimpse of the future - through this OpenLearn course from the Open University. Students learn basic terminology, such as input device, hardware, software and memory, as they are introduced to the major components of computers. Students also discover the existence of 'invisible' computers, including those that power cars, gaming consoles and washing machines. Specifically, they examine the computers embedded in electronic kitchen scales and digital cameras, comparing and contrasting their functionality with that of PCs. Other topics of study include processors, binary codes, application software and operating systems. Through this free online course, students learn that no matter how complex computers may seem, they can only perform four functions: receiving data from the outside world, storing that data, manipulating it and presenting it back to the outside world.

A variety of exploratory and self-assessment activities, lectures and videos are available free online with this course. If you're interested in taking this course, visit the computers and computer systems course page.

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