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Self-Assessment Instrument for Topic 5

ICT as a discipline of study. This discipline is often called Computer and Information Science.


 Self-Assessment Instrument for Computer and Information Science

This self-assessment instrument focuses on the discipline of computer and information science. Please rate yourself using the following 7-point scale for each question.

Click here for a discussion of the meaning of the scale points.

Each question is accompanied by a brief discussion of the topic being assessed. If you do not understand the details given in a particular brief discussion, the chances are that you are at the (1) or (2) level on this topic. After you give yourself a numerical rating on the 7-point scale, write a paragraph that explains and justifies your numerical rating.

1. Operating systems: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Windows and Macintosh operating systems are complex pieces of software that are widely used in K-12 education. (The Linux operating system is gaining in its level of use.) Activities include being able to install or upgrade systems software, design and arrange your desktop for efficient use, and navigate comfortable through the wide range of features provided by the operating system. Increasing expertise includes being able to carry out such activities quickly and comfortably on computer systems that have been installed by other people, to load updates to an operating system, and to work with both Windows and Macintosh platforms. It also includes knowing how to make use of a variety of computer utilities for detecting and correcting errors on a disk, locating and restoring lost files, carryout other tasks to restore a disk to a healthy state, and installing and using virus protection software. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


2. ICT Hardware: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A computer system consists of hardware and software. Hardware is the physical parts of a computer system while software is the computer programs that tell the hardware what to do. Electrical engineers study computer hardware at the level of individual circuits that contain transistors, resistors, capacitors, and so on. Computer repair technicians work at the level of computer circuits, circuit boards, and larger hardware modules such as disk drives, keyboards, display systems, printers, and so on. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


3. Networks, including the Internet: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A computer network is a network of data processing nodes that are interconnected for the purpose of data communication. A computer network passes data among nodes that consist of computers, computerized machines, computerized storage devices, and so on. The Internet is a huge network of Local Area Networks. A typical classroom now contains several microcomputers connected to a school's Local Area Network, and this network is connected to the school district's network. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


4. Programming in Logo: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Logo programming languages was developed by a team of people at MIT in the late 1960s, and subsequently was implemented on a number of different microcomputers. Seymour Papert was one of the leaders of the development team and has been the leading spokes person for Logo in education. Although Logo was originally developed for use in teaching mathematical thinking and problem solving, it soon became evident that it could be used to create higher-order thinking skill environments in other disciplines. During the 1980s many teachers and K-12 students received some instruction in Logo, and the language is still widely used in education throughout the world. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


5. Programming in BASIC: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Programming language BASIC ( was developed in the mid 1960s for use in time-shared computing. Initially it was used mainly in college education, but its use quickly spread to precollege education and, for developing computer games, and for business applications. Later it was implemented on microcomputers and became very popular in precollege education. Microsoft's Visual BASIC is an important component of a number of their applications tools.


6. Programming in a "Modern" Programming Language:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Over the past 50 years, many hundreds of different programming languages have been developed. Some of the early, widely used programming languages included BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN Pascal, and RPG. Examples of modern programming languages include the C/C+/C++ and the Java families of computer programming languages. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


7. Data Representation and Data Structures: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A computer is a machine designed for the input, storage, manipulation, and output of data and information. Different types of data (such as text, graphics, scientific notation numbers, integers, sound) are represented in a form so that a computer can store and process them. Within a computer the data might be organized into different types of structures such as bits, nibbles, bytes, and binary coded decimal, and more complex structures such as arrays, lists, trees, and strings. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


8. Problem solving: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Problem solving is an important component of every academic discipline. Thus, students taking Computer and Information Science (CIS) coursework learn to use computers to represent and solve problems both in the discipline of CIS, and also within non-CIS disciplines that make extensive use of computers to help represent and solve problems. Some key ideas include computer modeling and simulation, procedural thinking, algorithms, and heuristics. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


9. Artificial Intelligence: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Artificial Intelligence (AI, and sometimes called Machine Intelligence) is the component of Computer and Information Science that does research and development of increasing the "intelligent-like" capabilities of CIS systems. AI works on the development of robots, expert systems, game-playing programs (such as chess, bridge, and Scrabble), "smart "weapons, voice input systems, language translations systems, and a host of other CIS systems that can solve or help to solve complex problems. Some AI systems gain in capabilities (increase their knowledge and skills) by analysis of their own performance. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


 10. The rapid pace of change: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Moore's Law (Named after Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel) states that the capability of the chips used in computers doubles in approximately 18 months. This "law" has proven to be relatively accurate for more than 30 years (more than 20 doublings), and appears likely to continue to hold for another 10 years. During the past decade the pace of improvement in bandwidth and in storage capacity has been far faster than the pace of change in computer chips. In addition, the past decade has seen a significant improvement in programmer productivity due to improvements in the theory and practice of programming. Briefly discuss your knowledge, skills, and experiences in this area.


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