Continuing with my studies

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I have enrolled on my next two modules TM255 - Communication and Information Technology. I'm looking forward to this as it builds on what we have learnt in TU100 ok that was 3 years ago now, but I think it is still in my brain somewhere! I will of course add the description of the module that is on the OU website.

I hope that this module will help me get a deeper understanding on communication and information technology

Communication and information technologies

It's inconceivable to think of our world without communication and information systems. They've influence in almost every aspect of our lives and develop at a pace that's difficult to keep abreast of. This module will teach you to understand key technologies that underpin these systems; and introduce you to a range of issues that arise from their deployment. You'll develop your skills in the management and use of communication and information technologies; your ability to communicate ideas and information about them; and your ability to keep updated with new technological developments.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TM255
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 8
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

The module consists of three blocks – each covering a key area in communication and information technologies – and an individual project:

Block 1: Enquiring and communicating
The first block covers technologies that enable wireless and mobile communications such as Wi-Fi, mobile cellular networks and for the Internet of Things. You'll develop study skills such as finding information online and reading, evaluating and writing technological materials. You'll use and further develop these study skills in Blocks 2 and 3. You'll also learn some practical skills through using network simulation software.

Block 2: Interacting and collaborating
This block covers principles and technologies for collaborative work and interaction design. You'll work in a group on a collaborative project: using the collaboration and interaction design principles studied in this block, you'll design and build a web site. Collaborative work is the key study skill you'll develop in this block.

Block 3: Protecting and prying
Block 3 covers technologies for computer security and discusses privacy and ethical issues around the use of these security technologies. You'll further develop your writing skill, especially for writing reports. You'll also learn practical skills through activities on computer security.

Individual project
This project will form part of your final assessment. Using the knowledge and skills you'll develop in Blocks 1–3, you'll create a small web site explaining new developments in an area of communication and information technologies. This will include conducting a small literature survey to keep yourself updated with developments in the given topic.

You'll develop digital and information literacy skills – which are very important for your study – throughout the module. You'll develop academic and technical writing skills progressively from Block 1 to Block 3. You'll also develop some practical skills in using specialist software, which can improve your employability.

You will learn

This module will:

  • increase your knowledge of the basic principles of communication and information systems and technologies, and the issues relating to their use
  • develop your ability to apply your understanding of communication and information technologies to learn about new or unfamiliar systems and technologies
  • develop a variety of skills appropriate to a practitioner in information and communication technologies
  • teach you work as a group, where the collaboration is via communication technologies.

Vocational relevance

The practical activities require the use of specialised software. The practical skill developed has a high vocational relevance.

In addition, the module develops important skills that are particularly relevant to the workplace, such as written communication, information literacy, numeracy, independent learning, critical analysis and team working.

The other module I am studing will be TM254, this is all about project management, I'm looking forward to starting this as well, I'm just aprehensive about the 3 hour long exam there is at the end, this is instead of an EMA. The full details are below of what I will be studying.

Managing IT: the why, the what and the how

In this module, you’ll explore principles, concepts and techniques of IT service management; the capturing and understanding of requirements; and the management of projects that deliver IT services and realise requirements. The module places some of the general principles of IT management in the specific context of the modelling of data solutions and the implementation and administration of a database. You’ll develop your knowledge and understanding in different ways, including practical team working – through which, you’ll explore the why, the what, and the how of managing IT.


Module code
Study level
2 8 5

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

What you will study

The reason why we provide an IT service is to do something for somebody – who could be either a user or a customer. Understanding what users or customers value, and what needs to be done to ensure that they continue to value it, is what service management is about.

Having understood why an IT system is needed, it’s necessary to understand what will be required of the system, how to express those requirements, and how to build a system to implement them.

Building an IT system is often complex, requiring many different tasks to be performed in the right order. Project management sets out how, given the resources and time available, to achieve all the different tasks, including understanding why the system is needed, and discovering what the requirements are for the system. Finally, throughout the life of any IT system, effective communication between those involved in planning, building and using it will be essential.

The module consists of three blocks:

Block 1: Service management
In the first block, you’ll look at how service management helps to ensure that users and customers receive from IT systems services that they value. Referencing the widely used service management framework, ITIL®, you’ll start by exploring what’s needed to operate existing services effectively, then look at how to identify where, when and why there might be scope for improving services. You’ll go on to consider some of the strategic drivers for providing services to customers, and how to understand their value. You’ll look also at the wide range of things that need to be addressed when designing a service, and then rolling it out into use. The block concludes by looking at how all these aspects of service management interact in the context of the ITIL Service Lifecycle and, finally, explores some important aspects of communicating and working with colleagues in teams.

Block 2: Requirements and databases
In the first section of the block, you’ll learn to understand business goals and needs; the goals and needs of customers; and the requirements of stakeholders. In the second section, you’ll learn about databases, including modelling the data required and implementing a data solution to meet some of the needs and requirements.

Block 3: Project management
This block will introduce you to project management, with an emphasis on managing software projects. You’ll cover project management techniques and topics – such as project planning and activity planning, and managing risk and allocating resources. You’ll also focus on the techniques that are most relevant to software project management, including:

  • choosing an appropriate software development approach
  • estimating how much development effort will be required
  • exploring the tools and techniques for monitoring the progress of projects.

Throughout the module, audio and some visual materials will illustrate and bring the study topics to life with case studies, interviews and panel discussion with experts in service management and project management. You’ll explore some of these further by asking what-if questions and suggesting how the service or project could have been managed differently. In addition, you’ll collaborate, in a small team of fellow students, on exercises based on important aspects of IT management.

Vocational relevance

This module provides you with a basis for further study of IT management, and introduces you to many of the concepts that are tested by the BCS Professional Certification in IS Project Management and IT Service Management.

In addition, the module will help you develop important skills particularly relevant to the workplace, such as written communication skills, information literacy, independent learning, critical analysis and team working. In an IT context, the module will provide practitioners with relevant experience, skills and insight into project management and service management.

Outside the UK

Synchronous tutorials and communications could be difficult to deliver to students outside UK due to time differences. If you can’t attend the synchronous tutorials or make synchronous communications, you’ll have to use asynchronous alternative methods, such as watching recorded tutorials and emailing questions.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a named tutor who will support your studies and mark and comment on your assignment work; you can also seek academic advice and guidance from them. Your tutor will offer support through email, telephone and online forum discussions. Additionally, there will be online tutorials. We will advertise tutorials before the module starts; TM254 tutors will take them, but depending on the tutorial, not necessarily your own named tutor. We recommend you book online to attend these tutorials.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No residential school

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

However, as this is an OU level 2 module you’ll need a good knowledge of the subject area obtained through any of the following:

  • OU level 1 study
  • equivalent work at another university
  • experience as an IT professional

You should be experienced in using a computer for working with documents, spreadsheets and accessing the internet; and be able to install software on your computer. You should also have numeracy skills, equivalent to those gained through studying an OU level 1 mathematics module; and have a standard of academic English appropriate for this level of study.

If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

Preparatory work

Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112) would be ideal preparation for this module.

If you’re returning to study, you might find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study website and to read The Good Study Guide by Northedge, (The Open University, 2005).

What's included

  • Access to the module study materials via the module website
  • Two externally published books – one printed and online, one online

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying TM254 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Accessibility statement for Managing IT: the why, the what and the how (TM254)

Mode of study

Most of this module’s study materials are online. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images; audio/video clips of 1–10 minutes (all with transcripts/subtitles); diagrams; interactive media; animations; and multiple-choice self-assessed quizzes. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms.

Tuition strategy

This module provides online tutorials. Although not compulsory, tutorials will help you consolidate your learning.

Working with others

You’ll be required to work with other students, and we assess this. This includes looking at, and commenting on, others’ work; reflecting on others’ comments on your work; and/or working together with fellow learners on a project/task.

Diagrams and other visual content

The study materials contain some diagrams and graphs. Reading and interpreting these is an important part of the study of this module, and we assess this. We provide descriptions for all figures.

Finding information

You could be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online, and we assess this. We can provide alternatives for required/assessed research material to enable you to meet the learning outcomes of the module.


This module has Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs), which you must submit online via the OU electronic TMA system; interactive computer-marked assignments completed online; and an exam that you must take at an exam centre.

Again, I am looking forward to starting  this and it shoud allow me to understand hiow much planning and work goes into projects.


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