COMPSCI 111/111G : An Introduction to Practical Computing


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A practical introduction to computing. Topics include: web design, an overview of computer hardware and operating systems, effective use of common applications, using the internet as a communication medium, applying programming concepts, and social implications of technology.

Course Overview

This course is a dual-purpose course serving both as a General Education paper and as an ordinary Science paper. Students enrol in COMPSCI 111G if they are taking the paper as a General Education paper, otherwise, they enrol in COMPSCI 111. The course has no prerequisites and does not require any special skills. By the end of the course, students should be able to navigate successfully in a Computer Science environment.

Although the paper is not a core Computer Science paper, it is a recommended paper for all students as it equips students with a broad range of skills that will be useful in their future studies and careers. Topics include website design, hardware, software, Internet, programming, word processing, spreadsheets, LaTeX typesetting, AI and Digital Game Design as well as many other Computer Science related topics, many of which are not covered in our other courses. The contents of the course (particularly the labs) help to boost the number of skills that students are able to list on their CVs. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: Cannot be taken with or after COMPSCI 210, 220, 230

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Use personal computers with confidence (Capability 1, 3 and 5)
  2. Write simple computer programs (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Create an artifact in some common applications, e.g. spreadsheets, word processing, databases (Capability 1, 3, 4 and 5)
  4. Understand the structure of the Internet and its social issues, as well as other types of networks (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Design and create a simple web page (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the origins and design of computing hardware and software (Capability 1)
  7. Demonstrate a basic understanding of selected set of current research topics in Computer Science (e.g. AI and game design) (Capability 1 and 2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Test 20% Individual Test
Laboratories 30% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Final Exam

To pass the course, as well as obtaining at least 50% overall, students must pass the theory (test + exam) component and practical (labs) component separately.


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

The School of Computer Science Tuākana programme provides support for this course. See: For more information and to find contact details for the School of Computer Science Tuākana coordinator, please see

Key Topics

  • Introduction to Hardware
  • Electronic Communication and Publishing Online
  • WWW
  • Word Processing and RefWorks
  • Spreadsheets
  • LaTeX Typesetting
  • Bits, Bytes and Digital Information
  • History of Computing
  • Software Licences and Conventions
  • Python Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Digital Games
  • Web Design (using HTML5 and CSS)

Special Requirements

  • Lab attendance is compulsory.
  • There will be an Inspera test halfway through the semester. This test is usually held in the evening.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, in most weeks you can expect:

  • 3 hours of lectures
  • 1 three-hour compulsory lab
  • 1.5 hours of reading and thinking about the content 
  • 2.5 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is required at scheduled activities (e.g. labs).
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. 
  • The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
  • The test and exam will both be  on Inspera.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Course Material:

  • An online course reference manual is available via Canvas
  • The course reference manual contains chapters on selected course topics (mainly lab topics)
  • A number of additional readings from the internet will be recommended

Health & Safety

  • To avoid OOS (Occupational Overuse Syndrome, also known as RSI), please take regular breaks from your computer, and also maintain good posture.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

We value your feedback. Rather than just providing feedback at the end of the semester, each lab assignment will include a question at the end asking you for your thoughts so you have an opportunity to give feedback throughout the course.

Other Information

  • Lab assignments are completed in the lab. Tutors will be on hand in the lab if you need help with anything.
  • Please contact the course coordinator if you have any queries. 
  • You can find the teaching staff's contact details on the course's Canvas home page.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

If you have any complaints or queries about the course please contact the course coordinator, but if you do not feel comfortable doing that, you can bring it up with the class representative who can pass it on to the course coordinator.  


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2022 09:28 a.m.