STUDIES Computer Studies is, of course one of the newest subjects in the curriculum, and it is appropriate that this subject too has prompted Letts to issue a software revision package to accompany their other aids. A very wide area of knowledge is covered in this suite, moving from the history of computers and information processing, to revision of the architecture of a typical digital computer and the CPU, and then on to information on computer hardware operating systems.
Some of the programs help the student to revise software development skills, while others are aimed at deepening knowledge of techniques fundamental to the subject such as the analysis of logic circuits.
The programs use a variety of learning techniques, ranging from passages which the student has to complete to multiple choice questions. In certain programs if wrong answers are given, the computer either provides a hint or displays the correct solution after a specified number of incorrect responses.
Most of the programs commence with a menu from which the student may select an area of interest. High Level Languages for example allows a choice from: Expressions and Assignments, Branches and Loops, and Subroutines and Strings, white the very complex Number Systems program is divided into three different areas: 1) Binary and Decimal Positive Integers: 2)Negative Integers; Addition and Subtraction; 3)Octal and Hexidecimal.
The students who looked at this suite for me were quite impressed with the range of topics covered and felt it would be a useful addition to their study aids.
CONTROL KEYS: Apart from the problems in the Chemistry suite, the control keys are clearly explained and are easy to use.
KEYBOARD PLAY: Very responsive
USE of COLOUR: Simple but clear.
GRAPHICS: Used to good effect
Revision programs like these are, generally speaking, only as good as the student using them. Used sensibly in conjunction with other study methods, they do have a useful role to play, but it has to be understood that, on their own, these packages will not miraculously ensure A grade passes!