What skills do we expect students to learn? While this is clearly dependent on the discipline that the student is following, there are some basic functions that computers support.

Computers are essentially information processors, that is they provide a mechanism for locating, capturing, organizing, and disseminating information. It is clear that students should be aware of these roles and be able to make use of computers in these ways.

To make use of the University information resources, students will need to have or to acquire a number of basic skills including:

Other required skills will be Faculty, Department and/or course specific and will need to be identified by the Faculty, Department and/or instructor.

Skill Acquisition

The skills required by students will be acquired in a number of ways. These include (but are not limited to):

It may be appropriate for some credit computer competency courses to be granted context credit status. This would make it easier for students to include them in their programmes. In addition, it would acknowledge the importance of these skills for all "educated" people. This could be done by adding courses to the appropriate context course lists or establishing a fourth context area: "information technology".

Some students (and this will become more prevalent as time goes on) will already have a set of basic computer skills when they reach University, either through high school training or self study. Some departments may eventually wish to establish computer competency entrance requirements for their programmes. It must be possible to determine the level of competence that students have at acceptance and possibly recommend or require remedial work for those who fail to meet standards.