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Object-oriented Java programming

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: M250
  • Level: 2
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Student reviews

Great module that explains the concepts of object-oriented programming based on Java. It starts from absolute basics and builds up. It is quite theoretical, but I really liked it. The material was easy to learn, the workload not too excessive. I learned Python after doing M250 and learning another programming language was a breeze! I highly recommend this module.

Course starting: October 2019

Review posted: August 2020

Very good module, covers all the basics of objects and object orientated programming. Good materials and lectures were well worth attending.

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: July 2020

Really enjoyable module but I did have to put the effort in as the concepts were not easily understood first time for me. Stick with it as its only in the later chapters that they start to pull the various components together into one, where things clicked into place.

The module is good mixture of theory and practical coding - yes, lots of coding! I had no experience of Java before this module but took advantage of the OU's programming bootcamp which was really helpful and borrowed a Java coding book from my local library prior to starting the module. This proved invaluable as although I didn't study the library book, it allowed me to get familiar with what Java code looked like, how it was laid out, some of the keywords etc so when encountering it in M250 it wasn't as daunting.

This module does have a formal exam but there's plenty of past papers available and my advice is to get through as many as possible and practice! Do at least one timed practice exam to gauge the 3 hour time limit but I found it very doable.

Overall, I found this module very satisfying although pushed my limits a lot, but was able to take much more away from this module than just the practical coding aspects of it.

Lynne Dewar

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: May 2020

This module does a good job of teaching the core concepts of Object-Oriented Programming and the theories that make it useful. Though Java is used as the example language for the module, it borrows concepts from Smalltalk that make the whole paradigm easier to understand.

The module has a good structure that builds logically, has a realistic time frame for students, but isn't rigid and allows for students to manage their own time. Student progress is assessed fairly, with a good balance between continuous and examinable portions. The formative assessments were extremely useful for self-assessment.

It gives an academic view of OOP, but the practical element was challenging and fun. I was always looking forward to the next assignment.

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: November 2019

I quite enjoyed this module, it was quite well structured and my tutor was amazing help.

At parts it is quite a challenging module, but the fun of such a programming module is that you have to get quite in-depth with learning problem solving skills and trying to add your own approach to it, and the very best part is when you manage to get your code working after trying for so long, it is a very liberating feeling when it all comes together!

Sadly I didn't perform too well in the examination which pushed down my overall score, but having got close to full marks on the tutor-marked assignments on reflection it was an enjoyable module and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in perhaps pursuing a career in programming or just has a general interest in code.

Alexander James MacKenzie

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: August 2019

I really enjoyed this course. For me, this module was exceptionally well written compared to other modules I have taken, in that the explanations of concepts were clear, there were lots of SAQs and exercises to help you and the tutor was really helpful. The course continually built on the skills in an organised way. I personally spent way more time on this module than they recommend because that's just what programming does to me!

I've not done object oriented programming before (but I did do Scratch and have dabbled with Python) and this module did give me a very good introduction to what can appear extremely complicated at first. I would recommend that before doing this module, that you have done some programming yourself, beginner level, any program, just so that you are aware of the basic programming constructs already, before trying to learn Java in addition.

The only real issue I had was completing a 3 hour hand written exam with a new syllabus. I found it challenging for sure. I can tell you that I used every single minute! I surprised myself that I did quite well. It's worth going through the glossary and getting those technical terms in, as well as doing as many past papers as you can.

Good luck if you do this one, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: September 2018

I really enjoyed this course. It was practical and gave me a good understanding of Java on a basic level.

Derek Comach

Course starting: October 2016

Review posted: June 2018

This was quite a good course I felt and I did enjoy most of it. The frogs became tedious at times, but as objects for manipulation, were useful throughout the course.

We were instructed in writing programs around other topics, but I couldn't help thinking the Frogs might have been developed into a final game or application to make the course more engaging or interesting.

It was one of the better level 2 modules for me as I do have an interest in programming and a dislike of essays - be prepared to memorise a lot for the exam though.

I did feel my tutor was either too busy on other modules or sometimes on holiday to support me, but clearly knew his stuff and how to teach it.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: June 2015

This course provides a very gentle (but ultimately quite comprehensive) introduction to the concept of object orientated programming - and resulting implications and benefits.

The module materials are well structured, and clearly written with ideas developed slowly. Indeed, despite this being a level 2 module, it starts from such a basic point that anyone with any kind of familiarity with the mere concept of programming will be more than comfortable.
Personally, I think it could go a little faster, and get through a bit more material than is covered at present.

Sadly the exam still has to be written (by hand), and you can easily be under time pressure - I do think it should be electronically assessed and/or have far more multi-choice questions. It is a shame that the difference between one candidates classification and another could be based upon writing speed rather than true knowledge and level of understanding. Or more time should be given - doing so won't impact people who don't know what to write.

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

This course is very much focused on the theory of object-orientated programming. I learned a lot about classes, inheritance, access modifiers and interfaces, but very little about applying these principles to create a working program. In fact, at no point is a standalone program produced - everything is run within a "sandbox" of the IDE. If you wish to go further, there is an appendix which describes how a "proper" Java program can be created, but this is not part of the course proper.

That said, the course overall was useful and explains object-oriented programming concepts well. The course uses frogs and other amphibians to explain the idea of objects and inheritance. In the early stages of the course you will simply make them hop and croak on a graphical display. Later on you will define your own new species of frogs and write your own code to make them behave the way you want them to. The frog metaphor was a fun way to explain the concept, although by the time you reach the end of the course you may be sick of amphibians altogether!

Most of the tutorials (except the final one, which was an exam practice session) are delivered online in the evenings, which was really helpful as it meant I didn't have to travel. My tutor was excellent, responding to any queries I had quickly and clearly.

One thing to be aware of is that the exam is done without any computers and students will be required to handwrite blocks of code, some of which were quite long and involved. There seemed to be a lot of complaints from students on the course forums about this, but ultimately it was the only practical way to run the exam. My tip is to be aware of this and practice your handwriting beforehand!

Robert Hampton

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: August 2014

I really enjoyed this module and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand what object oriented programming is. I didn't enjoy the exam at all, but who does?

Now I just need a garage... And to believe in fairytales!

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: December 2013

I really loved this course as it was exactly what I needed and wanted to learn. I had been trying to study programming for the last few years but failed miserably to get out of the starting blocks until I began this course.

In my opinion this course was designed well and is suitable for the complete programming novice, although it isn't for the faint hearted (lol).

At times I found myself pulling (what's left of) my hair out and almost even quitting, but perseverance and patience is essential if you are an inexperienced programmer (like myself) wanting get though this course.

The exam was extremely difficult in my opinion and although I passed, it was a disappointing result so be prepared for hours upon hours of revision before the big day if you are looking to get a good mark!

As a result of the knowledge and skills acquired from this course I have now almost completed my first iOS (iPhone) app (even though it is written in objective-C, not Java).

Lewis James-Odwin

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: August 2013

Well, overall, if you're looking for an introduction to Java or more specifically Object Oriented programming this course will help you out. It covers the majority of the basics pretty well and seems to have been written with the beginner in mind.

However, I do feel the course wasn't entirely complete, to me it felt like it could have done with a couple more units and I wonder if an earlier (since dropped) decision to semesterise M250 and M256 so they could be done in the same year without overlap meant they decided to leave some things out for brevity's sake.

Some of the areas I felt could have been expanded upon include: composition (it would certainly have helped those struggling with a question in one TMA), serialisation, the "main" method (although a brief intro was tacked onto the end of M250) and perhaps more exploration of the Java documentation in terms of practical exercises to utilise other classes.

As for the overlap between M250 and M256 if you want to do it in the same year, I'd say go for it, unless you're really struggling with M250 there's not much to worry about doing the overlap of a few months and plenty of support on offer.

Lastly, the course was in its first presentation, I've done first presentations before, so I'm used to teething problems and the odd mistake, but the sheer number of mistakes in assessments made during this year were, in my opinion, completely unforgivable and I sincerely hope the module team take a long hard look at their quality control as I feel they really let themselves down in this area.

So, want a good broad introduction to Java and OO? Do this course. Want to go on to do M256? Do this course. But expect to look outside of the course material occasionally if you want to fully understand things.

I got the mark I wanted from this course and as things stand I think I would consider the difficulty of this course more in line with a Level 1 than a Level 2 course (such as M263 which was infinitely harder towards the end). Enjoy it!

Christopher Bartle

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: July 2013

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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