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Designing applications with Visual Basic

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This module in object-oriented programming will teach you how to design and write small applications using Visual Basic Express. Software applications discussed in the module range from a very simple traffic survey application, to more complex applications that are linked to a database. Roughly one third of the module consists of important practical Visual Basic Express programming exercises, using web-based units. You’ll also use printed module books that use a design language similar to Visual Basic (VB), to learn essential programming skills. You should be ready to study computing at Level 2 and ideally have some programming experience.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£505.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£505.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1050.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£505.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£505.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£930.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£505.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1316.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

October 2014 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The module is presented in four blocks. Each contains three printed units and one web-based unit. The web-based unit contains the practical work associated with the three printed units. The practical work uses an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), namely the Visual Basic Express Edition, which will be supplied on a DVD. Other module-based software will be downloadable from the website.

Whereas the web-based units implement the practical work in VB, the printed units use a slightly abstracted design code, allowing greater emphasis to be placed on generic programming issues.

The main contents of the four blocks are:

Block 1 introduces the IDE, designing simple graphical user interfaces and writing simple code for the interface using supplied code. Issues such as usability and accessibility are discussed.

Block 2 develops VB syntax and discusses designing and writing the code that is behind the user interface. You’ll finish by designing a complete application for simple encrypting of pieces of text that consolidates the ideas in Blocks 1 and 2.

Block 3 looks at handling text, graphics and sound. It deals with fonts and colour as well as more complex graphical ideas. The contents include discussion of saving and loading files and a short discussion of printing. The final unit looks at ideas about animation and designing simple games. Several complete applications will be developed in the practical work.

Block 4 mainly concerns databases, one of the most common uses of software today. It teaches enough about databases to enable the development of simple applications making use of an existing database. It does not teach design of databases but how to use them. The final unit gives an overview of the module and revisits many of the ideas. It also shows how the design language used is a portable skill by translating a simple class design into C#.

The module emphasises good code design and documentation for portability and ease of maintenance. There’s also an emphasis placed on the need to keep the design and coding of the underlying model separate from the design and coding of the user interface.

You will learn

After studying this module, you’ll be able to design and write small software applications. Application design will be in two parts: the user interface and the underlying model that does the work of the application.

Vocational relevance

This module is relevant if you already work, or would like to work, with computing and IT systems and are looking to improve your grasp of the principles of software-based technologies. It is also a module of various qualifications that build skills in designing, developing and deploying IT systems.

Entry

This is a Level 2 module and you need to have a good knowledge of the subject area, obtained either through Level 1 study with the OU, or by doing equivalent work at another university.

You will need to be confident using a personal computer and have experience of writing small computer programs. You should also be able to write short explanations of technical ideas in your own words, and be able to communicate with others electronically.

You are expected to be familiar with:

  • basic programming concepts such as assignment to variables, sequence, selection and iteration
  • the basic components and working of a computer.

The key introductory Level 1 module My digital life (TU100) would be ideal preparation for this module.

You can also try the quiz Are you ready for MT264? to see if you have an aptitude to pick up programming reasonably quickly.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

The module contains a significant amount of practical work using a computer. Students with visual impairments may have difficulty with some parts of the module. It may be necessary to have an amanuensis to help with some parts of the practical work.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

A DVD-ROM containing VB Express and some associated software, 12 printed units, 4 web-based units, module guide, software guide, module handbook and website.

You will need

You require internet access at least once a week during the module to download module resources and to keep up to date with module news.

In order to successfully run the module software, we recommend that you have a minimum of 1GB of memory (RAM) on the computer that you will use for your studies.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course. It includes online activities – you can access using a web browser – and some course software provided on disk.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer running Windows since 2007 you should have no problems completing the computer-based activities.
  • A netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device is not suitable for this course – check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you have an Apple Mac or Linux computer – please note that you can only use it for this course by running Windows on it using Boot Camp or a similar dual-boot system.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will be assigned a tutor who will support your study on the module by a mixture of formal and informal contact and marking your assignments. Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014 when it will be available for the last time.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

“I enjoyed this course. I think this was due to the practical nature of the excercises, in which you actually ...”
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“Great Course! I've used Visual Basic.Net since it came out and I still learnt a few things. Good Points: The ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code MT264
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 8
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

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