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Safety On Hands On Computer Science Unit: Not Merely An Accidental Extra

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1080.1 - 9.1080.9



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Paper Authors

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G Kohli

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S P Maj

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D Veal

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Safety on a hands-on computing science unit: Not merely an accidental extra

D. Veal, G. Kohli and S. P. Maj Edith Cowan University (ECU) Perth WA Australia


There are increasing demands from students, employers and government bodies for more work- relevant education. However, employment related hands-on education with regard to PC hardware includes important safety as well legal implications, with potential traps for the unwary. CIM is somewhat unusual in computing science units in that students work in contact with the insides of a PC. Staff contemplating initiating similar programs need to be aware of the potential safety hazards and legal issues associated with such provision. An understanding of such issues is therefore crucial to students, teaching staff, and management. Computer Installation & Maintenance (CIM) is a hands-on unit offered at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia This unit has a weekly two hour theory lecture and an accompanying two hour hands-on workshop session. Although these workshops may superficially appear safe there are a range of potential hazards. In the CIM unit students are introduced to the relevant Safety and Health (S&H) issues for each workshop, with tutor demonstrations where appropriate and Competency-Based Assessments (CBAs) and Multi-Choice Questions (MCQs) have been designed to assist in testing students’ safety awareness as well as testing the results of the efforts of staff in helping to inculcate such awareness.

I. Introduction

Demands for more work relevant education 14 can have important safety implications. Computer Installation & Maintenance (CIM) is a hands-on unit introduced by the computing science department at ECU. This unit was derived from the results of surveys of employers in the area of Computer and Network Support and surveys of third year computing science students at ECU. The CIM unit has a weekly two hour theory lecture and an accompanying two hour hands-on workshop session. Depending upon such factors as the available dedicated laboratory space and demand the number of students on this unit has ranged from 70 to 125 students per semester. The CIM unit can be studied as a full credit elective unit or as a part of a required unit within the ECU course minor structure. Many CIM students come from a non-technical background and so the effective teaching of computer hardware concepts within a single semester can be problematic.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Kohli, G., & Maj, S. P., & Veal, D. (2004, June), Safety On Hands On Computer Science Unit: Not Merely An Accidental Extra Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13098

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