Office Solutions Development

By Andrew Caruana

Since the early 1990 Microsoft products have become part of every domain. However, few are capable of unlocking their power and magic.  Within the Office Solutions Development module, STC Higher Education students explore this and work towards becoming masters of the Microsoft Office Suite, mainly Word, Excel, and Access.  Within the module, after underlining the main characteristics of application software and End-user software development, students are introduced to more advanced features including Macros and VBA programming.  This gives students incredible capabilities to turn repetitive laborious tasks into automated systems.  Amongst the many advantages, this provides efficiency in the workplace and reduction of human error.  Both academia and the business world alike rely heavily on these products, administration, management, and analytics to mention a few. STC Higher Education, therefore, makes sure that students are adequately prepared for such forms of employment.  Moreover, students are thought how to manipulate data, organise their work and format it in a way they would be proud to put it on their bosses’ desk.  Being such a hands-on subject, Office Solutions Development assesses students through a home assignment.   This presents students with a real-life scenario that brings together the topics delivered during the module’s timeframe in a practical manner.

Software Development Techniques

By Andrew Caruana

The Software Development Techniques module is designed to train students to get to a problem’s solution using the various tools programming languages provide.   This is achieved by discussing the theoretical aspect of the subject and various exercises, which help students build experience and knowledge through reason.  The module’s structure, supported by the consistency of delivery, has helped STC Higher Education students gain great outcomes in past years.  The training methods used throughout the module are Pseudocode and Desk-checking; two techniques that require only pen and paper, rather than any specific programming language.  This helps students grasp the notion of writing code in English and thinking in a logical, rational manner without the complexity of the programming language itself.  Once students master these techniques, they will be able to design code structures that can be translated into most programming languages available today.  Within the classroom some practices such as starting and finishing a topic on the day and allowing at least one hour for guided practice has returned excellent results.  Also, whenever possible, challenge days are set up.  This gives a gamified experience while at the same time contributing to students’ growth.  Prior to embarking on a full fletched programming carrier, STC Higher Education makes sure that its students feel comfortable, confident, and empowered.  For this to be possible an exam is used to assess the students’ abilities and pushes them to achieve their best possible results.

Introduction to programming

By Andrew Caruana

The software development sector has been booming for the past twenty-five years or so and it does not seem like it is going to slow down any time soon. On the contrary.  Here at STC Higher Education, we are confident of this, and make sure that our students too understand the broadness of the possibilities that they are provided with when embarking on such a journey. As part of the foundation course provided in preparation for higher levels of education, the students at STC are introduced to programming using Visual Basic.Net.  Before actual coding is introduced however students will be assisted in installing the required software packages to do the job and are guided through the familiarisation process. From this point onwards the module consists of a balance between theory and practice where students are introduced to topics such as decision making, code repetitions and data structures, first on a console level and then moving on to creating functional Graphical User Interfaces.  During class, students are encouraged to explore the subject and try out their ideas without fear of mistakes or judgment. To consolidate their learning outcomes Introduction to Programming bases its assessment on a home assignment that will provide the students with a case study for the students to solve.  This will allow them to bring together what they learn and experience in class together and give them a sense of achievement when completed successfully.

6MK012 – Marketing & Digital Strategy

By Joanne Fenech

“In essence, digital marketing is the marketing of a product or service through the use of an electronic device or the internet. It’s a phrase for online marketing. Hundreds of thousands of businesses now use digital marketing to reach a big number of people because it is easier—and more cost-effective.  Traditionally, organizations used television, radio, publications, events, and direct mail to reach their target audience. Nowadays, businesses are attempting to attract potential clients through digital platforms as individuals spend more time online. Marketers must be aware at all times of the trending norms and where the people are.  Prior to the rise of digital marketing, few people discussed the customer journey because it was difficult to comprehend and evaluate. A customer would most likely go to a physical store after viewing an advertisement on television or in the newspaper, make a decision, and pay for the product or service inside the store. In digital marketing, however, we can trace every step a customer takes, frequently starting from the time they are prompted to look for a solution or product.  Nowadays, it’s normal for a consumer to view an advertisement online, search and compare costs on several websites, and then go to a store to try the goods or shop online. Customers should be encouraged to follow the organisation’s social media sites. This enables the marketer to evaluate daily their preferences as they scroll through their social media feeds. Keeping people informed is both useful and relevant, as well as providing content that inspires and delights is key. Clients that are more engaged and informed are most likely to buy from your company if they ever need your service or product.

The Wolverhampton module Marketing and Digital Strategy delves into the complexity of a strategic marketing approach that every company requires to build and maintain a competitive edge. It offers an understanding of the external and internal factors that drive strategic decisions and how businesses build and maintain a competitive advantage. Traditional and digital marketing expertise and knowledge are expanded in this subject. A thorough awareness of how products and brands are positioned offline vs online. It will also look at the role of marketing from a strategic standpoint.”

Distributed and Cloud Systems Programming

By Omar Zammit

This module’s main aim is to expose students to cloud technologies used by various companies. During this module, students will learn what distributed systems are and how cloud computing can help organisations to achieve this. Using Java and Python, students will learn how to write programs that will work together on multiple processes on multiple computers. Students will also learn how to configure environments, create and deploy APIs and publish websites using Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Apache Spark and Google Cloud are also explored.

Numerical Methods and Concurrency

By Omar Zammit

This module’s main aim is to help students develop skills that are useful in computer science, focusing mainly on analytical and problem-solving skills. Using the C programming language, students will learn how to convert numerical methods into code and how to use concurrency to improve software performance. The concepts discussed during this module are supported by workshops that resemble real work problems, including learning some useful Linux commands, implementing a simple machine learning algorithm and image processing using multithreading.

EOM – Essentials of Management

By Dr Kenneth Grech

The Essentials of Management (EOM) module runs at Level 4 MQF and is part of the Diploma in Business of the National Computing Centre (NCC).  It covers the main principles and functions of management.  Students will be given the essential tools and knowledge of management as a start of their journey into understanding the fundamental requisites for managing businesses and organizations.  A mixed didactic and case-based approach is adopted to provide students with the required skills and expertise on management at this level.  Several management areas are covered, including developing management and leadership strategies and the planning process, decision making, understanding organisations and staff behaviour, managing teams and motivating staff.  Assessment is through a written assignment that links the theory with practice.

5MG001 – The Professional Leader & Manager

By Dr Kenneth Grech

The Professional Leader and Manager are delivered by STC on behalf of the Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton.  It is a Level 5 course with 30 credits aimed at students who wish to further develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding of the leadership process and various management approaches in the business world.  Several topics of interest are covered, including human resource management, motivation, change management, dealing with stress as a manager, managing teams, the influence of power and culture, managing in a multiethnic and multicultural environment and the role of a leader and manager at the strategic and operational level.  The module takes an interpretative, formative and reflexive approach, with practical examples and case studies used to augment and enrich the students’ experience.  Assessment is both case-based and also students give an oral presentation to assess their communication skills.

Skills For Computing

By Jeremy Darmenia

Skills for Computing is an introductory module, that set’s one up, for said diploma and degree pathway. Students are guided on learning strategies to be able to make the best use of their learning experience. Special emphasis is also directed towards academic writing and the correct way of referencing researched material. The honing of professional presentation skills and how to keep any particular target audience engaged, are exercised to give students the cutting edge both in the academic and professional world.  Skills for Computing continues by questioning the degree of one’s thinking and problem-solving abilities. Scholars are exposed to various strategies and conventions about creative and critical thinking in a bid to breach any formed psychological boundaries. The next phase of the module is concerned with data acquisition and analysis, to allow decision-makers to make informed and sound decisions. Arithmetic and Statistical modelling are explored and demonstrated, with the end objective being that of converting data into information.

Office Software Development

By Jeremy Darmenia

Office software Development as a module focuses on features and functions, of every day productive applications. A normal user will for instance use spreadsheet software, to compile lists of entries and maybe compute a few arithmetic functions. What we strive for in this module is to develop your average user into an advanced user, by tutoring students to use spreadsheet software to its full potential. We take a deep dive into end-user development, and how this allows one to execute business processes more efficiently and with fewer chances of error. The end-user developer must be able to understand business practices and their shortfall, understand the current IT systems within the organisation and then build a bridge between the two. It is a common practice nowadays, that we look for specialised software for each business problem, and happily spend finite resources on them.  However, rarely do we fully comprehend the capabilities of that office software that has always been lurking within our hard drives. Capabilities that are powerful enough to solve the majority of organisational tasks for small to medium enterprises.