Web technologies

The internet continues to be the foundation for developing influential and strategic technologies, supporting various applications and services. This module gives an insight into architectures, protocols, standards, languages, tools and techniques and an understanding of approaches to more dynamic and mobile content. It demonstrates how to analyse requirements, and plan, design, implement and test various web applications. There's a growing need for management and decision-makers to better understand the application development process – from planning to deployment and maintenance.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TT284
Credits 30
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

Over the last few years the internet and the World Wide Web have provided the basis for the development of a range of strategic business solutions.

As web technologies have entered the mainstream of IT development, a wide range of applications in sectors such as marketing, selling, purchasing, banking and publishing have been deployed, positioning the Web in the relationship between providers and users.

This module starts with a focus on the foundations of web applications, including protocols, standards and content handling. It builds on these by exploring application architectures, components and alternative application designs before considering how applications and content can be made more dynamic and mobile.

The module is made up of four blocks and a project.

Block 1 Foundations of web technology
The first block covers the basic technologies on which the Web is founded. Aspects covered include: historic development of the Web; 'architecture' and basic client server architecture; protocols such as HTTP; content markup (HTML, CSS, XML) and issues of accessibility and usability; standards and standardisation organisations (W3C, Internet working group); and security (firewalls, HTTPS, certificates).

This block of the module covers all of the basic foundations on which the remainder of the module builds.

Block 2 Web architectures
After examining the different approaches to web application architecture, Block 2 focuses on how the components of the client-server architecture can deliver dynamic content to web pages.

This block covers web application architectures, including cloud technology; server and client side components (web browsers, databases) and programming languages (JavaScript, PHP and SQL).

While this block considers a range of programming languages and their roles in developing applications, it does not teach programming and you are expected to have already acquired these skills.

This block includes both JavaScript and PHP programming activities. All the code required to produce a simple web application is provided and explained, but you should be prepared to utilise and adapt the examples in simple ways.

Block 3 Mobile content
Block 3 examines the trend toward more portable content and content customisation and also explores mobile content and applications. It considers aspects such as Web 2, content manipulation and approaches to delivering content to mobile devices. You will also undertake the development of a simple mobile application.

Block 4 Developing applications
The final block explores how applications are planned, designed and developed by IT professionals, examining project planning, application design, development environments and tools as well as application deployment and maintenance.

Project
At the end of the module, you will carry out a substantial project applying the skills and techniques from each block.

Vocational relevance

The module helps develop important skills which are particularly relevant to the workplace, such as written communication skills, information literacy, independent learning and critical analysis.

In an IT context the module will provide practitioners with relevant experience, skills and insight into a range of important aspects, such as the source and appropriate use of standards, appreciation of the application life cycle from design to decommissioning, and the range of current approaches to web application design and implementation.

Entry

There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

However, as this is an OU level 2 module you'll need a good knowledge of the subject area obtained through any of the following:

  • OU level 1 study
  • equivalent work at another university
  • experience as an IT professional

You must be familiar with basic programming concepts (conditionals, loops, functions, arrays, etc.) and writing small programs in a language such as Java, Python, PHP or JavaScript.

Are you ready to start TT284? is an interactive quiz to help you decide whether you already have the recommended background knowledge or experience to start the module.

If you are not sure you're ready, talk to an adviser.

Preparatory work

The programming skills developed in Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112), or Object-oriented Java programming (M250), would be ideal preparation, especially if you're not familiar with basic programming.

TT284 covers a range of web technologies at a depth appropriate for an OU level 2 module. We'll expect you to engage with the whole networked learning environment: online module materials, tutorials, module forums and practical activities on the server.

You must be prepared to spend significant amounts of time online each week. The stop–start nature of the work could make it difficult for you to measure how much time you're actually devoting to the module. Also, students work at different rates, and some students need longer than others to get up to speed.

Attitude is extremely important – you'll inevitably discover some dead ends and these can be demoralising unless you cope with them constructively. Have an open mind: if one approach isn't working, try another; if you think you're on the wrong track, contact your tutor or post to the forums.

Study materials

What's included

This module is presented fully online within The Open University's virtual learning environment (VLE), which gives access to the study materials in electronic format, online forums, assignment details, online tutorial access and other online resources. There are no printed texts: all the study materials will be available online from the module website.

Computing requirements

You'll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11). Any macOS is unsuitable with this module.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you'll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They'll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that's for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won't be compulsory for you to complete the module, you're strongly encouraged to take part.

Assessment

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

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is an individual project.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone. The Accessibility Statement below outlines what studying this module involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Mode of study

All of this module's study materials are online. Online materials are composed of pages of text with images, animation, large portions of code, and short videos all with transcripts/subtitles. Online materials also include links to external resources, online forums and online tutorial rooms. The majority of the module resources have been designed to be as accessible as possible: they can be navigated using a keyboard rather than a mouse, the text they contain is accessible by screen readers, and alternative long descriptions are provided where appropriate. Due to the changing graphical display of some of the activities, some students benefit from the support of a sighted helper.

Tuition strategy

This module provides online tutorials. Although not compulsory, attendance at tutorials will help you consolidate your learning.

Working with others

For some of the activities you may be asked to come up with your own answer to a particular question and then share your answer with other students in the module forums. This will help you to look at a topic from different perspectives and gain a broader understanding of the subject.

Practical work

Computer practical work forms a required component of assessment. You will be asked to carry out practical activities using specialised software. Given the nature of the activities, and their outputs, some students will need a sighted helper to carry out the module activities and assessment tasks.

Mathematical and scientific expressions and notations

Mathematical and scientific symbols and expressions are used in some parts of the module. You will not be required to use such notation within assessments.

Diagrams and other visual content

The study materials contain a number of diagrams and graphs and a considerable number of code portions. Reading and interpreting the diagrams, and interpreting, producing and debugging code are an important part of the study of this module, and are assessed inn all TMAs and the EMA. Figure descriptions are provided for all figures. If you have any concerns about this aspect of the module, please contact us for further advice.

Finding information

You will be required to search for, and make use of, third-party material online and this is assessed. Alternatives for required/assessed research material can be provided to enable you to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module.

Assessment

This module has tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and an end-of-module assessment (EMA) that you must submit via the online TMA/EMA service.

Feedback

You will receive feedback from your tutor on your submitted Tutor-Marked Assignments (TMAs). This will help you to reflect on your TMA performance. You should refer to it to help you prepare for your next assignment.

Schedule

All University modules are structured according to a set timetable and you will need time-management skills to keep your studies on track. You will be supported in developing these skills. If you are concerned about the time management required at undergraduate level, please contact us before you register on the module to find out what we can do to support you.

Specialist software

To do your practical work you will need to use a specialist wireframing software, a simple editor to develop your code, and a suitable web browser. The module has been developed to use Google Chrome, but other browsers can be used.

Future availability

Web technologies (TT284) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2024. We will replace TT284 with a new module, Web Technologies (TM252), starting for the first time in February 2025.

October 2024 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.