Edinburgh Napier University: ENroute Yearbook 2018 Edition - Page 7

ENroute Yearbook 2017-18 Student Expenses in the New Wave of Computing Modules Augusto Esteves, School of Computing, Fellow Books and equipment are two expenses often overlooked by students when enrolling in a university degree. So far, computing students have been shielded from some of these costs, as it is expected that most of their work can be produced digitally on a computer. But as computers get embedded into everyday items such as light bulbs, thermostats or eyeglasses, the idea that computing students require solely a desktop computer to learn and explore the future of the field is already outdated. In Playful Interaction (IMD08114) and Ubiquitous Computing (IMD09139), students are required to prototype different user experiences with smart objects, which can range from a smart umbrella that changes colour in response to rain, to a mirror that lights up in response to sound. Following are guidelines based on my teaching experience with these modules; these should help minimise issues with coursework that puts a financial strain on students: • • ensure the recommended reading is available on the University’s LibrarySearch at no extra cost • • pair students so they can share split equipment costs • • establish an upper threshold for how much each student can spend • • provide information on the confidential advice service available to students (which includes financial advice). Finally, I would like to recommend the following actions moving forward: • • each programme should provide students with a breakdown of book and equipment costs per academic year • • the University should offer a service that allows students to exchange or sell used equipment. 5