School of Computing Short Learning Programmes (SLPs)

i-set robotics - robotics fundamentals (scirf01)

Qualifying students (educators and community leaders) will be equipped to coach learners in robotics through an introduction of the theory of robotics fundamentals.  These competencies contribute to the development of science, engineering and technology in communities in Southern Africa, Africa and globally.  The module is interactive, online and theoretical.  The student must participate in online discussions, connect to the Internet weekly, and submit learning-unit tasks.  The summative assessment is a portfolio as evidence of learning for a non-venue based examination. 

Recommended practical robotics courses: I-SET Robotics - Components and Pedagogy (CSR0B1E) followed by I-SET Robotics - Problem Solving, Data and Debugging (CSR0B2E).

Recommended theoretical robotics courses: I-SET Robotics - Robotics for the Future (SCIFF01).

Recommended: Join the I-SET Robotics Online Community.  Email for a monthly training schedule.


Target Group
Educators and community leaders who require the relevant knowledge and skill to present robotics in education.  Currently there is no formal module where this knowledge and skill are presented, taught and explored in a comprehensive, coherent and structured format.

Syllabus - SCIRF01 (Robotics Fundamentals)

Unit 1 - Robot Types and Definitions – Input, Process and Output.  The use of components and sensors for the movement of robots where form is matched to function.

Unit 2 - Engineering Concepts and the Engineering Design Process.  The use of engineering concepts (gears, pulley and levers) within the Engineering Design Process to design robots.

Unit 3 - Programming Principles and Flow Control.  The use of programming principles (sequential, iterative and decision) and paradigms for the functioning of a robot form to ensure function.

Unit 4 - Techniques used in Robotics.  The use of techniques for problem solving and robotics debugging.

Unit 5 - Robotics used in Education.  The use of robotics for the teaching and learning in education.

Admission Requirements SCIRF01
The credit calculation is based on the assumption that the student who enrols is competent in terms of the following outcomes or learning areas:

  • in possession of a certified National Senior Certificate, with English as a subject.Applicants require basic computer literacy skills and internet access.
  • competent in language, numeracy and communication skills.
  • ability to learn from written material in English, which is the language of tuition.
  • ability to communicate what has been learnt comprehensibly through a range of media (including digital).
  • responsibility to manage learning and the learning environment.

Assessment SCIRF01
Formative assessment and examination admission will comply with UNISA’s formative assessment rules and policies.Formative assessment: Will be used in the submission and evaluation of the assignment for each of the four learning units. Summative assessment: Will be implemented in the evaluation a non venue-based portfolio examination. A certificate from Unisa will be awarded to candidates after obtaining a final mark of at least 50%.

Duration of module
Semester course (15 weeks)

Tuition method
The UNISA open and distance method of blended learning will be followed.  The study material will be provided according to the blended learning approach. Each learning unit requires a compulsory assignment for evaluation and feedback. This feedback will ensure that interaction between students and course facilitators occurs. 

Course Fees
R3 500.00 (the full course fees are payable on registration).Lecture notes will be provided online.

Dr PM Gouws E-mail:


Unisa Lifelong Learning Centre E-mail: