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AQA INFO4 Project complexity

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by JaySherman, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. This is the first year I've delivered INFO4, and I'm a bit unsure as to whether my students' projects are solving complex enough problems. They all have real end users, but have mostly exagerated the problems with the current systems by saying it is paper based etc... and have all come up with database solutions.

    They have normalised their tables so have about 4-8 tables, and have included combo boxes, navigation systems, and generally obeyed naming conventions etc... but essentially all their databases do are store data in various tables, and create reports based on various filtering queries and parameter queries.. a few of them are mail merging the data into a letter, and others are hoping to email data to customers using the mail merge system (which i've not tested whether is possible yet)

    does this make them complex enough to not be marked down to a max of 5 marks for sections 2,3,4 from the mark grids? if they aren't mail merging the data somewhere else, is that still ok?

    the suggested problems in the specs don't seem that complex, but i thought it worth checking here too as it would be a shame for the whole clase to be marked down because i've not encouraged them to make more complex systems.

    thank you in advance for any advice
     
  2. This is the first year I've delivered INFO4, and I'm a bit unsure as to whether my students' projects are solving complex enough problems. They all have real end users, but have mostly exagerated the problems with the current systems by saying it is paper based etc... and have all come up with database solutions.

    They have normalised their tables so have about 4-8 tables, and have included combo boxes, navigation systems, and generally obeyed naming conventions etc... but essentially all their databases do are store data in various tables, and create reports based on various filtering queries and parameter queries.. a few of them are mail merging the data into a letter, and others are hoping to email data to customers using the mail merge system (which i've not tested whether is possible yet)

    does this make them complex enough to not be marked down to a max of 5 marks for sections 2,3,4 from the mark grids? if they aren't mail merging the data somewhere else, is that still ok?

    the suggested problems in the specs don't seem that complex, but i thought it worth checking here too as it would be a shame for the whole clase to be marked down because i've not encouraged them to make more complex systems.

    thank you in advance for any advice
     
  3. Regarding "complex" problems. I was new to teaching A level ICT last year and I queried this with an experienced ICT teacher who had worked on the old syllabus for many years. His advice was that a complex problem is one that can be re-used over time e.g. a hotel booking system where people are always ringing up to book a room. A simple problem would be one that would only be used on a single occasion. I had some examples of ones last year I thought were "simple", mainly because there weren't many tables and the database had little complexity in it. However, because the systems were reusable they were considered complex.
    My 3 students are all doing databases too (though I did push them in that direction because I think it is the easiest one to get the most marks on). They all have between 5 and 8 tables. There isn't a specific requirement that you have to use Mail merge. You could do similar within Access. For example one of my students is sending out confirmation letters to people who make a booking by extracting the required data from the various tables with a query, producing an A4 sized letter, printing it, printing A5 envelopes then having an update query to say the letter has been sent and to not send it a second time.
    At the AQA training day, they stressed that the process of analysis, designing, meeting users, getting feedback and updating and refining etc etc were more important than the complexity of a particular solution. Some of their examples like producing training manuals, don't contain complexity - it is the quality of the analysis etc that gets the marks.
    The AQA website doesn't have much information but if you have access to e-AQA then there are examples and marking advice that I have found helpful. You could also contact AQA and get them to send you the materials.
    Cheers. WW
     

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