1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Edexcel Alevel applied ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Llamafarmingguru, May 2, 2012.

  1. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    I'm going to be teaching the Edexcel applied ICT course in the school I'm moving to in September, just wanted to find out peoples opinion on the course - deliver, assessment, etc.. I have taught DIDA for several years so I'm used to edexcel's format.
     
  2. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    I'm going to be teaching the Edexcel applied ICT course in the school I'm moving to in September, just wanted to find out peoples opinion on the course - deliver, assessment, etc.. I have taught DIDA for several years so I'm used to edexcel's format.
     
  3. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Nothing like DIDA.
    Excellent course and content, usually clear assessment.
    Get some of the exemplars from the EdExcel site (Clicki ici)
    Find out which units you're delivering and any SoW the school has.

    HTH
     
  4. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    Thanks very much, it's good to hear a positive review. I liked the DIDA but I did find the sample moderation somewhat inconsistent.
     
  5. Really like the Edexcel Applied, although we did find the first year to be a bit of a learning curve.


    We split the load between two teachers - in Y12 it's 1 person doing Unit 1 in 2 hours/wk and 1 person doing Unit 2 and Unit 3 in 3 hours.


    Unit 1 - Never taught myself but the strategy we use is to introduce essay writing technique (VCOP appears to be working well) then to do theory discussions in 1 lesson and web design in the second. The students have to write more or less 1 essay a week for homework following the discussion lesson. Once the essays have been drafted and redrafted they end up being put into the website. Watch out for sideways scrolling in the website (big no-no) and the unit can be a bit dry, but you can get good marks.


    Unit 2 - Taught for several years, but not right now.
    • The first task (reviewing a website) is another essay, really. I always broke it down into chunks but managed to hammer some decent content out of them. They always struggle a bit with cookies for covert data capture.
    • Task 2 they find quite tricky, they need to guess at processes and draw flow charts and IFDs. They need a mix of both, and around 8+ diagrams each that must include stock control. One problem they have is the diagrams sometimes tend towards the process for the user, not the back office.
    • Task 3 is dead easy, discussion of security risks, protective measures and legislation. Short, simple essay, almost everyone gets 5/6.
    • Task 4 I really like. Students get given a sample of data (Edexcel have a few decent sets but you can generate your own if you want to) and have to design and build a relational database to hold it. That done they have to analyse the data to spot trends and make recommendations. The database building is nicely pitched and the analysis really separates the proficient and intelligent users of ICT from the button mashing monkeys. I've ended up running a light version of the same project with my Y9s.
    • Task 5 is an evaluation. Simple enough.


    Unit 3 is another unit I really like. Rather than a spreadsheet unit it's definitely a modelling unit and the emphasis is on solving a real world problem. The spreadsheet skills required are fairly trivial (always an IF, VLOOKUP is on the specification but I've never seen it needed).


    Then in Y13 we have one person take Unit 7 (databases) and another doing units 8 and 10 combined.


    Unit 7 I've never taught and I don't have the database skills necessary to tackle it. I dare say that if I needed to I could spend some of my gained time picking it up, but the 10 hour exam is a daunting prospect for the students. My colleague that takes that unit does an excellent job and gets As and Bs out of many of the students.


    Unit 8 is about project management (unless I've got that and unit 10 the wrong way round). It makes sense to combine it with Unit 10 (multimedia) and it's much easier if you get the students to find real clients. In our place I get them to go find a teacher and to make them a learning resource. Having a real client means that they actually get some genuine feedback and can have genuine meetings. I also force them to do a regular project update every two weeks. My presenting that project management document and their minutes from meetings they get about half the marks for the unit guaranteed.


    Unit 10 is the multimedia unit, and as mentioned I get the students to create an interactive learning resource. They have to include text, images, animation, sound and video as well as interactivity. We do the whole thing in Flash and for the prototyping I get them to focus on the colour scheme and layout, so they can get some good feedback from the client and produce something that actually looks good.


    Having taught units 2, 3, 8 and 10 for several years I really do like the course. It's not perfect (nothing is) but the students get a lot out of it (especially Y13) and we get some pretty good results (way above ALIS predictions for most students).
     
  6. Get some INSET before the end of term if you can, after August there is none, ofqual have banned exam boards doing any INSET.
    At least that's what the papers said last week.
     
  7. Llamafarmingguru

    Llamafarmingguru New commenter

    Thanks very much for the advice, really really helpful. Quite looking forward to tackling it, I've been teaching WJEC ICT in my current post and it will nice to have a change :)
     
  8. We do almost exactly the same as Happy Hippy, and all advice there I would second.
    We tend to do the units in order for AS, 8&10 combined in A2 and then do Unit 7. I would recommend if you go for this model, to make sure you get your Unit 1 work in as early as possible, it is a big unit in terms of time taken to complete, and an overrun can leave you too short a timescale for unit 3.
    I agree with the statement that it is an excellent course.
     
  9. I'm just finishing the first year of teaching this (as an NQT) and found that the students wrote WAY too long essays for unit 1. Do you set a word count for your students for unit 1 and if so/not, what sort of length are they? Ta!
     
  10. wilkinss

    wilkinss New commenter

    Our students find Year 12 tedious due to all the essay writing. Year 13 is much better although getting them to project plan and monitor is frustrating! I agree with Happy Hippy that its been a good course, although some moderation has been questionable over the years and not consistent.
    It is a shame it is the last cohort through in September!
     
  11. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Absolutely agree with this. Depending on your teams skills and preferences Unit 1 can be any software that can output in an accepted format.
    We've used Flash, Mediator and DreamWeaver in the past.

    HH's comments are very well judged and very useful (as always [​IMG])
    I guess the split depends on the staff you have and their personal skills and likes.
    I teach Unit 1 and the Database of Unit 2, colleagues unit 3 and rest of 2. After May Y12 I teach Project management whilst colleage teachs Flash tech.
    In Y13 I teach databases unit 7 ready for a January exam and 'line manage' half the students whilst colleague does 8&10 'line managing' the rest.
    Real End User is essential for good grades.
     

Share This Page