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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Support for Centres
Unit 1
Unit 3
Unit 6
Unit 7
General Questions

Question: Do centres need to register for this course?
Answer: No.If the centre is already a registered centre and deliver GCSEs/GCEs/GNVQs/VCEs then there is no need to register. The first contact that OCR need is for htt centre's Examination Officer to complete a Provisional Entries form. For January entries these will need to be completed by September 21st and for June entries by 5th November. Provisional entries trigger the despatch of pre-release materials and other important information relating to the qualification.

Question: How do I apply to become an examiner or moderator?
Answer: Information about hte roles and applying for a position can be found on OCR's website at

Question: What are the aggregation codes?
Answer: Aggregation codes trigger an overall grade for a candidate. The aggregation codes for the qualification are:
H115 (3 unit AS, single award)
H315 (6 unit AS, double award)
H515 (6 unit GCE, single award)
H715 (12 unit GCE, double awaard)

Question: What units are available in the first year?
Answer: In the first year, only the AS units will be available. These are units 1-8. All units will be available in both January and June.

Question: When can candidates aggregate?
Answer: AS GCE certification for both single and double award is available from June 2006 onwards.
GCE certification for both single and double awards is available from June 2007 onwards.

Question: When can I start delivering the A2 units?
Answer: The A2 units will be available from September 2006. All A2 units are available for examination / moderation from January 2007.

Question: Is the moderation method going to be the same for the GCE in Applied ICT as it was for the VCE?
Answer: The moderation model for the Applied GCE is still under discussion. There will be changes to the current moderation system though. As soon as details have been finalised then centres will be given the informatin relevant to them.
Moderation will still be postal though.
Support for Centres

Question: What is coursework consultancy?
Answer: Coursework consultancy is a free service designed to offer advice related to proposed coursework tasks or assessed coursework. Use of this service should be limited to one consultation per assessment unit per academic year. Coursework consultancy is intended to review one or two candidates work only which exemplifies standards at the Centre. In certain circumstances access to this service may be extended on application. Further information can be found on the COursework Consultancy document in the Members resources area.
The response from a senior moderator will normally be received within three weeks. However, during examination series live moderation and examination marking are prioritised and feedback may be delayed.
Submitted coursework is returned with an appropriate written report.
Unit 1

Question: The first line of the Guidance for teachers (page 14) refers to a major document. What is this major document?

Answer: This is an error. No major document is required. It is a residual from VCE unit 1.
Unit 3

Question: How do candidates provide evidence of using relational operators/complex searches/reports in the online database?
Answer: It is unlikely that candidates will have an online database that allows them to provide such evidence. The interrogation of the local database will provide evidence needed for task

Question: I cannot find an online database. All databases require registration. What can I do?
Answer: For the purpose of this unit an online database is more of a free form database. It would be too difficult and time consuming to find a database with records/fields etc.
If you search within a large website using their internal search engine then you would get a list of links to docs/other webpages that may contain data. This is fine.
For example if you used the national statistics website http://www.statistics.gov.uk/ and did a search on spending then the results page would give you some links to other webpages and other docs. Continuing that example if you click on Family Spending the resultant webpage http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=284&Pos=1&ColRank=1&Rank=176 gives you some information about Family Spending. On the right hand side of the page is a further link to data. On that page there are some datasets which could be downloaded and put into a spreadsheet.

Question: What do the candidates need to do for each task?
Theyneed to produce a presentation of the results of an investigation, including the use of a spreadsheet to analyse numeric data, along with a report on the sources and methods used to find information.
The sample assignments provided on the Teacher Support Materials CD-ROM provide some ideas /starting points for investigations.

Most of the evidence should be able to generated as a result of carrying out the investigation, although task b that may need to be addressed specifically.

You will need to ensure that suitable information can be found before presenting an investigation to candidates – this has been done for the sample assignments.
You may also need to locate or create some resources, such as a local database that candidates can interrogate.

Task a: the selection and efficient use of search engines to find information required.
The purpose of this task is to help candidates to recognise that there are many different search engines – not just Google – and that these may well provide different results. They also need to show that they can use the search tools available to help them find the information they want.

Task b: an explanation of the impact of the availability of electronic information on individuals and society.
Depending on the topic of the investigation, this is most likely to be a separate part of the portfolio. Candidates should be encouraged to approach this from their own perspective and use examples so that the work is individual to them.

Task c: information accessed from large websites.
For this task, candidates should be locating information from relevant large public-service websites. Some of these, such as Direct.gov.uk are portals to many other national and local government sites. The sites may be ones the candidates have found when using search engines or they may be ones suggested by you.

Task d: the use of databases to find required information.
This task requires candidates to interrogate both local and on-line databases. There is no requirement for candidates to create a database but, as part of their investigation, they could collect data as a group and enter it into a database that they can all then interrogate. Many large websites include what are essentially on-line databases. For example, the DfES site includes searchable databases of educational establishments and courses available, amongst others and the VisitBritain site has databases of accommodation, attractions and events. Most of these will provide a user-friendly search engine, rather than requiring the input of complex search criteria.

Task e: the use of spreadsheet software to analyse numeric data and present results.
This task should form an integral part of the investigation. The data used may be numeric data found on the WWW or data collected locally by the student as part of a survey to compare what happens locally with national data found from their web searches. Candidates need to be familiar with the spreadsheet facilities listed in section 3.2.4 of the unit specification before they embark on this task.

Task f: different types of data combined to present the results of the investigation.
This task draws on the outcomes of all the other tasks. The presentation can take many forms, for example an on-screen presentation, a website, a report or a newsletter. The important aspect of this task is the combination of different types of data from different sources into a coherent presentation.

Task g: an evaluation of the methods you used to find information and present results.
Candidates awarded marks in mark bands 1 and 2 will simply produce an evaluation when they have completed the other tasks. Those aiming for mark band 3 will need to evaluate their methods on an on-going basis.

Question: What do we do about a local databases?
Answer: A local database needs to be one either on a CD-ROM or on your school/college system.
There are a number of ways of creating a local database if there is not one already in existence:
a) Teachers could set up a skeleton database and each pupil could enter 5 or so records after some form of investigation/use of questionnaire.
b) CSV files could be downloaded from the Internet.
The following section of the website
has a number of useful datasets that could either be put into a spreadsheet or could be downloaded and made into a local database.
Unit 6

Question: What evidence do you require for task b?
Answer: Candidates only need to look at the design of forms and layouts in a very general sense (section 6.20.4). Candidaites do not need to be concerned with data dictionaries or design of relationships and the 'behind the scenes' stuff.

Tools to be discussed could include - the use of software to create user interfaces or the process of hand drawing designs and referring them to the user and revising as necessary.
Techniques to be discussed could include consideration of readability / layout / colours used / equivalence to the design of current forms.
Unit 7

Question: Would it be OK for all students to use our school as the "organisation" required in Task a
Answer: Yes, there is no problem with using your school/college.

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