That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 3 - Database Design

Note: this page applies to the AQA Applied ICT A level specification. This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013. The content will be retained as an archive and because it has some stuff that might be quite useful for someone or other

Circuit board imageThe Checklist

Make sure your pages are numbered and that everything's clear and easy to read. Hold it together in a sensible sort of way. Having screenshots nice and clear (and possibly numbered if they are in a library of some kind) would be convenient as well.

You probably want to put your portfolio together in this sort of order:

Section A - Timeplan:

You just need the one timeplan, filled in (AO4 - 2).

Section B - Defining the "Problem":

  1. describe the organisation and client (AO2 - 1)
  2. describe what the database will do (AO2 - 2)
  3. client needs list
  4. version of software (AO2 - 3)

Section C - Designing:

Planning for:

  1. data structures (AO3 - 6)
  2. tables, with data dictionaries (AO3 - 7)
  3. designs for reports, forms and queries (AO3 -4, AO3 - 5)
  4. data inputs (AO3 - 1) - this might come in various places, including the introduction and when you're dealing with forms and switchboards. It's crucial you make sure you hit this AO in the portfolio somehow

Section D - Implementation:

Show what you've done and why you've done it (not how you've done it!). This meets AO4 - 1.

Make sure you deal with:

  1. data types (AO1 - 1, AO3 - 7) - including validation and verification (AO3 - 2)
  2. relationships (AO3 - 6) - the actual relationship diagram is needed.
  3. queries (AO1 - 3)
  4. reports (AO1 - 4, AO3 - 5)
  5. forms and switchboards (AO3 - 1, AO3 - 5)
  6. error messages (AO3 - 3) - these will relate to validation rules from the data types bit at the top of this list)
  7. processing (AO1 - 2, AO3 - 4) - this can be calculation, concatenation, counting and so on
  8. security (AO1 - 5)

This section is screenshot nirvana...

Make sure you've dealt with validation and verification somewhere. It's important that you explain why these are both important as well as how you've done them. What could go wrong for your client if they enter invalid or incorrect data?

Section E - Evaluation Criteria and Testing:

Show the evaluation criteria and lots of evidence you tested them with actual data (AO4 - 3).

Section F - Evaluation:

Deal with the overall evaluation (strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement) which is AO4 - 4.

Make sure you have evidence of managing your work throughout the portfolio. If necessary include a section in the evaluation dealing with this (AO1 - 6).

And then check the spelling, punctuation, layout and so on (AO4 - 6).

And then hand it in!

You should probably look at That Blue Square Blog for all the really good other A Level stuff.