That Blue Square Thing

Applied ICT A Level Unit 8 - Project Management

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 This exam was withdrawn in 2012, with final exams in 2013.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

Mobile phonePart 2 - Skills & Knowledge

One of the key parts of Unit 8 is how you've developed your skills and knowledge.

These can be "hard" ICT skills and knowledge - the skills involved with using a specific piece of software for example. Or they can be "soft" skills - sometimes called interpersonal skills. These are often the skills associated with team working.

There are all sorts of places to find out a little more about these soft skills. The Open University has two small modules available for anyone to view that deal with skills. These might be worth a look - Y158 Part 1wiki link; Y159 Part 3wiki link (skim this one at best).

What you need to do:

Start with a skills audit. This will lead you to be able to set personal objectives as well as on to your pre-existing skills.

You need to outline your pre-existing skills and knowledge and show how you used these in your work on the project. This will involve a skills audit and clear tracking of exactly how you used the skills and knowledge.

Then you need to show how you developed new skills as part of the project (hard or soft skills - this may be linked to your personal project objectives from Part 1). You also need to show that you've been proactive in acquiring these skills.

A Skills Audit:

What are you good at/less good at? Focus on skills - and team working skills in particular. You could score yourself (say out of five) on each skill (NB: this is actually a good idea, trust me...)

Now you might write something like:

...from looking at my skills audit I can see that I need to develop x, y and z because...

Use this to set some personal objectives. The audit will then be used again in the New Skills section below...

MS Word iconGeneral skills audit grid - use as the base for completion. Note that the skills can be added to, skills removed and categories changed however you want to - this is a starting point only!

PDF iconGeneral Skills audit - PDF version (for people without Word 2007 access)

MS Word iconMultimedia skills audit grid - use as the base for completion. Note that the skills can be added to, skills removed and categories changed however you want to - this is a starting point only!

PDF iconMultimedia Skills audit - PDF version (for people without Word 2007 access)

Thanks to Megan for helping to make some sense of this.

NB: deal with this quickly and at the start of the unit. The skills audit should give you an idea of what you're good at and the sorts of things you can improve during the unit. This will form the basis for personal objectives, pre-existing skills and new skills development. It's helpful to do because it's quick and relatively easy to complete. You might also use an audit to help determine the team roles for the project.

Existing Skills and Knowledge:

These could be directly related to the project area, to project management skills or to soft skills and/or knowledge of how teams work. The skills audit will help to identify the skills you can include. Knowledges might be developed from these skills or might be specific to the project or your role in it.

A tabular layout seems to work quite well.

SkillHow used in projectHow developed in projectEvidence
I have the skills to use advanced features of WordI needed to produce high quality documentation for the client...I developed this by...Page 34, 56, meeting notes 25/12/10...
I know about Aldeburgh and it's historyI was responsible for the history section of the website so this...I learnt a lot more about......
I know about the capabilities of Word to produce advanced documents.........

Important: It will be easier to do two tables - one for skills and one for knowledge. I've used one to make this page a bit shorter!

In the first column the words "I know" and "I have the skills..." are really important. Notice how you can, in theory, use something as a skill and a knowledge. Just be careful about overusing this though!

This relates to AO3 rows 5 and 6. You need to have 5 or 6 of both skills and knowledge. To get the 2nd mark you need to cross reference to evidence of you having used them. To get the 3rd mark you need to explain the skills in more detail.

The development column is helpful in working towards the 3rd mark and relates to the next set of markgrid rows.

PDF iconJim's existing skills and knowledge section might be worth a look - remember, you'll have different skills and knolwedge to him (I hope...). I think a little more detail might have been useful here by the way

New Skills:

You need to record new skills you've developed and relate these to team working (AO1 row 3).

This starts from your skills audit. You then need to record very carefully and in detail which skills you developed. This needs to be cross referenced to evidence.

A tabular approach is fine again, so long as you put plenty of detail in it:

Skill developedWhen and how it developed Relevance to team working Proactive developmentEvidence
Minute takingIn meetings - first on 25/12/10 and then on 14/2/11...Important to accurately take minutes so that everyone knows what was decided and what they needed to do. At first my skills were very basic - I could write a list of action points just about. I developed them... I asked Mr Bagshaw to look at some minutes of non-confidential governors meetings to get some ideas of the sorts of things to write about. I also looked... Page 34, 56, meeting notes 25/12/10...
Motivating others............
Action Script...NoneI looked at forums and stuff......

The when and how needs to be done well to get 2 marks on AO1 row 3.

To get beyond two marks at least some of the skills need to be appropriate to team working - these can be just soft skills, but could also involve the use of ICT skills to aid team working (which links to AO1-2 and AO3-1).

The proactive development column is where AO1 row 4 comes in. Go to town on this one.

To get the fourth mark in AO1 row 3 you will probably need to really develop the detail in the table. It might require a section underneath the table as well.

PDF iconJim's new skills section will give you some guidance, although you'll almost certainly have developed different skills to him

Summary:

In this section you should address:

Notice how I've reordered that a bit? That might be a better way to go about this section.

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