That Blue Square Thing

WJEC Applied ICT A Level Unit 5 - eProject

Note: this page applies to the WJEC Applied ICT A level specification. I no longer teach A Level Applied ICT so am unlikely to add to the pages very much. They may well get out of date as well. You might want to bear that in mind!

Unit 5 is a "controlled assessment" unit. It features a 15 hour assessment piece which will occur in March and April (for English schools - people in Wales have the opportunity to do it in December-January I think).

This is a bit like an exam but different...

The board releases a scenario in September. This will require you to work in a team on a project to develop a spreadsheet solution in response to a set of requirements specified by a client.

So...

What the unit involves...

The period from September to March is used to develop a trial spreadsheet solution and ot generate lots of evidence about how you worked as a team. This will involve having meetings (with agenda and minutes for each one) and communicating appropriately in other ways (e-mail, text, instant message etc...). Lots of evidence of following the right procedures throughout the project needs to be gathered.

In particular you need to use specialised project management software to plan and monitor your project. This is super important to get right.

Then, in March time, you get 15 hours of exam style conditions - not all in one block but spread over a number of weeks. You can take electronic files into the exam - but can't add to them after the first session.

The trick is that in the "exam" the board will throw a set of "amended criteria" at you for the spreadsheet. You can use what you developed beforehand, but have to develop a solution for the new criteria.

The amendment won't be too bad, and you can think about the problem between sessions. You'll also need to produce lots of review documentation and so on. Some of this you can prepare before the first session, but not all of it.

PDF iconUnit 5 summary - summarises what you need to do

Project Management

To start with you need to get an understanding of what project management is and what it's used for.

PDF iconProject Management 101 - an idiots guide (sort of)

PDF iconProject scope - the sorts of things to include in the scoping process

Job roles

It's really important to decide on who is going to do which jobs. A SWOT analysis is a good starting point - think about your own skills and decide what your strengths and weaknesses are - as well as what you could look to develop as part of this unit.

Once you've done that you need to have a meeting and decide who's going to do which jobs. Here's an example job roles table that my last ever A Level group produced. It's quite basic (and this version needs completing) but it shows you the sorts of things you could be thinking about.

PDF iconJob roles table

MS Project

You have to use specialist project management software in this unit. Not everyone needs to use it in the prep time, but you will all need to be able to use it to set up a plan for the 15 hours of controlled conditions - and then to monitor your work throughout that time.

PDF iconA basic guide to setting up MS Project - this isn't as complete as I'd like it to be, but it's a starting point. I probably won't need to use this again so am unlikely to do any more work on it

There's lots of information about the sorts of thing you need to include in the old AQA Project Management Unit 8 pages (including stuff on agenda, minutes, using google docs and so on). But there are lots of differences as well - so make sure to check the requirements really carefully.

Markgrid

PDF iconUnit 5 markgrid - an extract from the syllabus for ease of use by students rather than for any other purpose...

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