Higher National Integrative Assessment Specification

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1 Higher National Integrative Assessment Specification General Information for centres This Integrative Assessment has been validated as part of the HND Computing: Software Development. Centres are required to develop the assessment instrument in accordance with this validated specification. Centres wishing to use another method of integrative assessment or assessment instrument are required to submit proposals detailing the justification for change for validation. Title: Computing: Software Development: Integrative Assessment 2 Code: D77M 35 Method: Project Assessment Instrument: Practical Assignment Credit Value: 1 HN credit at SCQF level 8 (8 credit points at level 8*) *SCQF (the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) brings Scottish qualifications into a single framework of 12 levels ranging from SQA Access 1 to doctorates. The SCQF includes degrees; HNC/Ds; SQA National Qualifications; and SVQs. Each SQA Unit is allocated a number of SCQF credit points at a specific level. 1 SCQF point = 10 hours of learning. HN candidates are normally expected to input a further number of hours, matched to the credit value of the Unit, of non-contact time or candidate-led effort to consolidate and reinforce learning. SCQF level 1 = SQA Access 1 and SCQF level 12 = Doctorates; 1 SCQF point = 10 hours of learning. Purpose: This Integrative Assessment is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following aims of the HND Computing (Software Development): To prepare students for employment in an IT/Computing-related post at technician or professional level in a software development role. To develop a range of specialist technical software development skills and knowledge in programming and systems development. To prepare students for progression to further study in Computing, Software Development, Software Engineering or a related discipline. Recommended Prior Knowledge and Skills: It is recommended that the candidate should have completed or be in the process of completing the following Units relating to these specific aims prior to undertaking this Integrative Assessment: HN Unit D76J 35: Project Management and at least one of: HN Unit: D76M 35 Software Development: Advanced Programming 1

2 General Information for centres (cont) HN Unit: D76P 35 Software Development: Developing for the World Wide Web HN Unit: D76R 35 Software Development: Event-Driven Programming HN Unit: D76S 35 Software Development: Event-Driven Environment HN Unit: D76T 35 Software Development: Assembly Language and Interface Programming HN Unit: D76V 35 Software Development: Object Oriented Programming HN Unit: D76X 35 Software Development: Procedural Programming HN Unit: D76Y 35 Software Development: Rapid Applications Development and Prototyping Core Skills: The core skill of Problem Solving at Higher is embedded in this Integrative Assessment specification. Assessment: This project-based Integrative Assessment is in the form of a Practical Assignment. Since the core skill of Problem Solving is embedded in this specification, you must follow the assessment instructions and evidence requirements given. The fleshed-out Practical Assignment should provide the candidate with the opportunity to produce evidence which demonstrates s/he has met the aims of the group award which this Integrative Assessment covers. This Integrative Assessment should be undertaken on an individual basis. It should be linked to Integrative Assessment 1 for the HND Computing: Software Development and should follow on from the Project completed for that Assessment. An exemplar instrument of assessment and marking guidelines have been produced to provide examples of the kind of evidence required to demonstrate achievement of the aims of the group award covered by this Integrative Assessment and to indicate the national standard of achievement required at level 8. 2

3 General Information for centres (cont) Administrative Information Code: D77M 35 Title: Computing: Software Development: Integrative Assessment 2 Date of publication: Source: SQA Special Needs: This Integrative Assessment specification is intended to ensure that there are no artificial barriers to learning or assessment. Special needs of individual candidates should be taken into account when planning learning experiences, selecting assessment instruments or considering special alternative assessment arrangements. For information on these, please refer to the SQA document Guidance on Special Assessment and Certification arrangements for Candidates with Special Needs and Candidates for whom English is an Additional Language (SQA, 2000 second edition Publication Code: A0645/2). Scottish Qualifications Authority This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part for educational purposes provided that no profit is derived from reproduction and that, if reproduced in part, the source is acknowledged Additional copies of this Integrative Assessment specification can be purchased from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The cost for each specification is 2.50 (minimum order 5.00) Additional copies of the Assessment Exemplar can be purchased from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The cost for each Assessment Exemplar is

4 designing the assessment task and assessing candidates Title: Computing: Software Development: Integrative Assessment 2 Code: D77M 35 Conditions of Assessment The candidate should be given a date for completion of the Practical Assignment. However, the instructions for the assessment task should be distributed to allow the candidate sufficient time to assimilate the details and carry out the assessment task. During the time between the distribution of the assessment task instructions and the completion date, assessors may answer questions, provide clarification, guidance and reasonable assistance. The assessment task should be marked as soon as possible after the completion date. The final grading given should reflect the quality of the candidate s evidence at the time of the completion date. Reassessment of this Integrative Assessment should be based on a significantly different assessment task. At this level, although candidates are working in a group, they should work independently, ie without undue assistance from the assessor. It is up to centres to take reasonable steps to ensure that the project is the work of the candidates and that each candidate has contributed equally and fairly to the work of the group. For example, centres may wish to question candidates informally at various stages on their knowledge and understanding of the project on which they have embarked. Centres should ensure that where research (etc) is carried out in other establishments or under the supervision of others that the candidate does not receive undue assistance. Instructions for designing the assessment task The assessment task is a project. The project undertaken by the candidate must be a complex task which involves: variables which are complex or unfamiliar relationships which need to be clarified a context which may be familiar or unfamiliar to the candidate. The assessment task must require the candidate to: analyse the task and decide on a course of action for undertaking the project plan and organise work and carry it though to completion reflect on what has been done and draw conclusions for the future produce evidence of meeting the aims which this Integrative Assessment has been designed to cover. 4

5 designing the assessment task and assessing candidates (cont) Evidence requirements and marking instructions The project consists of three stages: planning; developing; and evaluating. The following table specifies the minimum evidence required to pass each stage and the maximum marks which each stage carries. The project will be marked out of 100. Assessors will aggregate the marks achieved by the candidate for each stage to arrive at an overall mark for the project. Assessors will then assign a grade to the candidate for this Integrative Assessment based on the following grade boundaries: A = 70% - 100% B = 60% - 69% C = 50% - 59%. Note: The candidate must achieve all of the minimum evidence specified below for each stage of the project in order to pass the Integrative Assessment. 5

6 designing the assessment task and assessing candidates (cont) Project Stage Minimum Evidence Requirements Maximum mark allocation Stage 1: Planning Evidence of analysing what is involved in the project, ie identification of the factors influencing the project and how they relate to one another Evidence of developing an approach to deal with the project, ie the candidate may select a new approach to the project or modify an existing approach Justification for selecting this approach, eg resources and time available, comparison with other possible approaches Evidence of developing a plan to carry out the project based on the analysis undertaken Identification of the resources required to carry out the project, eg sources of information, procedures to be followed, people, equipment and other physical resources; resources should be wide ranging and some should be unfamiliar to the candidate. These resources should include some or all of course notes, recommended textbooks, interviews, performance observation, questionnaires and existing organisational records. Evidence of obtaining these resources the candidate may need to do some searching 20% 6

7 designing the assessment task and assessing candidates (cont) Project Stage Minimum Evidence Requirements Maximum Mark Allocation Stage 2: Developing Evidence of the candidate carrying out the project, meeting the requirements of the plan and managing the project. The project will involve the analysis and design, using an appropriate methodology, of a realistic and moderately complex computer-based system. Evidence arising from this project should include: A project plan and a schedule for project development work produced using project management software. A report of around 10 pages documenting the underpinning processes and containing details of the: Program Design Program Development (including a Program Listing) Program Testing In keeping with the selected programming language and development methodology. 50% 7

8 designing the assessment task and assessing candidates (cont) Project Stage Minimum Evidence Requirements Maximum mark allocation Stage 3: Evaluating An evaluation of the effectiveness of the approach/strategy taken which includes all stages of the activity, ie analysis of the activity, the planning and organisation of the activity and the outcome of the activity. The evaluation should include: identification of the criteria on which to base the evaluation identification and gathering of appropriate evidence, eg use of qualitative/quantitative methods, comparisons with other systems/products, impact studies, product testing or market research evaluation of the effectiveness of the problem solving activity, explaining the relevance of the evidence - the evaluation should be related to the original analysis of the project reference to any modifications to the approach during the course of the activity or to alternative approaches considered conclusions as to how the process of carrying out the project could be improved, with evidence to support the conclusions drawn recommendations for the future which are relevant to the problem and justify the recommendations 30% 8

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