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Create a digital information outcome DTG 6-2

Achievement Standard 1.41, AS91071

Apply digital information management tools to create a digital information outcome requires students to create a digital information outcome that involves manipulating and combining data from more than one application. The specifications for the digital information outcome, software and techniques to be used need to be determined prior to the outcome being made. When creating digital information outcomes students will use appropriate techniques and data integrity and testing procedures. Students will apply appropriate file management procedures, design elements, and formatting techniques. Students will consider their legal, ethical, and moral responsibilities when developing digital information outcomes. 

Learning objective: DGT 6-2

Students will:

  • implement basic procedures to create a digital information outcome. 

Indicators

Students can:

  • select appropriate software and apply basic techniques to produce a specified digital information outcome that meets specifications and involves manipulating and combining data from at least two software applications out of word processing, spreadsheets, database, and presentation
  • apply appropriate file management procedures
  • apply appropriate design elements and/or formatting techniques
  • show accuracy in the application of techniques and testing procedures
  • show independence with regard to decision making in the application of techniques, and testing procedures.
  • undertake techniques and testing procedures in a manner that economises the use of resources in the outcome’s production and its use
  • follow legal, ethical and moral responsibilities as appropriate to the outcome.

Progression

As part of a junior technology programme students should be creating simple digital information outcomes. The programme should include activities that:

  • demonstrate how the various tools available within the software application can improve the accuracy of the outcome or the efficiency in its production. 
  • teach students how to analyse outcomes to spot accuracy errors and discuss how improved accuracy would make the outcome more effective.
  • set guidelines for the ethical use of digital information, such as using only Creative Commons or other non-copyright materials within their outcomes and referencing sources appropriately.
  • teach basic document design principles, as these underpin not only digital information but also digital media outcomes, and interface design at Level 6.
  • set guidelines for file and folder naming conventions and require students to demonstrate the application of these guidelines. 

At level 6 students learn to perform a set of basic procedures, as instructed, to produce a digital information outcome that involves manipulating and combining data from at least two applications out of word processing, spreadsheets, database, and presentation software.

The Teacher Guidance section provides information that supports teachers scaffolding of learning from levels 1-8 of the curriculum. This allows for differentiation of a programme of learning.

The deliberate use of provide, guide, and support in this section signals that as students' capacity for self-management increases, teachers progressively reduce the level of scaffolding provided.

  • Provide – the teacher should take full responsibility for introducing and explicitly teaching new knowledge, skills or practices.
  • Guide – the students have a level of understanding and competency on which they can draw but the teacher remains primarily responsible for continuing to develop these.
  • Support – the students take primary responsibility for their own learning, drawing on all their previous experiences to consolidate and extend their understanding. The teacher is supportive rather than directive.
  • The Teacher Guidance also uses the term ensure to indicate when the teacher plays a monitoring role to check that conditions critical for learning are present.

Teacher guidance

To support students to implement basic procedures to produce a digital information outcome, at level 6, teachers could:

  • Provide an opportunity for students to learn and practice a range of basic procedures in at least two software application types from word processing, spreadsheets, database, and presentation.
  • Provide a brief for a specified digital information outcome, or guide students to develop their own brief.
  • Ensure students are aware of the requirement at this level to produce an outcome that results from manipulating and combining data from at least two of the software application types listed above.
  • Support students to apply appropriate file management procedures when developing digital information outcomes
  • Support students to apply design elements and formatting techniques as they develop digital information outcomes
  • Support students to apply data integrity and testing procedures as they develop digital information outcomes.
  • Support students to understand their legal, ethical, and moral responsibilities when developing digital information outcomes.

Contexts for teaching and learning

At level 6 students should be producing digital information outcomes that involve manipulating and combining data from at least two of the following software application types:

  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Database
  • Presentation

A decision needs to be made as to how many software types from this list are taught at level 6 and which ones. For assessment purposes two software application types must be used. However it is possible that within the teaching and learning programme more than two software types may be covered. Teachers also need to think about the implications for level 7 and 8 where a database must be used. Do you cover database at level 6 so the step up is not as great at level 7 when database must be covered, or do you not cover database at level 6 knowing you will focus on it at level 7 and 8?

Whichever software application types are selected to be included in the teaching and learning programme there needs to be a planned progression from any introductory learning at years 9 and 10 to the basic techniques required at level 6 and on to the advanced techniques at level 7 and the complex techniques at level 8. Basic techniques appropriate for level 6 in the four software types are listed in the explanatory notes of achievement standard AS91071. These are not lists that need to be followed exactly but rather they give an indication of what is expected in order for students to be working at curriculum level 6. Students do not have to use every technique on the relevant lists, but they do need to use some of the techniques on the relevant lists and may use other techniques as well.

In addition to applying basic procedures within the selected application types there are a number of other aspects important when producing digital information outcomes that need to be built into the teaching and learning programme. These include:

  • Applying file management procedures
  • Applying design elements and/or formatting techniques
  • Applying data integrity and testing procedures
  • Following legal, ethical and moral responsibilities

Students should know about and use appropriate file management procedures including such things as meaningful file names, version numbers, use of folders to keep files together, and the importance of back ups. These relate directly to the knowledge standard (AS 91070), so having the students provide evidence of their file management procedures and how this helped them to work efficiently and mitigate threats to their data will also support their understanding of this topic and report writing for the external.

It is expected that students will know about good design and/or formatting as appropriate for the type of software application they are using. This will be different depending on which of the four software types the students are using but as part of the teaching and learning something on design and/or formatting needs to be incorporated. This topic ties in well with the design elements objective DET 6-1 "Knowledge of design" and with the associated externally assessed standard on design elements AS91053 "Demonstrate understanding of design elements".   Teaching about the standard design principles such as contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity can apply equally well to all the software types for this standard.  If teaching databases, a focus an effective form design can be a key teaching area and one that will relate well to interface design if the computer science knowledge topic is part of your teaching and learning programme.

It is also important to build data integrity and testing procedures into the lessons.  Students should form habits where they routinely apply data integrity and testing procedures in any practical work. The type of data integrity and testing procedures used will depend on the type of software application being used as for example what is required working in a spreadsheet application will be different to what is required when working in a word processing application. For example;

If the task requires the student to create a mail merge document, some example testing procedures could be:

  • Print previewing to ensuring borders and shading or information in headers/footers displays correctly and that there are no extra blank pages as part of the mail merge
  • Proofreading the content and using the grammar and spell check tools
  • Previewing results of mail merge to ensure all data had been combined correctly

If the task requires the student to create a database, some sample testing procedures could be:

  • Proofreading data input
  • If importing data from a spreadsheet, checking that all the rows have imported correctly, there are no blank records or duplicate data and that the field names have imported correctly
  • Reviewing results of queries or finds to see if they have produced the expected results
  • Checking that data in forms or reports displays correctly (e.g. has not been cut off due to field size)

If the task requires the student to create a spreadsheet, some sample testing procedures could be:

  • Verifying the results of formulae (using a calculator, check total formulae, or the built-in tools on the status bar)
  •  Print previewing to ensure results will print correctly (e.g. not having one column print over onto another sheet of paper, headers and footers display correctly)
  • Checking that labels and numbers fit appropriately within cells and display correctly
  • Verifying that graphed data displays the intended information and the labels and legends are legible
  • Checking the results of sorts or filters to ensure they produce the intended result
  • Proofreading and using the spell check tools of the software

If the task requires the student to create a presentation, some sample testing procedures could be:

  • Checking the timing and order of animations
  • Proofreading and using the spell check tools of the software
  • Ensuring hyperlinks or buttons work as intended
  • Checking the quality of any embedding media to ensure it displays without being significantly pixelated

It is a requirement that students follow legal, ethical and moral responsibilities as required as they develop their outcomes. Teachers should cover with this within the context of the type of software students are using and the digital information outcomes they are producing. For example privacy issues may be particularly relevant when using a database but copyright legislation may be more relevant when using presentation software.

Teaching the built in referencing tools that are part of word processing applications is a good strategy for integrating skill development with the knowledge about following legal, ethical and moral responsibilities.  Part of the AS91071 assessment task or practice tasks could be to produce a bibliography and citations, using the tools of the software.  Students should also be taught how to use on-line search tools such as Creative Commons Search and be required to use only non-copyrighted images or other media found through tools such as CC Search or Google Advanced Image Search to integrate into their documents, presentations, etc.

This learning objective is about creating a digital information outcome that meets specifications. Hence as part of the teaching and learning programme students should be given practice at producing outcomes that need to meet specifications, and they should be given strategies for evaluating their finished outcome to determine that it does in fact meet specifications. Having students practice creating written evaluations with a justification of how their outcome meets specifications, rather than just a simple tick list evaluation, would beneficial to help support the literacy requirements of the external report topics.

For assessment purposes the specifications can be provided by the teacher or developed by the student. If the student is going to develop the specifications themselves then this is a skill that needs to be taught and practiced.

Ideas for teaching and learning:

  • If teaching the Computer Science topic, students could anyalyse algorithms in a spreadsheet and then incorporate the spreadsheet analysis into their written report.  The report could also contain features such as headers, footers, styles and a bibliography.  This would meet the 91071 criteria and also serve as a foundation for the student’s external report.
  • Students could create a survey (either a paper survey formatted in a word processing application or an online survey such as a Google Drive Form) and then analyse the results in a spreadsheet.  The results could be integrated into a word processed document or a presentation.
  • Students could create a survey as per above and create a database to hold and analsye the survey results.  The students could use the results to create a mail merge document targeted at specific survey group (using queries or finds).
  • Students could create a spreadsheet or database to hold and analyse results from a school sports team and then design a mail merge document with a letter providing the team member’s personal results and a personalised certificate.

Literacy considerations

Teachers need to ensure students understand the specialist language related to creating digital information outcomes such as "applying data integrity and testing procedures" or "formatting techniques". Students also need to understand the specialist language of the software applications they are using. In addition students must understand words such as accuracy, independence, and efficiency which are important in terms of the way they go about creating the digital information outcome.

Resources to support teaching and learning

Other resources for teaching and learning:

Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this learning objective:

  • AS91071 Digital Technologies 1.41: Implement basic procedures to produce a specified digital information outcome

Key messages from the standard

Students need to produce a specified digital information outcome. This means there must be specifications for the outcome, which need to be detailed and measurable. The specifications can be provided by the teacher or developed by the student. Regardless of who provides the brief it is important that the specifications for the outcome are appropriate for this level.

The outcome must result from manipulating and combining data from at least two of the following software types:

  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Database
  • Presentation

Suitable software may include, for example, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Numbers, Pages, Base, Keynote and Calc. Google Applications are also suitable for this standard.  Learners should not use Desktop Publishing software such as Publisher or InDesign as these are considered to be Digital Media Software.

Explanatory note 6 gives examples of the type of techniques expected in each of the above four software types. These are not lists that need to be followed exactly but rather they give an indication of what is expected in order for students to be working at this curriculum level. Students do not have to use every technique on the relevant lists, but they do need to use some of the techniques on the relevant lists and may use other techniques as well.

Further guidance on the expected set of techniques to be applied in each software type is contained in the NZQA clarifications which state “For example, for spreadsheets it is expected that students would manipulate data using the tools in the software, such as using formulae, or in databases using queries to extract data. It does not meet the intent of the standard in Explanatory Note 6 to create a spreadsheet to graph data, without manipulation of the data, or to use a database to create a mail merge without using some of the tools of the database”.

The outcomes must be developed by the student, but text can be supplied by the teacher or downloaded from the internet. If the text is supplied by the teacher it should be in a different format to the intended outcome. In either case copyright issues should be addressed.

In addition to using various techniques to produce the outcome students must apply data integrity and testing procedures. A list of examples of possible data integrity and testing procedures is included in the teacher guidance section of the assessment resource for this standard (see link below).  Students should incrementally test their outcome during development to help ensure they are efficiently testing and not leaving all the testing for the end.  Students can provide a testing table with results of their testing for each major step in development.  Students can also create screencasts to demonstrate their testing visually and upload those screencasts to YouTube or other video hosting services to provide and alternate form of evidence for testing procedures.

Students need to apply file management procedures such as sensible naming of files, descriptive names for folders to organise files, or maintaining appropriate backups.

Students should also apply design elements and/or formatting techniques as appropriate for the outcome.

It is a requirement for achieved that students follow legal, ethical and moral responsibilities as appropriate for the outcome. There is no step up to merit or excellence in this criteria.

The step up to merit and excellence is around accuracy, independence, and efficiency. There is no requirement for students to do extra tasks or use more advanced procedures in order to step up to merit or excellence. Good guidance on what is expected in respect of accuracy, independence, and efficiency is contained in the assessment resource for the standard available on TKI (see link below).

Note that at excellence the efficiency refers to both the outcome's production and its use. So the usability of the final outcome is part of the evidence needed to award excellence, as well as the evidence of the efficient production of the outcome. Examples of efficiency related to the outcome's use include such things as:

  • Setting up fields for efficient selection/filtering of data (e.g. first name and last name instead of just name)
  • Using field descriptors to help facilitate field modification and usability
  • Grouping data on forms logically to facilitate use
  • Using field types which allow for most efficient data input, such as yes/no or drop down lists
  • Using multiple criteria queries (finds) to refine data selection from the table
  • Using “sample test data” for testing procedures before all data is input and to check query results (ie. has not relied on trial and error for testing).
  • Setting the tab order on forms for efficient data input
  • Using an efficient means to import the data from the Google Documents form into the database (e.g. saving the data as an spreadsheet file and importing it into the database rather than manually keying data from a printout).
  • Using styles (or masters) to apply formatting features quickly without repeating steps
  • Economising printing (does not have to print several times to fix one or two mistakes)
  • Entering text and other data using efficient fingering and keyboard short cuts.
  • Using efficient file management procedures (e.g. creating logically named folders and files, versioning files, creating backups of files).
  • Using headers and footers for pagination and other information instead of manually keying in the same information on every page

This is a practical “implement” standard so students are not required to develop detailed plans or keep logs of what they did each day, and they are not required to name and justify any software they have used. They are required to select appropriate software – its just they don’t have to document the name of the software and why it was selected.  However, if students do name and justify the selection of the software, they may use that justification towards their external report for 91070.  So, it may be of benefit to your teaching and learning programme to incorporate this into your internal assessment or practice tasks.

For the most up to date information, teachers should be referring to the latest Moderators newsletters, clarification documents and student exemplars on the NZQA website. See the links below. 

For the most up to date information, teachers should be referring to the latest version of the standards, conditions of assessment and assessment resources on TKI and the moderators reports, clarifications documents and student exemplars on the NZQA website. See links below.

Resources to support student achievement

Last updated June 8, 2018



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