Ideas for assessing against unit standard 2780

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Note: The following table is not an assessment schedule – it just indicates a range of methods and approaches that could be used to assess candidates against the elements of the unit standard.

Unit Standard 2780 (version 7)
Demonstrate and apply knowledge of a personal computer system

“Demonstrate knowledge” implies student will undertake the assessment under closed book conditions. It is not appropriate that students have access to notes or the internet when undertaking the ‘knowledge’ section of this standard.

Where a performance criteria calls for ‘description’ students must use their own words and not be provided with ignition starters such as matching lists, multi-choice, fill the gaps etc. These assessment tools can be used when a performance criteria calls for ‘identify’.

OutcomePossible assessment tools
Methods and approaches that could be used to collect evidence:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the hardware components of a personal computer system.

Identify six hardware components by device type and functions (two of which must be RAM and ROM):

  • Labelled diagram
  • Oral or written explanation
  • Multiple choice
  • Fill in the gaps
  • Cards – sort under headings

Identify data flow and interaction between components:

  • Flow diagram
  • Models and arrows
  • Oral or written explanation

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the operation of the system and application software of a personal computer.

  • Oral or written description

Students should be asked to both ‘identify’ and ‘state the purpose’ of application software eg Microsoft Word, word processing. It is not sufficient that only the purpose is identified.

This is best assessed by students being asked a question, either written or verbally, that they respond to without the aid of any ignition starters eg “Describe the interaction that occurs between system software and application software when a word processed document is created.

3. Operate a printer.

Involves practical activity:

  • Demonstration/observation of candidate carrying out normal printing tasks
  • Peer teaching session
  • Simulated faults
  • Troubleshooting exercise - oral questioning (what would you do if) with practical demonstration (now show me)

4. Complete basic operation and maintenance procedures for a personal computer system.

Involves practical activity:

  • Oral questioning
  • Demonstration/observation
  • Simulated faults
  • Troubleshooting exercise – oral questioning with practical demonstration

If it is impractical, due to workplace policy, to complete the requirements of pc4.1, this may be assessed through students demonstrating that they know how to connect the components by explaining the process.

‘Organisational requirements’ required here In a school setting this will mean that students should be provided with, or have access to, the school’s policy, procedures and commonly accepted practices.

5. Demonstrate knowledge of ergonomic principles for the safe operation of a personal computer system.

  • Written or oral troubleshooting exercise
  • Oral questioning
  • Create a brochure on ergonomics – 2788 (DTP) or 101 (keyboarding)
  • Create a presentation on ergonomics – integrate with 5940 (presentation)
  • Observation of correct procedures over time
  • Use a commercial/student video with provided questions
  • Role play ergonomic practice with peers

Note that this element is based on the OSH 3211 AFC: Approved Code of Practice for the use of Visual Display Units in the place of Work, Occupational Safety and Health Services: Department of Labour, 1996. All accepted answers therefore should reflect the intent of that document.

Unit standard 2780 is compulsory for the National Certificates in Computing (Levels 2 and 3). However, it is not always easy to assess as a single entity. One approach is to assess it in two parts; one part for the theory (Elements 1, 2 and 5) and one part for the practical work (Elements 3 and 4).

This standard also lends itself to integrated assessment. Element 5 could be integrated with either 2788 (Produce desktop published documents to meet a set brief), or 6743 (Demonstrate an understanding of ergonomic principles for computer workstations).

The theory assessment

This can be assessed by written answers, or by oral questioning. Written answers may range from paragraph descriptions to completing boxes on diagrams, or just simple sentence statements.

Questions for element 2

  1. What is the purpose of system software?
  2. State two functions of system software.
  3. Name one piece of system or utility software that you have used.
  4. Give the names of four examples of application software.
  5. From your examples in question 4 describe typical output from each one.
  6. Describe the relationship between system software and application software.

This assessment resource provides an example of how both theory and practice outcomes of unit standard 2780 can be assessed by oral questioning alone. Some assessors have wondered about the depth required for evidence relating to element 1. The questions, evidence and judgements in this example indicate the level of response required.

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