Diving Championship Program

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  • Ronnie Ross

    I was curious to compare notes with anyone doing the Diving Championship CW task. We have started it, not the program though, but I can’t help but feel I am missing a trick with the program. I’ll link one way I attempted it. Each block is fairly simple- it is just very big (lots of subs, with a lot of data structures(20+). I tried it using record structures, cut the size down in half, but added extra complexity beyond what is required. I’ve linked what I have done, if anyone has tips on reducing the size, or has something they can share I would be grateful.

    I can’t help but feel that it should be smaller and simpler than I am making it, it has to be something obvious.


    Lesley Fisher

    I have used three sub programs – fill arrays from file, get scores and calculate, display final results.

    Stuart Rose

    I created the program in Visual Basic 2010 and used 4 sub programs a bit like Lesley… “Input Names and Countries”, “Calculate Scores”, “Find Winning Diver” and “Display Results”. I didn’t use records though.

    I did end up with a fixed loop within a fixed loop (loop 5 times for each diver then within each diver, loop 5 times for their scores)… and a find MIn and MAX within the nested loop!

    I think the pupils might need a bit of help with this.

    Rhona Shuttleworth

    I have completed this program in VB 2010 in the same way as Stuart. The program, doesn’t cater for joint winners. Has anyone done this? Is it a necessary requirement of the task?

    Thanks 🙂

    Colin McAlpine

    I just did it because it annoyed me and I thought it would be one of the logical tests to carry out.

    I looped around the scores and found the best score, a second loop was used to print out the details of the competitor if they had the same score as the best.

    I used a record structure to store the details read from file too.

    I don’t think it states anywhere specifically that it was necessary to do the “multiple winners”. I added it after reading about the “logical testing” part – sorry, I don’t have task in hand to check the wording of the part I’m actually talking about

    Alan McGregor

    My students are mainly doing 5 identical loops – one for each judge. One student worked out the nested loop thing but I feel that this task is WAY too difficult for Higher students. Why they are required to input 5 scores for 5 judges I have no idea. Even if it was for four judges it would be easier for students to get their heads around.

    Regarding the joint winners, some students have identified that they could make an assumption that this wouldn’t happen. I am happy to give them the marks for this.

    In another class some students are using different files containing sets of marks. It’s all so vague that I would have thought the SQA would accept anything that meets the criteria.

    Scott Leiper

    I have a python Solution that uses a number of procedures, but at its core, 4lists, two loops, once for the number of divers and nested inside a fixed for 5 to ask for the judges scores.

    I have uploaded it to the Documents


    I haven’t attempted the program yet but looking at the database just now. I’m interested to find out how you managed to get the pupils to know the ‘national anthem’ field is a hyperlink field just like the sqa exemplar?


    Stuart Rose

    Unless we tell them it should be a hyperlink, which we shouldn’t, then very few pupils will put hyperlink into their data dictionary. Are they to assume it links to an audio clip online?? A few of my pupils added links to Wikipedia articles on the anthems.

    When marking their data dictionary, I’m not considering what they set the national anthem data type as.


    Thanks Stuart, that is my point too. It didn’t cross my mind that it would be a hyperlink field until I looked at the exemplar.

    Also, I am curious to know how the pupils are supposed to know the size of the fields for Event ID and Diver ID when they are not given the data prior to the creation of the design? As it states they are to complete this sheet before being given the database.

    I just find it unfair for the pupils, these minor things could cost them marks. I would expect the pupils to do well in the design but looking at this they could drop silly marks. Or maybe I am thinking of marking this too harshly.

    Stuart Rose

    Since the SQA marking instructions are so vague, I’ve come up with an unofficial marking scheme for the whole thing.

    I’ll accept any sensible field size for all of the text fields.

    The same problem arises with the required fields; they can’t possible know that “Flag” is not required so I told my pupils not to waste their time populating a field that the SQA have said doesn’t need to be populated.

    Lee Murray

    One question I have is…

    Is a user interface design required? In the marking instructions for the database design, it says “Completing data structure design and user interface design (where required).”.

    Most of my pupils are only creating the queries and aren’t bothering with reports and forms or a switchboard. For the program, it seems the pupils are required to create a user interface design, but my class uses Python where it’s all command line driven.

    Going by the marking scheme, my pupils will get full marks for the database, even though they could create a UI design but haven’t, but will lose marks for the program where they can’t really design a UI but must.

    Darren Brown

    – Is there an SQA exemplar?, most pupils assuming anthem is the name of it as text type which I think is fine

    – doesn’t specifically say input validation, the sensible pupils are extending the input file to put in scores. As I said on another thread feedback from SQA unit verification on testing was Normal/Extreme/Exception not part of higher content so not required. Pupils will work out answers themselves as dry run for test table which I constitute as doing a plan

    – No interface sketch for database, even in Python need to sketch out text of interface. Many pupils missed this last year for N5 and lost marks. The interface sketch for pupils reading in scores will literally be the output line saying who has won.

    Stuart Rose

    My pupils did not create an interface for the database so that’s not part of their design but I will be expecting an interface design for their program because they’re using Visual Basic 2010. I don’t know how different programming languages will work regarding this.

    I have a couple of questions about the text file the database creates…

    1. Can the pupils re-order the data in the text file to allow it to be read from the program properly?

    2. The task states that the program should “import the data for the five finalists from file” and that it should “work out who is the champion”. Therefore, do the countries need to be imported into the program if they’re only being asked to work out who the champion is?

    Marc McWhirter

    1. Not sure about this – my kids did not have any issues with importing a csv using Python. Why can’t VB read the text file that access generates? Technically, all that needs to be exported is the 5 winners names as the program doesn’t use the country – would that make things easier?

    2. As above, the countries do not need to be imported into the program as it doesn’t say anywhere on the specification that they need to.

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