N4 Software Design and Development

  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by tim.
  • Linda Hall

    Looking at outcome 3, which I think is quite difficult for N4 pupils. If pupils have used Scratch for outcomes 1 and 2, can anyone see any reason why they should not use this for outcome 3? Also would LOGO be appropriate. Given the “open” nature of this assessment, it will be very difficult to “guide” pupils in the right direction, if you give them a free choice in there selection of ” a contemporary software-based application. Also the “making assessment judgement section” states 3 of the application features for describing the application, yet Step 1 in the table outlining the steps has Purpose, Key Features and Interface as areas they should be reporting on.


    I am also about to do this with my classes. I find it a bit less straightforward than the Nat5 one.

    E.g. How do you fulfil 3.2 (Explaining how its features relate to programming constructs and data types)?

    In the blender examplar it is wriiten “When you select a tool to use, the software will use if constructs to decide what to do. ” How can you say this without looking at the code used to build the program? If they are just deducing when a certain construct may have been used you end up having to accept just about anything. That makes the exercise a bit pointless.

    Also, if anyone has already done this, which applications have people being using?

    Linda Hall

    Yes I think 3.2 is very difficult for N4 pupils to do completely on their own. Plan to do some work using Excel, Word and Access highlighting where loops and if statements are being used eg word count, spell checker, sorting, searching etc. You could use any software but giving the pupils a “free” choice might make it difficult for the teacher to mark at the end of the day. I wanted to use Scratch with some of my very poor national 4 candidates as they would manage this task better on familiar ground but not sure if it then allows pupils to do what the task, I think, is asking them to do, if you follow.


    Here is the reply from SQA:

    The pupils are just expected to make generalisations such as the program gives a choice therefore the code would use a selection construct. The software can be any contemporary applications from games to word processors.

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