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Level 2 IT Users Qualification – Unit 1 Improving Productivity

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1 Level 2 IT Users Qualification – Unit 1 Improving Productivity
Bradley williams

2 I can describe the purpose of using IT in my work
I used ICT to complete my coursework because using a computer made it easier for me and much faster to complete simple tasks. I used pictures in my presentation and newsletter to make them more visual to look at and relate to the information displayed. If I had not used ICT in my work then the pictures would have been harder to use because I would have had to find them from a book and scan them in. Getting them from the internet using Google was better because it saved time. I included a Youtube video in my presentation because it made it look more interesting and added another dimension to my work. Without ICT, adding this video would have been make it difficult and would have made my work look less professional. My newsletter included articles which were not written by me but came from the internet. I used ICT to complete a Google search to find articles about technology. My business card, letter and newsletter were made using templates. These helped me in my work because it saved me from creating my own layouts. My presentation included a range of additional ICT tools such as main menu or contents page. These enhanced my work because they allow users to find what they are looking for. If I had completed my work without a computer then I could have made mistakes but because most software has spellcheck I was able to use it to make all my spelling right. If I had not used ICT for any of this work it would have taken longer and included more mistakes. Candidates should be able to describe the purpose of their work and why using IT adds value to it in some way or ways.    Additional information and guidance Candidates might describe the audience at which they are targeting their work and any aspects of the work that makes it particularly suitable for the audience eg "I presented a science topic using a presentation with links to references so that another student can use my work to revise for their exam". They should be able to describe the key characteristics of writing formally in a presentation to present their informationas opposed to the style used for chat and instant messaging of friends. The candidate will show evidence of understanding relevance in relation to purpose. Information that is irrelevant to a task will not support its purpose and inaccurate or biased information could be against the purpose.

3 I can describe the methods, skills and resources needed to complete my tasks successfully
In order to complete my tasks successfully I had to know how to use the software. Each piece of software is difficult and this meant that I had to learn lots of new skills. In my presentation I had to know how to design new slides and then had to add text and pictures. I thought about the layout and organised my slides so they looked clear. I used a main menu which included using a wide range of hyperlinks to link the main menu to the slide. Using these made my presentation interactive and also made it nice to look at. I also improved it by including a range of advanced features such as pictures borders and animations. These made the presentation better to look at. Publisher enabled me to use a range of advanced methods to create my products. It enabled me to choose a design and colour scheme before starting my project so that I could then select a template which helped me create my coursework. Templates were useful because they enabled me to keep the design consistent whilst adding all of my own work. Using these saved me lots of time but meant my work looked really good. For most of my work I needed pictures and I found these by Google search. I had to change the settings on Google when looking for my pictures so that they were copy right free. I also had to store them in a source and store table so I could show work didn’t belong to me. I also had to reference the websites of articles and video’s I used in my work so that I follow the law. Candidates should be able to systematically analyse a task and match needs to resources. They should be able to describe the methods, skills and resources they need in some detail. Evidence: Explain what the methods and skills used when creating the presentation. They can describe issues related to copyright and accessibility if they intend others to use the information they prepare. The resources needed could include time, software, hardware or new learning and expertise Additional information and guidance For example, as a method of presenting information to a general audience, using a presentation is often a better choice than desktop presentation software. They might need skills related to eg preparing so they are suitable.

4 I can describe factors that might affect the task
There are many factors which could have affected me from completing the tasks set. The first factor was to make sure that I had access the to computers to be able to complete the work and search for things online. Without a computer I wouldn’t have access to software and so wouldn’t be able to complete tasks easily. The computer or software could be old and this could affect the task because I might not have tools which were up to date. I used the internet a lot in my work so if there had been problems with the internet such as losing connection or sites being block then this could have prevented me from getting free pictures or creative commons pictures. Copyright could have been something else which might have affected the task because I had to search for images and sometimes the pictures I wanted to use weren’t available because restricts. Finally, the biggest factor which could have affected the task is me. If I didnt know how to use the software and all of its features then I wouldn’t have been able to do your work to achieve the tasks set for my coursework. Candidates should be able to describe a range of factors that could affect the way they carry out their tasks. Evidence: Explanation describing these factors and considerations in their planning (access to computers, audience, time, access to software at home) Additional information and guidance Have they have considered the time the task is likely to take, any copyright issues in obtaining suitable resources, cost of resources and any e-safety and/or relevant security considerations? This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. The factors considered simply have to be credible and useful in the planning process. Again, being able to describe the factors and relate them to the task is a Level 2 characteristic.

5 I can describe how the purpose and outcomes have been met by the chosen IT systems and tools
I created my presentation using Powerpoint and my business card, letter and newsletter using Publisher. I chose Powerpoint to create my presentation because firstly, it included the ability to add text, headings and pictures. Writing directly onto the computer made it much easier than writing on paper first as a draft and saved time which could have been lost copying things out. PowerPoint was good for my presentation because it has a wide range of effective features such as video s and hyperlinks which can make it just what your looking for. Publisher also had a wide range of professional features such as making text appear in columns like a newsletter without having to type or organise the columns yourself. By choosing a design and colour scheme I was able to use templates which already existed and choose a colour scheme which matched my logo. This meant I could focus on finding useful articles which related to my topic and not waste time creating things. Publisher also enabled me to save my work as a PDF. This was useful because it meant anyone could view my work. Candidates should describe how the tools and systems they chose have been successful in supporting their project outcome as part of an evaluation.  Additional information and guidance They can also point out weaknesses in the tools and alternatives that they might have adopted with hindsight taking account of feedback from their peers and others. Assessors can give specific headings and general guidance to make it clear that an evaluation must target specific outcomes and their strengths and weaknesses and not just result in general opinions such as "I think I was successful". Descriptions should reflect Level 2 functional skills in English and the ability to describe how... is the key difference between Level 1 and Level 2 work.

6 I can describe any legal or local guidelines or constraints that apply to the task or activity
I completed my coursework at school which meant that I worked from my own login. It is important that my account is protected so that other people can not make the changes. I also completed my work in school which meant that I had to follow school policy when using the computer. This policy included use the commuter respect and only going on websites which I was authorised to go on. Some software the school has in free but some software has been paid for which means it needs a licence. Software licences are all different, some can restrict how many computers and others can restricts what tools you should use. If you don’t buy a licence then you are breaking copy right law. Copyright was very important stuff in my coursework because I wanted to use pictures from internet and video’s from you tube without making them myself. I followed copyright law by using a source and store table which showed lots of information about the asset I had found online such as the url and the web link. This evidenced that I was not pretending the work was mine when it actually wasn’t. Candidates should demonstrate that they can describe the legal and local guidelines and constraints that apply to the activity. These should be relatively straightforward summaries of say the acceptable use policy and copyright as a minimum. Additional information and guidance Candidates should demonstrate that they abide by any local acceptable use policy and that they can describe the policy in general terms. They should make a declaration that they license their work for free use and that it is their own work and any sources of information are referenced to their owner. They should not use copyright tools or information without first gaining permission (or have it provided directly in the license). Any further local constraints can be included in this work but some description of the AUP and copyright should be present. There is no need to have a detailed understanding of very complex terms and conditions. At this stage an overview of the main purpose and key requirements is sufficient. 

7 I can describe whether the IT tools selected were appropriate for the task and purpose
Many of the tools I used in my coursework were appropriate for the task and purpose because they were tools to help save you time and make your work look better. For my presentation unit , I was able to create a master slide so that all my slides could be matched in design, layout and colours which made my work look better. I was able to use hyperlinks to create an interactive main menuand slides which could be linked to from anywhere in my presentation. I was able to add pictures, text and videos using a range of tools so that the presentation was nice to look at and this made the presentation suitable for my audience. Desktop publishing software enabled me to create number of products such as a business card, letter head and news letter by choosing a design which looked the same. The tools in desktop publishing software included allowing me to write my articles in sections and this made my work look more like a news letter. Desktop publishing software also allowed me to save my files as a PDF so that any one could view them. Finally, online tools such as vistaprint helped me to design a logo in a quick and easy yet efficient way. Evaluation should include a description of the IT tools and their fitness for purpose. This can be organised as an analysis of strengths and weaknesses Additional information and guidance Candidates should be able to make clear judgements about the IT tools available to them supported by evidence. They should consider not only the "brand" but the functionality and cost including indirect costs such as dealing with viruses, upgrades and administering licenses. File formats generated by applications should be considered in relation to lock-in to a particular product that could reduce future choice.  Assessors should provide guidance to get candidates to refer to specifics rather than general statements such as "I think the tools were appropriate"  without justification. Listing strengths and weaknesses will help avoid bland generalisations. The characteristic of Gold Level 2 as opposed to Silver Level 1 is the ability to describe specific aspects of the tools used and to make rational judgements about their properties. For example, the tool did or did not provide the facility to save a document in an open file format, the tools are expensive so only available to me in the place of work, the tools required some time to learn/were easy to learn. Some operations were slow and limited the speed I could work, I only used a very small number of the available features.

8 I can assess the strengths and weaknesses in my final work
When completing my presentation I thought that my hyperlinks were very good because they were tested and all worked correctly and took you to any place in the presentation you wanted to go. I felt my main weakness was the contents itself because I found the writing difficult and wanted to include lots of video’s and pictures but knew that I had to explai n the video’s and pictures aswell or the viewer wouldn’t know what they were. When completing my business card, letter and newsletter I thought that my layout was one of my strengths and while this was a preexisting software feature, I was able to apply it to all my publications and use it to save me time as well as make my work look more professional. I thought my letterhead the best of all three publications because of its design, colour and matching logo. I thought that I could improve my news letter by including articles which were more specifically geared towards music production. Candidates should provide evidence that they have analysed end products of their work and stated associated strengths and weaknesses taking into account feedback and views of other people. Additional information and guidance Strengths and weaknesses should relate to some of the following: format, layout, accuracy, structure, style, quality, clarity for audience. Getting candidates into the habit of using the strengths and weaknesses method and making an overall comment of judgement about the success of their work is recommended. They should get peers/intended audience to help them review and assess their outcomes

9 I can describe ways to make further improvements to my work
I could have made further improvements to my presentation if I had consider different software such as Prezi. If I had used Prezi then I could have made something more unique with different features to Powerpoint. Many of the features of presentation software are the same but so many presentations are made using Powerpoint that its get boring. I used Powerpoint because I had used to before but looking back my work could have been better if I had used something else. I could have improved my newsletter if I had include more music technology articles and less gaming articles. I would have also liked to of made a longer newsletter with extra pages if I had more time. Candidates should use Additional information and guidance Analysis of strengths and weaknesses as the work progresses forms the foundation for this assessment. Include examples from correcting mistakes and errors, improving connectivity or interoperability by adopting open standards, learning new technologies, adopting more efficient or effective methods such as preparing graphics for display so that they look reasonable and download quickly. Where conflicts arise eg one aspect causes both positive and negative effects, candidates should be encouraged to discuss these and not simply take an accepted view on face value. There is a lot of disagreement about the relative merits of particular tools and methods. At this stage the main emphasis is on making judgements and at least attempting to justify them even if the candidate's level of knowledge is a limiting factor.  the evidence from their evaluations to inform ways in which future work can be improved.

10 I can review the benefits and drawbacks of IT tools and systems used in terms of productivity and efficiency There were many factors which affected me in terms of productivity and efficiency but the one I noticed the most was knowing the software. Some of the tools in Powerpoint and Publisher were tools I had not used before which meant that I lost time having to learn how to use them. An example was that some of the designs in publisher were not available so I had to spend extra time making sure all three publications had the same designs available. As I had to follow the law, I lost time when creating my newsletter as I had to search for copyright free material when using Google and YouTube etc. I could have been more productive if I had not copied articles twice but this was something that had to do as I wanted to evidence my articles in a research document. Each lesson I had to log on and sometimes this took ages. During some lessons internet didn't work and this affected me because I couldn’t always get online to find the things I wanted as quickly as I would have liked. The candidate should be able to identify how IT tools might make achieving ICT based solutions more efficient to increase productivity for themselves and others.  Make specific comments on how a Presentation is the best solution for a revision tool Additional information and guidance For example, sending can be more efficient than talking to someone when all that is required is a specific piece of information. Discussing the details of how to use a new software tool by or text messaging is likely to be a lot less efficient than a spoken conversation and so review should include discriminating use of ICT. Other factors such as the lack of expression and remoteness of technology can lead to "flame wars" that would reduce efficiency. Information entered directly into a web page can be much more efficient than making a word processed file and attaching it to the page. Firstly there is no need for word processing software, secondly the information is immediately available to users without having to download a file and having software for opening and viewing it.  Social networking can be very powerful, but it can also be a major distraction to the focus required for efficient working. They might have discussed this in forums or verbally to form their views and so assessors might provide a witness statement to acknowledge this. 

11 I can describe ways to improve productivity and efficiency
There are a number of ways I could have been more productive and efficient in my coursework. The first is if I had focused more. There were many lessons where I did not make much more progress and if I had of been more same as then I could have been more productive. Sometimes, when starting something new, I spent ages as I had to make sure I understood what I need to do and how I needed to do it. Some of the tools within Publisher were new to me so I had to learn and practice using them before using them in my work. This meant that I had to work more slowly until I was as ready as I wanted to be. Throughout the project I kept my files tidy which made me more efficient as I was able to get set up quickly. I also only wrote the contact details for my company once then copied them so that I could be more productive with my time. The use of design helped me as it only had to be done once made me more productive because you didn’t have to re design each product. The candidate should provide evidence that they can describe examples of working methods that improve efficiency. Additional information and guidance Examples might be to use a typing tutor to improve keyboard efficiency, use of keyboard short cuts, recording a macro to automate a process or getting a web browser to save often used details like name and address. They might describe how they organise their folders so the most often needed files are most readily available or change user interface characteristics. They might use bookmarking for files - note for machines with multiple users, bookmarking web sites are a clear advantage. They might use on-line collaborative tools instead of desktop tools or they might use shared resources such as open clip art and wikipedia on the "Give a brick get a house" principle. 

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