Preparing for May 2015: Paper 1

By Thursday, February 26, 2015 No tags 0

Most schools have now completed their mock examinations and their focus from now is to prepare students for the May 2015 examinations. It is important to have a confident understanding of the concepts in the ITGS Guide as well as good exam technique. First a close look at Paper 1.

ITGS questions on Paper 1 allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the topics that they have studied and apply them to new situations. In many instances the scenarios on Paper 1 have not been specifically studied, but can be addressed by ‘pulling together’ understandings that have been developed over the two years.

For example, the scenario for question 3 on the May 2014 examination: Fernando Garcia is a mining engineer based in La Paz, Bolivia, whose company has a subscription to a training company that provides online streaming of interactive videos as a service for mining companies. As part of his job, he needs to use these videos to train his staff.  It is possible to stream the videos or download them and use them offline.

It is very unlikely that ITGS students have studied a similar scenario in class. However, from their studies they should be able to address specific questions  relating to the scenario. All of concepts in part (a) related to IT systems in the ITGS Guide (a): lossy and lossless compression and differences in downloading videos vs. streaming videos. Students are then asked questions that relate to Strand 1 and the scenario:

  • part (b): compare the use of online evaluation tasks versus face-to-face evaluation tasks to assess
    the skills the mining employees may have learned with the training videos.
  • part (c) evaluate Fernando’s decision to download the videos and use them to train his staff in
    the Andes.

It is important to understand the expectations of each of the command terms in the questions and how to write a structured response. In this case compare is a 6 mark question and evaluate is an 8  mark question. For the most part this will always be the case, part (a) is 6 marks, part (b) is 6 marks and part (c) is 8 marks. The command terms always begin with lower level command terms such as identify and describe and progress upwards to those command terms requiring higher level of thinking such as discuss and to what extent.

By reading all of the part (a) in questions 1-5 and then reading all of the part (b) and then all of part (c), the structure of all of the questions on Paper 1 is obvious. Part (a) always uses lower level command terms, part (b) in the middle range and part (c) at the high end. Also part (a) always checks to see if the IT system is understood. Whereas, part (c) focuses on Strand 1 social and ethical consideratons.

When using past examination questions, it is often beneficial to take the time and actually look at a real example similar to the scenario. In this case a search for mining training Peru  results in access to an actual training site EduMine Professional Development and Training for Mining with many additional training opportunities.

EduMinescreenshot: http://www.edumine.com/

By looking at this example and other similar examples, it allows students the opportunity to not only examine the use of videos for training in this scenario, but also look at the BIG PICTURE:

  • explain training methods can be used to train mining employees
  • analyze what kinds of training are provided for which purpose
  • compare the kinds of training for the stakeholders in the scenario
  • identify 10 other similar scenarios which may use these types of training methods

It is important in ITGS that scenarios are not considered as isolated instances, but scenarios  are related to similar situations that have been examined before.

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