Getting Started Now there IS a Model Assignment for this beastie, and you’re welcome to follow that word-for-word. Some previous students have done that. Others have chosen a different context, and, as long as you stick to the tasks, that’s cool. Guidance for this is taken from the MA, available on the Exam Board website as well.
Scenario – Model Assignment Is the cost of dental treatment giving us toothache? In August 2007 the Department of Health announced that 28.1 million people went to an NHS dentist in England in the year to March. This figure was 50,000 fewer than in the previous year. Initial studies suggest that in the UK approximately 50% of adults and 30% of children* fail to visit a dentist. You have been employed by your local Primary Care Trust (PCT) to undertake a study which will investigate this issue in your local area. The results of your findings will be used to make informed decisions on spending and on strategies to encourage particular groups of people to take better care of their teeth. *Children are defined as under 18 years of age.
Scenario – Model Assignment Questions that need to be answered include: What is the biggest reason for people failing to visit NHS dentists? Is the reason the same for different groups, eg gender, age, social group? Do young people care more/less about their teeth than older people? How does the local population compare with the national picture? Are local people more or less concerned about their teeth than the rest of the country?
Scenario - options Are children more likely to be fatter if they play more than x hours per day on a console? Are children better at ICT if they have a PC or Mac at home? Is it more cost effective to take a bus than drive a car in a city like Sheffield? Do students with EMA forms attend classes more regularly than those without?
Scenario - options Now these are just questions to get you thinking – you would need to think about a proper scenario if you want to use any of them: chat if you do and we’ll work something out.
AO1: define the problem You need to come up with a preliminary report: The background to the problem The hypothesis you will be testing The data you will collect The way in which you will collect the data The processing of the data that you plan
AO1: define the problem So, for the dentist one: what has changed in the NHS recently with regards to dental treatment how much it costs for dental treatment on the NHS and how these costs have changed over time how often people of different ages are advised to visit the dentist for a check-up the costs/problems that may be caused if people don’t go to the dentist AND THEN...
AO1: define the problem Having completed your background research you should now set your hypothesis – a preliminary explanation that could account for some of the facts that you have discovered. This hypothesis should be supported or disproved after you have completed your study. You must make a list of the data you will need to collect in order to find out whether or not the hypothesis is true. You must also consider how you will process the data, once you have collected it, eg: what calculations will you need – max, min, average, median etc how can your data be summarised in tables and how this can be achieved – pivot tables, formulas etc what graphs/charts would be useful – pie charts, bar charts, line graphs, scatter charts, trend lines etc.
AO1: define the problem Consider what you will need to do to ensure you do not infringe current data protection legislation. You may need to carry out some research into the requirements. You need to consider, for example: any restrictions this places on the data you can collect and store any requirements you need to meet about the way you collect and store the data.
AO1: define the problem Produce a project proposal, which should be in the form of a report. This should include: an explanation of the background to the problem the hypothesis you will be testing the criteria that will be used to test your hypothesis the data you will need to collect the methods you will use to process the data what you will do to comply with data protection legislation. To achieve the higher levels, your hypothesis needs to be complex, suggesting ways factors such as age, gender, social class etc might affect the result. The level of detail you include in your report, and the explanations you give for your decisions, will also be determining factors in the level you are awarded for this Assessment Objective.
AO1: Grade Guide For Pass: Describe the background Set a simple hypothesis (one question) and list some criteria you will use Identify some of the data and explain what you will do with it Demonstrate understanding of the DPA and explain how you will follow the law.
AO1: Grade Guide For Merit: Clearly describe the problem Set a complex hypothesis (2 or more questions) Clearly describe the criteria you will use to test it Identify the data you will collect and explain how you will work with it Clearly explain how you will follow the requirements of the DPA
AO1: Grade Guide For Distinction: Thoroughly describe the problem Set a complex hypothesis (2 or more questions) Clearly describe and justify the criteria you will use to test it Identify the data you will collect and explain in detail how you will work with it Clearly and fully explain how you will follow the requirements of the DPA
AO2: design & carry out a data collection activity Devise a study that will ensure that you collect a wide range of suitable data from a statistically significant sample. (In other words, not just Mom, and Auntie Fred, and Sam-from-down-the-road: make it REAL) You will need to explain: which data collection method(s) you are going to use (questionnaires? Interviews? Online surveys?) the sampling method and size (something around 30 is gonna be a minuimum – where are you going to find 30 – 50 ‘willing’ victims???)
AO2: Grade guide For Pass Come up with a clear plan! Show how you decided the group you would ask List some of the potential problems with your results E.g. what could affect how people answer you? what could be the inbuilt issues with your survey? Collect the results
AO2: Grade guide For Merit Come up with a good plan Use suitable sampling method and size Describe most of the constraints of your study Collect the results as planned
AO2: Grade guide For Distinction Come up with a watertight plan Use appropriate research and data collection methods – and justify them Describe ALL the potential constraints on the reliability of your study Explain the steps you have taken to cut out bias from the study and identify potential glitches in your sampling method Collect the data as planned
AO3: Collect data and store it using a spreadsheet In this task you will create a spreadsheet to store the data you have collected and enter the data. To achieve Pass level in this Assessment Objective you need to complete parts A, C and D of this task. To achieve the higher levels you also need to complete parts B and E. Ready???
AO3: Collect data and store it using a spreadsheet (ALL Grades) A Set up one or more sheets in spreadsheet software, suitable for storing the data you have collected. Think carefully about the most suitable data types for each item of data. C Add suitable validation method(s) to minimise the possibility of data entry errors. You should also consider any methods you could use to make data entry as quick and easy as possible. D Enter the data you have collected into your spreadsheet. If you find any errors in your form and/or validation, as you enter the data, you should make any improvements that are necessary.
AO3: Collect data and store it using a spreadsheet (M & D Grades) B Create a form that will allow you to enter data into your sheet. You may need to create macro(s) to enter each record into the sheet from the form, and to reset the form after each record. Ensure the form is as clearly laid-out and easy to use as possible. E Consider what steps you can take to ensure your data is protected from both accidental and deliberate change and loss. Carry out any further security measures that are necessary to protect your data. Explain the steps you have taken and the reasons for them.
AO3 Grade Guide For Pass: Set up a simple spreadsheet At least ONE validation routine to limit entry errors Store something useful!
AO3 Grade Guide For Merit: Create an effective interface for entering relevant data. Include suitable validation routines to limit data entry errors for most items of data where this is appropriate. Store the data collected and take at least one measure to ensure its security. Demonstrate an understanding of the need for security measures
AO3 Grade Guide For Distinction: Create an effective and easy-to-use interface for entering relevant data Use a range of effective validation methods to minimise data entry errors wherever possible. Store the data collected and protect it from unauthorisedaccess and from accidental and deliberate change and loss. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the need for security and the range of measures that are needed.
AO4: Create a suitable spreadsheetto analysethe data Having collected your data and entered it into your spreadsheet you must now use spreadsheet software to analyse it, in order to provide information that you can use to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Now we’re on to the interesting bit!!!
AO4: Create a suitable spreadsheetto analysethe data Consider how your data can be summarised and analysed. Add any necessary formulas to your spreadsheet, making sure you use the most effective and efficient formulas. If you have planned to add any pivot tables you should create these now. The thoroughness of your analysis will be a determining factor in the grade you are awarded in this Assessment Objective.
AO4: Create a suitable spreadsheetto analysethe data Organise and format your data and results to present the information as clearly as possible. You might also add automated facilities (macros and buttons, folks) to speed up routine tasks like printing, or moving between sheets, in order to make your spreadsheet as efficient as possible. The effectiveness and efficiency of the way your data is presented will be a determining factor in the grade you are awarded in this Assessment Objective.
AO4: Create a suitable spreadsheetto analysethe data Create a test plan and use this to test your spreadsheet as thoroughly as possible. Make sure that any improvements that prove to be necessary are made, to make sure your final spreadsheet is as effective and efficient as possible, producing useful and accurate data to help you prove or disprove your hypothesis. To achieve Pass level you must carry out at least one test and make any necessary changes. To achieve Merit level you must devise a test plan and use it to ensure your spreadsheet works effectively. To achieve Distinction level your test plan must be comprehensive, covering all aspects of your solution.
AO4: Grade Guide For Pass: Actually complete the spreadsheet Put in appropriate labels, formatting, titles, to display most information clearly Use appropriate functions to analyse some of the data, providing some useful data about your hypothesis Carry out at least ONE test of the operation of the spreadsheet, and make any appropriate changes.
AO4: Grade Guide For Merit the extras are: Create an effective spreadsheet to analyse and present the results of your research Use appropriate functions to analyse ALL the data, providing a range of data about your hypothesis Create and use a proper test plan
AO4: Grade Guide For Distinction the extras are: Create and use a comprehensive test plan
AO4 Testing a spreadsheet reminders OK – thought you’d better have this reminder now.. Testing a spreadsheet involves clear types of data: Invalid data (date as words) Out-of-range data (01/04/50) Valid data (01/04/01) Extreme data (01/04/11) Testing the formatting – is 01/04 April 1st or January 4th? Testing the error messages – clear? Timely? Testing the validation
AO5: Creating Graphs & Charts (ALL) Create any charts/graphs that will display useful results in a helpful way. For each chart you should consider: what sort of chart/graph will display the data in the most helpful way. any labelling that will be necessary to ensure the chart/graph displays the data as clearly as possible. To achieve Pass level you must create at least one relevant and appropriate chart/graph. To achieve Merit level you must create at least two relevant and appropriate charts/graphs. To achieve Distinction level you must create at least three relevant and appropriate charts/graphs. The effectiveness of the charts/graphs and the contribution they make to your data analysis will also be determining factors in the level awarded for this Assessment Objective.
AO5: Creating Graphs & Charts (M & D) Explain why you chose the charts/graphs you have produced and why you chose each particular chart type. The clarity and detail of your explanations will also be determining factors in the level awarded for this Assessment Objective.
AO5: Grade Guide For Pass: Create at least one graph/chart that is relevant to the hypothesis and appropriate for the data being presented. Use some formatting and labellingfeatures to improve the presentation of your chart(s).
AO5: Grade Guide For Merit: Create at least two different types of graphs/charts that are relevant to the hypothesis and appropriate for the data being presented. Briefly explain the choice of chart types and use appropriate formatting and labellingfeatures to improve the presentation of your charts.
AO5: Grade Guide For Distinction: Create at least three different types of graphs/charts that are significant to the hypothesis. Choice of chart types will be appropriate and fully explained. Use appropriate formatting and labellingfeatures to display the data effectively.
AO6: Present your findings (ALL) In this task you will prepare a presentation to present your findings to the Primary Care Trust. To achieve Pass or Merit level you need to complete parts A, and B of this task. To achieve Distinction level you also need to complete part C.
AO6: Present your findings (ALL) A Prepare the outline of the information you need to present. You should include: the initial problem your hypothesis a summary of your results your conclusion – the extent to which your analysis has supported or disproved your hypothesis, with reasons
AO6: Present your findings (ALL) B Prepare your presentation. This might be a talk, illustrated using presentation software, or you might decide to produce a written report. If you are going to use presentation software you will need to add details of the talk using either the speakers notes feature of your presentation software or as a separate word-processed document. You should include appropriate tables and charts/graphs to show the key findings from your study. You should aim to present the information as effectively and professionally as possible.
AO6: Present your findings (ALL) To achieve Pass level your presentation should cover all points from part A and include at least one table of data and at least one graph/chart. To achieve Merit level your presentation needs to be detailed and include a range of tables and graphs/charts, formatted and presented effectively. You must explain clearly whether your analysis has supported or disproved your hypothesis. To achieve Distinction level your presentation must give comprehensive details of your study and results and you must explain clearly the extent to which your analysis has supported
AO6: Present your findings (M & D) C Evaluate the effectiveness of the spreadsheet model you created and used.
AO6: Grade Guide For Pass: Create a straightforward presentation about the findings of your data analysis. This will address your hypothesis and include at least one table of data and at least one graph/chart. State, with at least one reason, whether the analysis has supported or disproved the hypothesis.
AO6: Grade Guide For Merit: Create a detailed presentation about the findings of your data analysis. This will address your hypothesis and include a range of tables and graphs/charts, formatted and presented effectively. Explain whether the analysis has supported or disproved the hypothesis. The presentation will be mostly appropriate for the audience and purpose
AO6: Grade Guide For Distinction: Create a comprehensive presentation about the findings of your data analysis. This will address your hypothesis and include a range of tables and graphs/charts, formatted and presented effectively. The presentation will be of near professional standard. Explain the extent to which the analysis has supported or disproved the hypothesis. The presentation will be appropriate for the audience and purpose. Evaluate the effectiveness of the spreadsheet model.