BTEC Extended Diploma in IT    Software Development       Graphics Stream            Year 2         Course Guide "Anyone w...
Contents                                                 Page   •   Introduction to study skills                     2   •...
Introduction to Study and Study habitsWelcome to the Burnley College Study Skills Guide.The information, tips, advice and ...
· Getting organised;· Doing today instead of putting off until tomorrow;· Using your time productively;· Knowing where to ...
1. Do you find it difficult to make a start on your work?2. Are you easily distracted from your studies?Organisation1. Do ...
3. Do you understand how memory works?Libraries1. Do you understand how a library works?2. Are you aware of all the servic...
2. Do you tend to repeat yourself in essays?3. Do you tell the story of something instead of analysing the topic?4. Can yo...
There is nothing wrong with having weaknesses (everyone has them). Recognisethem and treat them with respect, but do not d...
Note Taking – AND - What Do Notes Do?Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely get taught. Tutors assume either that ...
reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds ofinformation to pay special attention to ...
of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may       be irrelevant to the topic at hand....
introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you       draw a branch outward from the cent...
Proof reading and spell checkingImportance of proof-reading•   Displays, letters, flyers etc.•   100% accurate•   Professi...
•   Get into the habitWhy?•   It saves time•   Money•   Paper•   Ink•   Check the printed copySpellcheck•   Dictionary of ...
•    Inaccurate or poorly written information may confuse or annoy readers.      •    Information presented professionally...
Course handbook   Page 16
Summarising                           (meaning to sum up)Information Technology is not just sitting at a computer keying i...
•   Writing an article for inclusion in a house magazine•   Drafting a notice or circular•   Using the telephone – particu...
•     Give the item a title conveying the essence of the summary. This will act as a          yardstick against which no m...
Unit 16        Procedural Programming                                        P/M/D            70/80/90Unit 18        Datab...
1590 or above                                     D*D*D*                                         Covering letter sample   ...
providing clear and accurate information.I would be grateful if you could consider me for suitable positions. I will be av...
Put your employment history in date order, starting with the most recent first. Avoidleaving any gaps, so if you have had ...
It is not a case of one size fits all.   9. Send a covering letterUnless the advert tells you not to, always include a cov...
This is an important area of a CV.   It is basically about your back ground and yourskills. It should be tailored to the j...
Key Skills and PhrasesGood communication skills Administrative skills              Customer service skillsEnjoy a challeng...
Personal Profile samplePage 1   Course handbook                             Page 27
Page 2   Course handbook   Page 28
Course handbook   Page 29
Action planDate of 1:1           Unit           Action   Date to be                    number                    completed...
Date of 1:1          Unit    Action   Date to be                    number            completed  Course handbook          ...
Date of 1:1          Unit    Action   Date to be                    number            completed  Course handbook          ...
Date of 1:1          Unit    Action   Date to be                    number            completed  Course handbook          ...
Date of 1:1          Unit    Action   Date to be                    number            completed  Course handbook          ...
Course handbook   Page 35
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Course handbook software graphics

  1. 1. BTEC Extended Diploma in IT Software Development Graphics Stream Year 2 Course Guide "Anyone who has nevermade a mistake has never tried anything new."
  2. 2. Contents Page • Introduction to study skills 2 • Note taking 6 • Proof reading and spell checking 9 • Standard ways of working 10 • Summarising 12 • Grade checker 14 • Cover letter sample 15 • CV Writing 16 • Personal profile 18 • Personal profile sample 20 • Action plans 22Course handbook Page 2
  3. 3. Introduction to Study and Study habitsWelcome to the Burnley College Study Skills Guide.The information, tips, advice and activities contained here are aimed at:· Those new to study· Students with a little experience· Anyone who feels that their studies are perhaps not developing as wellas they expected.What are Study Skills?You have study skills in some form already, even if you are unaware of it at themoment. In general terms they are the skills which help you: • Find information; • Think about new information; • Connect this with old information • Use or apply what you have learned.Why are these skills important?A large part of becoming a successful student is based on developing good studyskills. Effective study means more than having a good memory, it means: Course handbook Page 3
  4. 4. · Getting organised;· Doing today instead of putting off until tomorrow;· Using your time productively;· Knowing where to find information;· Knowing how to use what you find and then how to present your informationRemember:There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to study - each individual will use different waysto complete their work. These methods will sometimes give successful results, andsometimes not.It is up to you to find out which ways of studying work the best for you.Have a go at completing the --------- ‘ Study Habits QuestionnaireActivityRead the following questions and mark your response.2 = Yes x = No ? = sometimesDo not compare yourself to some kind of ideal student - they do not exist! Thinkabout the best you yourself can achieve. This means that you will be able to setrealistic targets for yourself.Attitudes and approaches to study1. Do you keep an aim in mind when studying?2. Is the energy you put into your studies matched by the results you achieve?3. Do you find it enjoyable to study?4. Are you satisfied with your study habits?Concentration Course handbook Page 4
  5. 5. 1. Do you find it difficult to make a start on your work?2. Are you easily distracted from your studies?Organisation1. Do you know at what time of the day you work best?2. Do you set aside regular times for study each week?3. Do you spread your study periods over the week?4. Do you tackle the most important tasks first?5. Do you take planned breaks?6. Do you keep up to date with homework assignments?7. Do you divide your time appropriately between your different subjects?8. Have you got somewhere convenient to study?9. Do you waste time looking for pens and equipment, notes and files?Psychology of Study1. Do you reward yourself after finishing a task?2. Do you know something about how learning happens? Course handbook Page 5
  6. 6. 3. Do you understand how memory works?Libraries1. Do you understand how a library works?2. Are you aware of all the services a library can offer you?3. Can you find information quickly?Reading and books1. Do you do any background reading for your subjects?2. Do you find it takes you a long time to read a recommended book?3. Do you read every book in exactly the same way?4. Do you understand how to use a dictionary and thesaurus properly?Notes1. Are your notes easy to understand?2. Are your notes easy to revise from?3. Are they well organised?Assignments and Essays1. Are your assignments / essays well planned? Course handbook Page 6
  7. 7. 2. Do you tend to repeat yourself in essays?3. Do you tell the story of something instead of analysing the topic?4. Can you distinguish between main ideas and supporting details or evidence?Data1. Can you interpret data accurately?2. Can you create accurate charts and tables?SELF ASSESSMENTAnalyse below your own responses to the study habits questionnaire. Look at youranswers to the study habits questionnaire. What did you score high or positiveabout?Identify your strengths and weaknesses and complete the table belowStrengths Weaknesses Course handbook Page 7
  8. 8. There is nothing wrong with having weaknesses (everyone has them). Recognisethem and treat them with respect, but do not dwell on them. Work on your strengthsto overcome them and your confidence will grow.If you keep concentrating on your weaknesses it will make you less confident andtherefore less able to manage your workload. This can then lead to a downwardspiral which is difficult to overcome. Course handbook Page 8
  9. 9. Note Taking – AND - What Do Notes Do?Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely get taught. Tutors assume either that takinggood notes comes naturally or that someone else must have already taught studentshow to take notes. Then we sit around and complain that our students don’t know how totake notes.I think it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a high school junior ora college senior or a grad student or a mid-level professional or the Attorney General ofthe United States, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not onlydo good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writingthings down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not reallysure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attemptto capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes. This is arecipe for failure. Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leavesno room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. Thepurpose of note-taking is simple: to help you study better and morequickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to containthe most important things. And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’thave the spare mental “cycles” to recognise what’s truly important.What to Write DownYour focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’sno point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration ofIndependence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down.Anything you know you know you can leave out of your notes. Second, what’srelevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in anessay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your Course handbook Page 9
  10. 10. reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds ofinformation to pay special attention to are: • Dates of events: Dates allow you to a) Create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and b) Understand the context of an event. For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century. • Names of people: Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognise ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way. • Theories / Definitions: These are usually the main points made within the topic and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, it should be written down. Keep in mind that many subject areas use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us. • Arguments and debates: Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate related in class or your reading should be recorded. • Images and exercises: Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, or when an in-class exercise is performed, a few words are required to record the experience. Obviously, it is overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description or a short statement about what the class did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience. • Other stuff: Just about anything a tutor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles Course handbook Page 10
  11. 11. of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand. Consider noting these points in the margin to look up later. • Your own questions: Make sure to record your own questions about the topic as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the tutor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.Note-Taking TechniquesYou don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a fewtechniques that seem to work best for most people. • Outlining: Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. In a theory class, you might write the name of important facts. Under each of them, a short description. Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organised the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes. For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either a) flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in) or b) risk losing the relationship between what the tutor just said and what she said before. • Mind-mapping: For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Here’s the idea: in the centre of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are Course handbook Page 11
  12. 12. introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the centre and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the centre. The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches. If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it upI am sure this is only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategiespeople have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters orcoloured pens whilst others a system of post it notes. Whatever method / mixture ofmethods you use does not matter so long as it works for you. Course handbook Page 12
  13. 13. Proof reading and spell checkingImportance of proof-reading• Displays, letters, flyers etc.• 100% accurate• ProfessionalsWhat do we mean by Proofreading?• Checking against the source material• Spelling• Punctuation• Layout• Positioning of graphics• Your responsibility, check words, spacesCourse handbook Page 13
  14. 14. • Get into the habitWhy?• It saves time• Money• Paper• Ink• Check the printed copySpellcheck• Dictionary of words• Query words it does not know Standard ways of workingInformation in ICT systems can very easily be lost or misused eg: • Unauthorised people may gain access to confidential information. • People may copy original work and present it as their own. • Data files may be lost, corrupted by a virus or damaged in other ways. • Computers may be damaged so that data stored in them cannot be recovered.Course handbook Page 14
  15. 15. • Inaccurate or poorly written information may confuse or annoy readers. • Information presented professionally may be believed, even though it may be inaccurate. • Poorly laid out workplaces may cause physical stress or be hazardous to ICT operators. • Use of ICT systems may result in less attention to the planning and managing of work.How can we overcome this problem? • Manage your work effectively. • Keep information secure. • Ensure that information you produce is accurate and readable. • Work to standards commonly accepted by organisations. • Work safely. Keeping information secure • Keeping information secure, for example from theft, loss, viruses, fire. • Protecting confidentiality, for example preventing illegal access to medical or criminal records. • Respecting copyright, for example not using or presenting the work of others without permission.How can we overcome this problem? • By saving work regularly, and using different filenames. • By keeping dated backup copies of files on another disk and in another location.Course handbook Page 15
  16. 16. Course handbook Page 16
  17. 17. Summarising (meaning to sum up)Information Technology is not just sitting at a computer keying in data, writingprogrammes or drawing diagrams. You need to write reports, take down messageseither by telephone or verbally and make notes at meetings and during tutorials.Therefore, you need to illustrate good summarising practices.You need to decide which parts of a given piece of material need to be extracted andrelayed in a particular format to meet the needs of a third party.Applications of summarising techniques • Researching topics for assignments • Taking notes during tutorials • Relaying to your team the outcome of a meeting • Passing on a message, either orally or on a message pad • Designing an advertisement for a job • Delivering a report to a company • Producing a sales report • Writing a letter or memorandum passing on information or a point of view • Editing a press-release for inclusion in a newspaper Course handbook Page 17
  18. 18. • Writing an article for inclusion in a house magazine• Drafting a notice or circular• Using the telephone – particular over a long distance• Interviewing a candidate for an appointment• Giving a briefing to a group• Getting across a point of view or suggestion• Delivering a PowerPoint presentationMany oral and written situations arise daily, requiring summarising techniques.The principles of summarising• Check that you understand clearly the requirement or brief – which may only involve part of the item for summarising• Read the item thoroughly, since you cannot summarise what you do not fully understand. Read for: • The general drift or meaning • For the meaning of individual words of phrases • For the structure of the item and the development of its ideas or argumentsCourse handbook Page 18
  19. 19. • Give the item a title conveying the essence of the summary. This will act as a yardstick against which no measure points for importance and relevance. • Check your list of points against the original in case something has been overlooked. Check your points against your title for relevance. • Establish, which format, is appropriate for the summarising version – schematic layout or paragraphed. • Compose a rough draft leaving room for subsequent refinements and using your own words to convey the sense rather than copying phrases or sentences; remember that you need not find alternatives for specialist terms like ’inflation’ or ‘wage-freeze’ etc. • Check the rough draft to ensure that the points are linked in connected sentences that read smoothly and where the progression is logical and intelligible. Then polish into a final version by improving vocabulary, syntax, tone etc. Ensure that the final version has been checked for transcription errors of spelling, punctuation etc. BTEC Extended Diploma for IT Practitioners Software Development (Graphics) Recording Achievement: Year 1 and 2 Unit No. Unit Title Grade PointsUnit 1 Communications & Employment Skills for IT P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 2 Computer Skills P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 6 Software Design and Development P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 11 System Analysis and Design P/M/D 70/80/90 Course handbook Page 19
  20. 20. Unit 16 Procedural Programming P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 18 Database Design P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 28 Website Design P/M/D 70/80/90Unit 30 Digital Graphics P /M / D 70/80/90Unit 42 Spread sheet modelling P/M/D 70/80/90 Year 1 points Student target grade Unit 3 Information Systems P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 4 Impact of ICT on Business Systems P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 8 E-Commerce P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 14 Event Driven Programming P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 17 Project Planning with IT P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 23 HCI P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 39 Web Animation for Interactive Media P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 41 3D Modelling P/M/D 70/80/90 Unit 43 Multimedia Design P/M/D 70/80/90 Year 1 points Year 2 points Final points and grade Points Grade UCAS Points 1260-1299 PPP 120 1300-1339 MPP 160 1340-1379 MMP 200 1380-1419 MMM 240 1420-1459 DMM 280 1460-1499 DDM 320 1500-1529 DDD 360 1530-1559 DDD* 1560-1589 DD*D* Course handbook Page 20
  21. 21. 1590 or above D*D*D* Covering letter sample Miss Freda Freda 2 made up street Anytown Freda@you.com Tries to find the name of the appropriate personMiss Sarah Bradley to write to if possible.Personnel managerManchester HospitalAny StreetAnytown th State job applying forMN12 4MM 6 April 2101Dear Miss BradleyI am looking for a placement within a hospital environment from June to September of this year. Says why she isI am writing to you as I understand the Manchester Hospital may have appropriate vacancies interested in thisavailable. I have a strong interest in laboratory procedures and clinical diagnostics which I type of work.understand are predominately carried out at this hospital. As I live within commuting distancefrom your site, travel and accommodation would not be a problem. Summarises her strength and how they might be anI first became interested in the hospital environment after a school visit to your site. I was taken advantage to the organisationon a tour around the laboratories where the differing techniques used in testing clinicalsamples for patients were demonstrated. Since then, discussion with my careers advisor has confirmedmy decision to aim for a career in this field. Mentions dates she would be availableThrough mu degree course, I have been able to develop my interest in Biochemistry, whilst improving for interviewmy laboratory skills along with my numeracy skills. I have gained some experience in HPLC and havegood computing skill, having used several scientific databases. I achieved 68% in my first year having Thanks the employer and mentions theexaminations and hope to achieve a high 2:1 for my course work this year. While at university, I enclosed CV.have also been able to utilise my skills in working with people through a variety of vocational jobs.My work at a busy insurance office was valuable in teaching me the importance of ascertaining customers’ needs and Course handbook Page 21
  22. 22. providing clear and accurate information.I would be grateful if you could consider me for suitable positions. I will be available for interview atAny time and will be at my home address form late may onwards. At any other time please contact meby e-mail. Please see enclosed my CV where you will find further information.Yours SincerelySarah BradleyEnc CV Writing – 10 main points to rememberThink of your CV as a shop window – it must effectively display your experience,skills and qualities in a short period of time. The following tips will help you producea CV that does just that. 1. Keep it short and clearBefore you start, choose the right structure for your CV. The most importantinformation, such as your key skills and recent experience, needs to be near the top,where it can be seen straight away. Sections you need to include are your Profile,Achievements, Experience, Special Skills (languages / computers), Education,Training and (if you wish) Interests / Hobbies. Your CV should normally be no longerthan two A4 pages in length.If you haven’t caught the recruiter’s interest by page two then they probably won’tread any further pages anyway. 2. Make it look goodClear, attractive presentation is also important if your CV is to stand out. Ensure thatit’s uncluttered, with easy to spot key points. Use bullet points and keep thesentences relatively short. Plenty of ‘white space’ around the borders and betweeneach section keeps the document easier on the eye. 3. Most recent first Course handbook Page 22
  23. 23. Put your employment history in date order, starting with the most recent first. Avoidleaving any gaps, so if you have had time out for some reason, do mention this.Don’t go into details about positions you held over 10 years ago. Include details ofholiday or temporary work only if relevant to the job you are applying for. 4. Include many factsList your job duties beneath each position. Also list your achievements,responsibilities and results. Talk about results and what difference did yourpresence make? Use numbers for achievements wherever possible, e.g. “Boostedsales by 20% in the first year” Always write in a slightly formal manner and never usethe word “I”, e.g. “Supervised the team” rather than “I supervised the team”. Use thepast tense for previous jobs and the present tense for your current job. 5. Not too many listsInclude specific skills, such as languages, administrative or computing skills, in aseparate section in your CV. Don’t relist them for every job you have used them in.This is particularly so for IT work – lists of tools and packages make dull reading andwon’t make you stand out from other people with the same abilities. 6. Breathe some life into itRemember the employer wants a sense of the kind of person you are, as well aswhat you can do. Are you punctual, conscientious, or motivated? Do you rise to achallenge? With each point you write, ask yourself “What does this say about me?” 7. Be accurateAlways check for errors. Run a spelling and grammar check and ask someone elseto read it for you. Read it out loud. The employer is not going to believe you are agood communicator if your CV is full of mistakes. 8. Adapt itDo not use the same CV every time. You can have two or three versions, each for adifferent kind of job. OR tailor it to suit the job you are applying for. Course handbook Page 23
  24. 24. It is not a case of one size fits all. 9. Send a covering letterUnless the advert tells you not to, always include a covering letter. This shouldhighlight the two or three areas of experience from your CV that are most relevant tothe advertised post.Never send your CV on its own. 10. Be truthfulAlthough you obviously want to present yourself well, do not go too far and embellishthe truth. It can easily backfire on you. Personal profile Course handbook Page 24
  25. 25. This is an important area of a CV. It is basically about your back ground and yourskills. It should be tailored to the job you are looking to do and can change fromapplication to application. It gives you a chance to sell yourself and make you standout to an employer.Here are some key words and phrases which may help, circle or highlight the oneswhich you feel applies to you. Make a note or any other relevant words or phrasesfor future reference.KeywordsEnthusiastic Perceptive HardworkingKeen to learn new skills Good team worker Full of initiativeDynamic Adaptable Self – motivatedResourceful Dependable Quick thinkingDisciplined Reliable IndependentMature Attitude Versatile CreativePunctual Organised ArticulateOutgoing Methodical EnergeticConfident Practical ResponsibleTactful Competent Highly skilledKnowledgeable Effective EfficientQualified Forward thinker Positive attitudeSupportive Course handbook Page 25
  26. 26. Key Skills and PhrasesGood communication skills Administrative skills Customer service skillsEnjoy a challenge Enumerative Mechanical skillsCan cope with pressure Keyboard skills Can motivate othersAnalysing problems and Arranging meetings or An effective team playerdeveloping solutions eventsExcellent interpersonal Able to organise and Managing a changeskills motivate othersExperienced in handling Able to analyse and Excellent negotiation skillscustomer complaints interpret informationCareful and methodical Accurate record keeper Can work well withoutapproach supervisionAble to work well under High level of IT skills Good sense of humourpressureExcellent graphics design Excellent programming Networking knowledgeskills skillsExcellent Network security A ‘people person’ Data input skillsknowledge Course handbook Page 26
  27. 27. Personal Profile samplePage 1 Course handbook Page 27
  28. 28. Page 2 Course handbook Page 28
  29. 29. Course handbook Page 29
  30. 30. Action planDate of 1:1 Unit Action Date to be number completed Course handbook Page 30
  31. 31. Date of 1:1 Unit Action Date to be number completed Course handbook Page 31
  32. 32. Date of 1:1 Unit Action Date to be number completed Course handbook Page 32
  33. 33. Date of 1:1 Unit Action Date to be number completed Course handbook Page 33
  34. 34. Date of 1:1 Unit Action Date to be number completed Course handbook Page 34
  35. 35. Course handbook Page 35

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