COMPUTER SCIENCEATAR COURSEYear 11 syllabus
IMPORTANT INFORMATIONThis syllabus is effective from 1 January 2015.Users of this syllabus are responsible for checking its currency.Syllabuses are formally reviewed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority on a cyclical basis, typically every five years.Copyright School Curriculum and Standards Authority, 2014.This document – apart from any third party copyright material contained in it – may be freely copied, or communicated on an intranet, for non-commercial purposes in educational institutions,provided that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority is acknowledged as the copyright owner, and that the Authority’s moral rights are not infringed.Copying or communication for any other purpose can be done only within the terms of the Copyright Act 1968 or with prior written permission of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.Copying or communication of any third party copyright material can be done only within the terms of the Copyright Act 1968 or with permission of the copyright owners.Any content in this document that has been derived from the Australian Curriculum may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Australia licence2013/34102v5
ContentRationale . 1Course outcomes . 2Organisation . 3Structure of the syllabus . 3Organisation of content . 3Progression from the Year 7–10 curriculum . 6Representation of the general capabilities . 7Representation of the cross-curriculum priorities . 9Unit 1 – Developing computer-based systems and producing spreadsheet and database solutions .10Unit description . 10Unit content . 10Unit 2 – Developing computer-based systems solutions and communications .14Unit description . 14Unit content . 14School-based assessment .18Grading . 19Appendix 1 – Grade descriptions Year 11 .20Appendix 2 – Glossary .22
1RationaleThe Computer Science ATAR course focuses on the fundamental principles, concepts and skills within thefield of computing and provides students with opportunities to develop flexibility and adaptability in theapplication of these, in the roles of developers and users. The underpinning knowledge and skills incomputer science are practically applied to the development of computer systems and software, and theconnectivity between computers, peripheral devices and software used in the home, workplace and ineducation is examined. Students develop problem-solving abilities and technical skills as they learn how todiagnose and solve problems in the course of understanding the building blocks of computing.In this course, the impact of technological developments on the personal, social and professional lives ofindividuals, businesses and communities is investigated. The ethical, moral and legal factors that influencedevelopments in computing are explored so that students recognise the consequences of decisions made bydevelopers and users in respect to the development and use of technology.This course provides students with practical and technical skills that equip them to function effectively in aworld where these attributes are vital for employability and daily life in a technological society. It provides asound understanding of computing to support students pursuing further studies in related fields.Computer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
2Course outcomesThe Computer Science ATAR course is designed to facilitate achievement of the following outcomes.Outcome 1 – Technology processStudents apply a technology process to develop computer-based systems.In achieving this outcome, students: investigate ideas and generate proposals develop solutions that meet specifications and recognised standards evaluate computer-based solutions.Outcome 2 – Knowledge and understanding of computer-based systemsStudents understand the design, application and interactions of hardware and software in computer-basedsystems.In achieving this outcome, students: understand the appropriate selection and application of computer-based system components understand the nature of the interactions between the elements of computer-based systems understand the concepts associated with computer-based systems.Outcome 3 – Skills for computer-based systemsStudents apply skills to maintain, adapt or develop computer-based systems.In achieving this outcome, students: apply a range of problem-solving techniques when maintaining or developing computer-based systems apply a range of conventions and standards when implementing a maintenance or development solution apply organisational skills to identify and use appropriate hardware and software resources whenmaintaining or developing a computer-based system.Outcome 4 – Computer-based systems in societyStudents understand the interrelationships between the development and use of computer-based systems,the individual and society.In achieving this outcome, students: understand that developers’ attitudes and values affect the development of computer-based systems understand that users’ attitudes and values affect the development and use of computer-based systems understand there are legal, societal and ethical impacts when computer-based systems are developedand adopted.Computer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
3OrganisationThis course is organised into a Year 11 syllabus and a Year 12 syllabus. The cognitive complexity of thesyllabus content increases from Year 11 to Year 12.Structure of the syllabusThe Year 11 syllabus is divided into two units, each of one semester duration, which are typically delivered asa pair. The notional time for each unit is 55 class contact hours.Unit 1 – Developing computer-based systems and producing spreadsheet and databasesolutionsThe focus for this unit is developing computer-based systems and producing spreadsheet and databasesolutions. Students are introduced to the internal, interrelating components of computer-based systems inan industry context. They examine a variety of systems, build on their spreadsheet and database skills andgain an appreciation of how these concepts and technologies are used in industry.Unit 2 – Developing computer-based systems solutions and communicationsThe focus for this unit is developing computer-based systems solutions and communications. Students areintroduced to networking concepts, as applied to industry. Through the use of algorithms, students developprogramming skills. They create solutions exploring the ethical, legal and societal implications of industrybased applications.Each unit includes: a unit description – a short description of the purpose of the unit unit content – the content to be taught and learned.Organisation of contentThe unit content includes both theoretical aspects (Knowledge) and practical aspects (Skills).The course is divided into five content areas.Unit 1 is divided into two content areas: Systems analysis and development Managing data.Unit 2 is divided into three content areas: Developing software Programming Networks and communications.Computer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
4Systems analysis and developmentThe functions and technical capabilities of systems, how components are configured to form a computersystem, and factors which affect the design of an information system, are explored. The compatibility ofcomponents, output, bandwidth considerations, and usability, security, health and safety considerations areexplored. Evaluations of systems, devices or components are conducted while acquiring computer hardwareknowledge and skills.Managing dataThe distinction between data and information, including the different types of data (including text andnumber) and the varied representation of data within a computer is addressed. The representation of datatypes, the graphical representation of data, how data is stored into separate entities using a relationaldatabase and the process of normalisation are examined.Developing softwareA Systems Development Cycle (SDC) that includes some basic systems engineering and the application ofstandards is applied. How a developer’s interactions with users affect the development and use of thesystem is investigated. Various methods of developing software systems and the problems associated withconnecting systems in an increasingly global environment are addressed. The different perspectives of usersand developers to the development and use of computer-based systems are explored.ProgrammingThe different types of programming languages (first, second, third and fourth generation, procedural,non-procedural, object-oriented and scripting languages) are investigated. The basic constructs of sequence,selection and iteration are examined. The analysing and breaking down of problems into small,self-contained units for which procedures or functions are created in a programming language is addressed.The passing of parameters to procedures, functions and modules are explored. This includes the means bywhich records, files and databases in an application are accessed and an understanding of the operation ofcompilers and interpreters is developed.Networks and communicationsThe various structures and components of a network, including the communication media used to combinethem are examined. The convergence of technologies, which involves the integration of computers andcommunication hardware, is investigated. Similarly, the design and creation of networks of variousconfigurations, as well as connecting networks of different types, are investigated. The application ofconnectivity standards, relating to networks and the internet is addressed. Communication software models,and standards; the types, purpose and use of protocols, servers and operating systems in communications;and software and the aspects to consider in network security are explored.ResourcesIt is recommended that for delivery of the Computer Science ATAR course, students have access to thefollowing resources: computers with access to the internetComputer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
6Database management systemsThere is no prescribed database management system for the Computer Science ATAR course. However, tomeet the assessment requirements for this syllabus, it is required that students use a database managementsystem that enables the: development of a purpose-designed database solution design, creation, modification, testing and evaluation of a database solution creation of tables, queries, forms and reports use and development of a user interface.The database management systems should provide the student with opportunity to: create a working relational database construct simple queries using SQL within one or two tables construct queries across multiple tables using a database tool apply programmed control structures develop and use a user interface.The suggested database management system software for the Computer Science ATAR course are: Microsoft Access MySQL FileMaker FoxPro Paradox.Progression from the Year 7–10 curriculumThis syllabus continues to develop student learning around the knowledge, understandings and skills withinthe Year 7–10 Digital Technologies curriculum and focuses on the components of digital systems (software,hardware and networks) and their use; the representation of data; and how data are represented andstructured symbolically.This syllabus also continues to develop the students’ skills with the production of digital solutions through;collecting, managing and analysing data, defining problems, designing solutions, implementing andevaluating solutions, and communicating, collaborating and managing projects.Computer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
7Representation of the general capabilitiesThe general capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that will assiststudents to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century. Teachers may find opportunities toincorporate the capabilities into the teaching and learning program for the Computer Science ATAR course.The general capabilities are not assessed unless they are identified within the specified unit content.LiteracyStudents become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to use and interpretlanguage confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively insociety. Literacy involves students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print,visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts.In the Computer Science ATAR course, students develop literacy capability as they learn how tocommunicate ideas, concepts and detailed proposals to a variety of audiences; recognise how language canbe used to manipulate meaning; and read and interpret detailed written instructions. They learn tounderstand and use language to discuss and communicate information, concepts and ideas related to thecourse.By learning the literacy of computer science, students understand that language varies according to contextand they increase their ability to use language flexibly. Computer science vocabulary is often technical andincludes specific terms for concepts, processes and production. Students learn to understand that muchtechnological information is presented in the form of drawings, diagrams, flow charts, models, tables andgraphs. They also learn the importance of listening and talking when learning about technologies processes,especially in articulating, questioning and evaluating ideas.NumeracyStudents become numerate as they develop the knowledge and skills to use mathematics confidently acrossother learning areas at school and in their lives more broadly. Numeracy involves students in recognising andunderstanding the role of mathematics in the world, and having the dispositions and capacities to usemathematical knowledge and skills purposefully.In the Computer Science ATAR course, students work with the concepts of number, geometry, scale andproportion. They use models, create accurate technical drawings, work with digital models and usecomputational thinking in decision-making processes when designing and creating best-fit solutions.Information and communication technology capabilityStudents develop information and communication technology (ICT) capability as they learn to use ICTeffectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems andwork collaboratively, and in their lives beyond school. The capability involves students in learning to makethe most of the digital technologies available to them. They adapt to new ways of doing things astechnologies evolve, and limit the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment.In the Computer Science ATAR course, students create solutions that consider social and environmentalfactors when operating digital systems with digital information. They develop an understanding of thecharacteristics of data, digital systems, audiences, procedures and computational thinking. They apply thiswhen they investigate, communicate and create purpose-designed digital solutions. Students learn toformulate problems, logically organise and analyse data, and represent it in abstract forms. They automatesolutions through algorithmic logic. Students decide the best combinations of data, procedures and humanand physical resources to generate efficient and effective digital solutions.Computer Science ATAR Year 11 syllabus
8Critical and creative thinkingStudents develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluateknowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Criticaland creative thinking are integral to activities that require students to think broadly and deeply using skills,behaviours and dispositions, such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in alllearning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.In the Computer Science ATAR course, students develop capability in critical and creative think
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