Higher Computing Coursework help - Robustness/Maintainability report?

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melissaaw
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I was wondering if anyone could help me with how to structure my reports for the higher computing coursework 2013/2014. I literally have no idea what to write in them or how to carry them out, and my teacher is basically never in so our class hasn't really been told anything.
Also, does anyone know where I can find example reports?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Ecasx
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I've just finished the Nat 5 Coursework Task and my teacher is... very bad. Not only did we start the task very late (in total, we had around 12-15 periods of work on it), he did not explain a single thing about what exactly we had to do and include (I was the first to finish the task, and he used my report as an example to teach the rest of the class on structure, what to include and so on). Basically, my teacher is really ****ty and we had to improvise.

If I were you, I'd do everything that the coursework task specification entails. Read every single little piece of information and include it in your report. Write as much as you can - it seems a bit of hit and miss since the SQA's task specification really is quite vague, but it works. Structure your report just as the task sheet does, for example, in my case it was 'Stage 1: Analysing the problem and creating a specification', 'Stage 2: Building a solution - data structure' and so on. Use clear headings - try and correspond your report as much as possible with the task sheet. Try to write in a clear and concise structure, and include EVERYTHING. The last few marks are always dropped because people inevitably forget the details. Use bullet points for listing and summarising information, for example when listing the pieces of evidence attached to your report (program code, screenshots etc.), it is better to use bullet points.

The Nat 5 coursework task is different to the Higher one because rather than investigating servers/printers online, there is a database task (plus a program). Its difficult to explain the structure I made for my report but put simply, Stage 1 (analysing the problem) was a big chunk of writing, as was Stage 3 (reporting on the solution). Stage 2 however, was a compilation of evidence (of the program and the database). For this, I followed the evidence that the task sheet specified, printed these out, attached them to the report, and listed (bullet points) every piece of evidence attached under the title of stage 2. This was, in short, the structure I used, and the structure that most of the class then employed. I don't know how this would vary with Higher since there is no database task to 'list evidence' for.

Good luck. A good mark for the course work will comfort you for the exam.
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brandon29
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I assume your talking about the programming section of the course? if so then all I wrote was something like that you had used meaningful variable names and comment statements in the program so that it was easier for the user , that's just an example though
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RD208
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(Original post by melissaaw)
I was wondering if anyone could help me with how to structure my reports for the higher computing coursework 2013/2014. I literally have no idea what to write in them or how to carry them out, and my teacher is basically never in so our class hasn't really been told anything.
Also, does anyone know where I can find example reports?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
For the section where you need to research and compare hardware, you need to lay it out in a table format. I dont know the spec for this years task but last year you had to find an SSD with a certain transfer rate, capacity and robustness. So, after researching and finding your SSD's you would create a table with the headers "name" "transfer rate", "capacity" and "robustness". Then simply enter the information into the table. That's the first part of your comparison - you've shown that you have found 2 devices meeting the minimum specification.

The next bit is where you draw on your knowledge and use the context of the task to decide which of the 2 devices you want to choose. This decision must be explained and will usually be a paragraph of 5-10 lines. Do not simply write: "Device A has B capacity and device X has Y capacity" - the marker can see that from your table. You need to explain why a higher capacity is useful in context. For example, last years coursework task was about a biology class taking images to be stored on an SSD (or something like that); this is the context.

You might say something like : "Device A has a higher transfer rate which will make it a better option for the class since they will be able to load the images onto the drive quickly on site. Additionally because it has a higher capacity more images can be stored on the device without need to purchase another SSD which may be the case with Device B. Finally, Device A is protected by a silicon case. This is useful because it means that the Device will not be damaged if dropped, or put on rough ground as it may be considering the fact that the biology class are likely to be working outside in damp or dirty conditions."

Also, remember to keep a record of the resources you used to get the information. You can do this by taking screenshots or printing to pdf.



Now, the programming part...

Once your program is completed you need to document your pseudocode (or you may have done this before starting as your supposed to) including noting where you used sub-procedures, variables, arrays and standard algorithms (you will have used at least 1). Remember to include data flow in your sub-procedures (what is passed in, what is passed out). Use the main algorithm given in the task as the basis of your pseudocode, and refine it from there.

Then, you need to carry out your testing. Simply take screenshots of the test data being inputted and the results to show that the program works. You are also asked to create your own test data and test the program. To do this you need normal data (valid), extreme data (on the limit of valid, but still valid) and exceptional data (invalid). You need to explain the test data you chose and also provide screenshots of the results.

The maintainability report is the last part of your report for the programming section. You need to explain that your program is modular (uses sub-procedures), uses plenty blank space, suitable variable names etc. - just all the things you have learnt in the course.

Hope its not too late, and hope this helps. Any more questions then you need only ask.
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melissaaw
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(Original post by RD208)
For the section where you need to research and compare hardware, you need to lay it out in a table format. I dont know the spec for this years task but last year you had to find an SSD with a certain transfer rate, capacity and robustness. So, after researching and finding your SSD's you would create a table with the headers "name" "transfer rate", "capacity" and "robustness". Then simply enter the information into the table. That's the first part of your comparison - you've shown that you have found 2 devices meeting the minimum specification. ...
Thank you so, so much, this really helped a lot, I sort of know what I'm doing now haha, thanks again!
So the Maintainability and Robustness Reports don't have to be overly long then?
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RD208
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(Original post by melissaaw)
Thank you so, so much, this really helped a lot, I sort of know what I'm doing now haha, thanks again!
So the Maintainability and Robustness Reports don't have to be overly long then?
I wouldn't say so compared to the amount of time you'll have spent on the other parts.

Just make sure you make all the necessary points regarding maintainability and robustness and you'll be fine. A small paragraph of 2-3 sentences for each will suffice.



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