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    Does anyone know a way of answering the 9 mark questions on the new OCR A level computing papers which would get high marks? These are the longest questions on the paper (along with 12 markers) and I have not been given guidance on how to answer them. Here is a sample question from a practice paper:


    (c)* The hospital would like to update the system so that it automatically delivers doses of certain drugs to patients based on the readings taken rather than leave delivery to medical staff.
    Discuss the ethical benefits and drawbacks of this approach, explaining whether you would recommend making this update [9 marks]

    Thanks in advance to any answers.
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    (Original post by scottmn108)
    Does anyone know a way of answering the 9 mark questions on the new OCR A level computing papers which would get high marks? These are the longest questions on the paper (along with 12 markers) and I have not been given guidance on how to answer them. Here is a sample question from a practice paper:


    (c)* The hospital would like to update the system so that it automatically delivers doses of certain drugs to patients based on the readings taken rather than leave delivery to medical staff.
    Discuss the ethical benefits and drawbacks of this approach, explaining whether you would recommend making this update [9 marks]

    Thanks in advance to any answers.
    "Discuss" kinds of questions are OCRs classic essay questions. They would want you to look at benefits and drawbacks, making a balanced argument between whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. To do this, you will need to first identify a benefit/drawback, explain it and link it to the context in question. For example, less staff time is needed to deliver the drugs, meaning more time can be spent to attempt to diagnose serious illnesses, or to train more staff. Repeat this for another benefit/drawback, eventually ending up with 3 benefits 1 drawback, 3 drawbacks 1 benefit etc. Finally summarise with a conclusion, which answers the question of whether you would recommend the update.

    Whilst I did not take the new Computing spec, I took the old spec for A Level Computing and A Level ICT. The wording of questions and exam technique is mostly transferable between new and old spec. This question in particular seems more like an ICT question than a Computing question, but feel free to ask me if you need more explanations
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    (Original post by Dapperblook22)
    "Discuss" kinds of questions are OCRs classic essay questions. They would want you to look at benefits and drawbacks, making a balanced argument between whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. To do this, you will need to first identify a benefit/drawback, explain it and link it to the context in question. For example, less staff time is needed to deliver the drugs, meaning more time can be spent to attempt to diagnose serious illnesses, or to train more staff. Repeat this for another benefit/drawback, eventually ending up with 3 benefits 1 drawback, 3 drawbacks 1 benefit etc. Finally summarise with a conclusion, which answers the question of whether you would recommend the update.

    Whilst I did not take the new Computing spec, I took the old spec for A Level Computing and A Level ICT. The wording of questions and exam technique is mostly transferable between new and old spec. This question in particular seems more like an ICT question than a Computing question, but feel free to ask me if you need more explanations
    Thank you for such a clear response; really helpful thanks. Very much an ICT sounding question and the new spec has a whole section on moral and ethical issues which always come up. When you say: "3 benefits 1 drawback, 3 drawbacks 1 benefit," do you mean at the end of each paragraph mention a counter argument so to speak? For example, if you were discussing the positives you would make 3 points and then at the end briefly mention a counter argument? Only bit I didn't understand

    Another type of question as well was this:

    The software team that produces De-Duplicator decides to make a new version that can detect duplicated images the previous version could not. The software team must decide which methodology they will use for the project. Some members of the team suggest extreme programming whilst others would prefer to use the waterfall lifecycle. Discuss the two methodologies and justify which you would recommend. [12 marks].

    This time the mark scheme suggested a more comparative approach, for example: "The waterfall lifecycle involves linear stages whereas XP takes on an agile, iterative approach." How would you recommend approaching questions like this?

    Once again, many thanks
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    (Original post by scottmn108)
    Thank you for such a clear response; really helpful thanks. Very much an ICT sounding question and the new spec has a whole section on moral and ethical issues which always come up. When you say: "3 benefits 1 drawback, 3 drawbacks 1 benefit," do you mean at the end of each paragraph mention a counter argument so to speak? For example, if you were discussing the positives you would make 3 points and then at the end briefly mention a counter argument? Only bit I didn't understand

    Another type of question as well was this:

    The software team that produces De-Duplicator decides to make a new version that can detect duplicated images the previous version could not. The software team must decide which methodology they will use for the project. Some members of the team suggest extreme programming whilst others would prefer to use the waterfall lifecycle. Discuss the two methodologies and justify which you would recommend. [12 marks].

    This time the mark scheme suggested a more comparative approach, for example: "The waterfall lifecycle involves linear stages whereas XP takes on an agile, iterative approach." How would you recommend approaching questions like this?

    Once again, many thanks
    Yes, I would put a counter-argument at the end of each paragraph, and then weigh up as to whether there are more benefits/drawbacks, and hence if the question is supported/unsupported by your argument.

    I should have mentioned before that "Discuss" questions usually have banded responses, for example a band 1 response (1-2 marks), is usually just single sentences or bullet points. Band 2 (3-6 marks) are explained responses, most likely about 1 part of the question (in this case about waterfall or XP). In part of my "Discuss" answers, I would describe what they mentioned in the question (hence the comparative part of the answer). This just sets up my argument and shows the examiner I know what I am arguing about. Because the next part of the question is "Justify", you will need to balance an argument between both waterfall and XP, for example in the waterfall method it is possible to revisit the Investigation stage to ascertain requirements more accurately if needed, however every other following stage must then be revisitied, so it is time consuming and costly. I would then do the same for XP, but with more than one positive/negative point and reasons and possibly an example if you can relate it to the question. Finally, in a conclusion you would state overall which is the better methodology from your arguments.

    "Discuss" kinds of questions are not absolute; they do not have one perfect answer to them. This is reflected in the mark scheme itself: "The following is indicative of possible factors/evidence that candidates may refer to but it is not prescriptive or exhaustive". The more important aspect of them is getting the exam technique right to answer them correctly, by applying your knowledge about the topic to the question itself. In the previous one about nursing, your knowledge needs to be applied to a hospital/GP type scenario, otherwise it would not be relevant to the question. In the de-dup question, one point in the mark sscheme under the Application section wanted social factors, for example staff time would be taken up if subsequent stages are revisited in the waterfall cycle.

    There are many possible ways to answer them, you could go for either Waterfall or XP, and even though the model answer is Waterfall in the Evaluation section of the mark scheme, the examiners would accept either as long as your argument fully addresses the question with the correct technique.

    Sorry about the long wall of text, these questions are difficult to explain concisely . If you still have any questions feel free to ask me in this thread or PM me
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    (Original post by Dapperblook22)
    Yes, I would put a counter-argument at the end of each paragraph, and then weigh up as to whether there are more benefits/drawbacks, and hence if the question is supported/unsupported by your argument.

    I should have mentioned before that "Discuss" questions usually have banded responses, for example a band 1 response (1-2 marks), is usually just single sentences or bullet points. Band 2 (3-6 marks) are explained responses, most likely about 1 part of the question (in this case about waterfall or XP). In part of my "Discuss" answers, I would describe what they mentioned in the question (hence the comparative part of the answer). This just sets up my argument and shows the examiner I know what I am arguing about. Because the next part of the question is "Justify", you will need to balance an argument between both waterfall and XP, for example in the waterfall method it is possible to revisit the Investigation stage to ascertain requirements more accurately if needed, however every other following stage must then be revisitied, so it is time consuming and costly. I would then do the same for XP, but with more than one positive/negative point and reasons and possibly an example if you can relate it to the question. Finally, in a conclusion you would state overall which is the better methodology from your arguments.

    "Discuss" kinds of questions are not absolute; they do not have one perfect answer to them. This is reflected in the mark scheme itself: "The following is indicative of possible factors/evidence that candidates may refer to but it is not prescriptive or exhaustive". The more important aspect of them is getting the exam technique right to answer them correctly, by applying your knowledge about the topic to the question itself. In the previous one about nursing, your knowledge needs to be applied to a hospital/GP type scenario, otherwise it would not be relevant to the question. In the de-dup question, one point in the mark sscheme under the Application section wanted social factors, for example staff time would be taken up if subsequent stages are revisited in the waterfall cycle.

    There are many possible ways to answer them, you could go for either Waterfall or XP, and even though the model answer is Waterfall in the Evaluation section of the mark scheme, the examiners would accept either as long as your argument fully addresses the question with the correct technique.

    Sorry about the long wall of text, these questions are difficult to explain concisely . If you still have any questions feel free to ask me in this thread or PM me
    Brilliant advice thanks; would you recommend integrating the application part of the question into my main paragraphs or putting it as a separate paragraph? The de-dup question is strongly application based as you discussed, where as the hospital question is not and to me a separate paragraph would make more sense as the application marks seem to come from discussing anything loosely based around the question sometimes! Any reason though the de-dup question has 5 marks for a conclusion (A03.3)? Surely the majority of the marks will come from the description of the methodologies and the comparison between them leading to a conclusion??

    Sorry to be a pain
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    (Original post by scottmn108)
    Brilliant advice thanks; would you recommend integrating the application part of the question into my main paragraphs or putting it as a separate paragraph? The de-dup question is strongly application based as you discussed, where as the hospital question is not and to me a separate paragraph would make more sense as the application marks seem to come from discussing anything loosely based around the question sometimes! Any reason though the de-dup question has 5 marks for a conclusion (A03.3)? Surely the majority of the marks will come from the description of the methodologies and the comparison between them leading to a conclusion??

    Sorry to be a pain
    I usually integrate my applications into my descriptions...

    The waterfall methodology involves each stage being completed in turn. This means that previous stages can be returned to, for example to return to the Investigation stage to gather further positive or negative comments regarding the current de-duplicator software. However, software systems have many dependencies and every subsequent stage must be revisited; the impact of this is that more staff time is required for the project team, increasing the cost of development. Extreme programming uses an iterative approach, so any changes are made early in the development cycle hence decreasing incurred developent costs.

    A seperate paragraph for applications would also be ok, whichever you are more comfortable with and will help you to write the argument more coherently.

    Evaluation will include a summarising of your reasoning in order to support the conclusion. The mark scheme wants a clear link between justification and conclusion, so the majority of the marks I think will come from the technique and quality of the answer itself as opposed to how much you wrote for the conclusion (it doesn't hurt to write more than what is needed however).





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    (Original post by Dapperblook22)
    I usually integrate my applications into my descriptions...

    The waterfall methodology involves each stage being completed in turn. This means that previous stages can be returned to, for example to return to the Investigation stage to gather further positive or negative comments regarding the current de-duplicator software. However, software systems have many dependencies and every subsequent stage must be revisited; the impact of this is that more staff time is required for the project team, increasing the cost of development. Extreme programming uses an iterative approach, so any changes are made early in the development cycle hence decreasing incurred developent costs.

    A seperate paragraph for applications would also be ok, whichever you are more comfortable with and will help you to write the argument more coherently.

    Evaluation will include a summarising of your reasoning in order to support the conclusion. The mark scheme wants a clear link between justification and conclusion, so the majority of the marks I think will come from the technique and quality of the answer itself as opposed to how much you wrote for the conclusion (it doesn't hurt to write more than what is needed however).
    Thanks a bunch that's exactly what I needed. Mock exam after the holidays in the first weeks back. Your feedback has guaranteed good marks on those hellish 9 markers
 
 
 
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