Gold - Unit 16 - IT Communication Fundamentals

Relevant LINKS


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This is the ability to use a a range of software application to aid the communication of information. The candidate will use a range of basic software tools and techniques to support information communication that is straightforward or routine. Any aspect that is unfamiliar will require support and advice from others. 
Software tools and techniques will be defined as ‘basic’ because:
  • The range of data and information techniques supported are straightforward
  • The tools and functions involved will be pre-determined or commonly used
Example of context: Searching the internet and checking the validity of the source of information.

Activities supporting the assessment of this award

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

QCF general description for Level 2 qualifications

  • Achievement at QCF level 2 (EQF Level 3) reflects the ability to select and use relevant knowledge, ideas, skills and procedures to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems. It includes taking responsibility for completing tasks and procedures and exercising autonomy and judgement subject to overall direction or guidance.
  • Use understanding of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems. Interpret relevant information and ideas. Be aware of the types of information that are relevant to the area of study or work.

  • Complete well-defined, generally routine tasks and address straightforward problems. Select and use relevant skills and procedures. Identify, gather and use relevant information to inform actions. Identify how effective actions have been.

  • Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance as needed.


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Gold Level Assessor or higher

  • Assessors must at a minimum record assessment judgements as entries in the on-line mark book on the certification site.

  • Routine evidence of work used for judging assessment outcomes in the candidates' records of their day to day work will be available from their e-portfolios and on-line work. Assessors should ensure that relevant web pages are available to their Account Manager on request by supply of the URL.

  • When the candidate provides evidence of matching all the criteria to the specification subject to the guidance below, the assessor can request the award using the link on the certification site. The Account Manager will request a random sample of evidence from candidates' work that verifies the assessor's judgement.

  • When the Account Manager is satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to safely make an award, the candidate's success will be confirmed and the unit certificate will be printable from the web site.

  • This unit should take an average level 2 learner 40 hours of work to complete.

Assessment Method

Assessors can  score each of the criteria L, S, H. N indicates no evidence and is the default starting position. L indicates some capability but secure capability has not yet been achieved and some help is still required. S indicates that the candidate can match the criterion to its required specification. H indicates performance that goes beyond the expected in at least some aspects. Candidates are required to achieve at least S on all the criteria to achieve the unit.

Expansion of the assessment criteria

1. The candidate will select and use a variety of sources of information to meet needs.

1.1 I can select and use appropriate sources of IT-based and other forms of information which match requirements.

The candidate should be able to use appropriate sources of information to support their work. This could be researching an area of learning or information to support an opinion or argument. carry out simple searches for information using links and references to guide direction.
Evidence: Project or assignment outcomes linked to appropriate references.  Assessor observations.  
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be able to identify useful information for routine activities in a familiar context. They will need support in cross-referencing sources and strengthening the reliability of their evidence through more than one source but they should always make references to sources routinely. They should recognise that simply copying large chunks of information and passing it off as if it was their own work is unacceptable and that they need to use information found with care.  At this level their work should be self-sufficient, with minimal guidance.

1.2 I can describe different features of information

The candidate should be able to describe text, graphics, sound and video as types of information including their basic characteristics.

Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and documentation. Assessor observation. 
Additional information and guidance
In terms of communication, significant technical features include the format of information and its compatibility with available systems. This is a good time to introduce the importance of open systems and open standards. If everything conformed to open standards, communication of digital information would be a lot easier - the Web works because its structure and the information formats and protocols are openly documented and free to use by all. Users should be critical of proprietary formats for information that effectively force them to buy specific software products to access them. This is viral because if they use them and want to pass on the information or a modified version, they are then forcing other people to buy those products. Candidates need to evidence an awareness that information compatibility is an issue and that the better it is understood the more freedom users will enjoy. 

1.3 I can recognise copyright constraints on the use of information

Candidates should identify license conditions before using any source of information.
Evidence: Candidates' projects attributing copyright and not infringing copyright. Assessor observations. 
Additional information and guidance
The candidate should be familiar with Public Domain, Creative Commons and similar liberal licensing and restrictive licenses as three broad categories. PDL means anyone can use the work for any purpose. Creative Commons and open source licenses mean work can be shared subject to some conditions. restrictive licenses usually require a license fee payment to use the work. Licensing can be very complicated, but Level 2 candidates should have a basic understanding and be able to describe the impact on their work and actions.

2. The candidate will access, search for, select and use Internet-based information and evaluate its fitness for purpose

2.1 I can access, navigate and search Internet sources of information purposefully and effectively.

Candidates should demonstrate that they can access information on the Internet using any suitable device.
Evidence: candidates' project content appropriately referenced.
Additional information and guidance
It would be a good idea for candidates to use more than one search engine and to explore clustering searches to compare results. Candidates should be confident to explore links and use their browser forward and back buttons and facilities such as book marks or browser history to aid navigation.

2.2 I can use appropriate search techniques to locate relevant information

Candidates should use appropriate words to focus their search and use clues from searches to change the search terms and combination of search terms used.
Evidence: Candidates observed success in finding useful information.
Additional information and guidance
Advanced search facilities are less important at this level than choosing good key words and combinations of key words. For factual information about a city, for example, key words Wikipedia London is a good starting point. With non-controversial facts Wikipedia is a reliable source but even so, if information is critical other sources should be found that can verify the information found. Candidates should show the capacity to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information in straightforward cases. 
2.3 I can use discrimination to select information that matches requirements and is for for purpose
Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they can select appropriate information and explain why it is suitable.
Evidence: Candidates observed success in finding useful information.
Additional information and guidance
Finding information in the Information Age is relatively easy, being able to find the exact information you need and ensure that it is for for the requirement takes a bit more skill.   Candidates need to show an awareness of the quality of the information they find and its provenance so that they only use quality information that is verified to some extent.

2.4 I can evaluate information to make sure it matches requirements and is fit for purpose

Candidates should make it clear that they can say why the information found is suitable for their purpose.
Evidence: Candidates' documented projects, explanations given by candidates to assessors.
Additional information and guidance
The main purpose is to be sure that candidates can link the information they find to the purpose they need it to satisfy. It is perfectly legitimate for the purpose to be adding interest to a presentation, supporting an explanation or adding factual evidence to support an opinion or debate. Assessors should require candidates to record several examples in different contexts to show they have mastered the concept of linking information to need, as well as evaluating its quality.

3. The candidate will select and use IT to communicate and exchange information safely, responsibly and effectively.

3.1 I can create, access, read and respond appropriately to e-mail and other IT-based communication, including attachments, and adapt style to suit purpose.

Candidates should demonstrate practical proficiency in electronic messaging.
Evidence: Candidate messages, sent and received.
Additional information and guidance
If possible provide experience in different contexts and highlight potential dangers such as viruses propagated by address books.   Some reflective evidence, such as an e-portfolio or blog, can be used for learners to evidence their full understanding of the impact of their best practise with e-mail communications.  This can be combined with information from Unit 13.

3.2 I can use IT tools to manage an address book and schedule activities

Candidates should demonstrate competence in managing a simple address book and to do list. 
Evidence: Candidate address book and to-do list.
Additional information and guidance
An address book is a simple flat file database and at the simplest level creating a database for names and addresses along with a prioritised to-do list will satisfy this criterion. Web based integrated systems such as Google+ provide all the necessary tools in one place. At the desktop Apache OpenOffice and Microsoft Office are typical examples. Most Smartphones have a contacts database and systems for scheduling activities. If possible access to more than one system is best in order to make comparisons.
3.3 I can manage storage of IT-based communications
Candidates should demonstrate competence in managing a range of communication systems. 
Evidence: Candidate address book and to-do list.
Additional information and guidance
Criterion 3.2 looks at using an address system, calendar and to-do list, this criterion looks at more detailed management such as removing unwanted elements or archiving.  Evidence of the systems or policies they use to manage their communication systems will suffice to show they can meet this criterion.
3.4 I can describe how to respond to common IT-based communication problems
Candidates should demonstrate awareness of some of the more common problems associated with IT-based communications.
Evidence: Candidate work and reflections, assessor feedback.
Additional information and guidance
Using IT-based communications on a regular basis, candidates should have come across a range of issues and should have some way of dealing with these issues and resolving them or knowing where to go to find the answers.  They should know how to manage SPAM or attachment problems.  They should also be able to deal with potential threats such as viruses or malware and know about bad content elements.
3.5 I can respond appropriately to common IT-based communication problems
Candidates should demonstrate awareness of some of the more common problems associated with IT-based communications and some methods to address them. 
Evidence: Candidate work and reflections, assessor feedback.
Additional information and guidance
This criterion is an extension of 3.4.  Candidates might produce a short-guide as an extension of the school's AUP and show some of the responses to various IT-based communication problems..


The assessor should keep a record of assessment judgements made for each candidate and make notes of any significant issues for any candidate. They must be prepared to enter into dialogue with their Account Manager and provide their assessment records to the Account Manager through the on-line mark book. They should be prepared to provide evidence as a basis for their judgements through reference to candidate e-portfolios. Before authorising certification, the Account Manager must be satisfied that the assessors judgements are sound.