Schools ITQ Level 1 - Unit 18 - IT Software Fundamentals

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This is the ability to use a range of appropriate predefined or commonly used software tools to develop and produce information for tasks and activities that are 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: Editing web pages in an e-portfolio, putting together a simple presentation for a purpose.

Activities supporting the assessment of this award

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

QCF general description for Level 1 qualifications

  • Achievement at QCF level 1 (EQF Level 2) reflects the ability to use relevant knowledge, skills and procedures to complete routine tasks. It includes responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance.
  • Use knowledge of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined, routine tasks. Be aware of information relevant to
    the area of study or work

  • Complete well-defined routine tasks. Use relevant skills and procedures. Select and use relevant information. Identify whether actions have been effective.

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


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Silver 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 1 learner 30 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 software applications to meet needs and solve problems.

1.1 I can identify different software applications and give examples of their use

The candidate should be able to identify the following applications and associate them with uses. Word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation software, web browser, e-mail client, smartphone app, Blog, video player, audio player, drawing program, painting program, 
Evidence: References in portfolios, centre based test, assessor questioning.  
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be able to identify any applications that they are using directly and other common software tools that might help improve their productivity. Assessors should ensure that candidates are aware that internet searches are likely to find free tools for most popular applications. For general productivity there is no shortage of free software with several choices for popular applications such as word processing and spreadsheets. 

1.2 I can select and use appropriate software applications to develop, produce and present different types of information to meet needs and solve problems

The candidate should provide evidence of use of at least 4 different applications. They should be able to routinely start up these applications and begin use for straight forward tasks. 

Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and documentation. Assessor observation. 
Additional information and guidance
In this context it is likely that the use of particular software applications is simple and straightforward and might be restricted to specific aspects. Typical applications will be text editing e.g. for a web page, image editing e.g. to trim to a particular size, simple drawings for diagrams and presentations, use of a web browser for searching and displaying information, presentation software for making a case for a line of action. 

1.3 I can identify what types of information are needed

Candidates should identify text, images, diagrams, audio, video and numerical data a types of information. 
Evidence: Candidates' projects supporting a range of information types, assessor observations, centre devised tests. 
Additional information and guidance
The candidate should be able to identify broad categories of information required for their projects. These will be manifest in their evidence portfolios and assessors can check their knowledge with centre assigned tests or tasks. The important issue is for the assessor to be confident that the candidate can identify the information needed for structured tasks and projects that are straightforward and routine.

2. The candidate will enter, develop and format different types of information to suit its meaning and purpose

2.1 I can enter, organise and format different types of information to meet needs.

Candidates should demonstrate capabilities of organising and formatting information in a range of simple circumstances for specific purposes.
Evidence: candidates' project content
Additional information and guidance
It is most likely that the evidence will come from several different software applications but at a lower level of detail than would be expected for units that are associated with a single software application. 

2.2 I can apply editing techniques to refine information as required

Candidates should edit information to improve and enhance there work.
Evidence: Candidates project content and documentation.
Additional information and guidance
typical examples might be to crop an image to a suitable size, scale it or tidy it up. Noise removal from an audio sample, editing text cut and pasted from a web page and adding a reference. At level 1 structured support will be needed with instructions and and procedures. If the candidate can use initiative to independently edit and improve their work it is an indication that they are operating higher than L1 and could be L2. 

2.3 I can combine information of different forms or from different sources to meet needs

Candidates' work should include information taken legally from other places and/or of different types
Evidence: Candidates' documented projects
Additional information and guidance
Examples include combining text and graphics in a presentation, using clip art  combined with their own drawings, combining tables of data with text and diagrams. There should be a clear purpose to their work. 
3. The candidate will present information in ways that are fit for purpose and audience

3.1 I can work accurately and proof-read, using software facilities where appropriate for the task

Candidates should present work free from obvious technical errors, especially spelling, punctuation and numerical.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should routinely check their work using spell check and peer review. It is very important to get other people to review and check work, responding positively to identified errors and responding appropriately and effectively. 

3.2 I can produce information that is fit for purpose and audience using commonly accepted layouts as appropriate

Candidates should produce information that is accessible and that satisfies their identified needs.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes.
Additional information and guidance
There are two dimensions here. One is the content and the nature of the information. This should be accurate and valid as far as the subject matter is concerned. The second is the presentation of the information. The presentation tools should be appropriate to the audience and layout should contribute to making the information accessible, for example, including a paragraph structure, white space or other layout features.
4. The candidate will make effective use of IT tools and facilities to present information

4.1 I can review and modify work as it progresses to ensure the result is fit for purpose and audience

Candidates should use peer review and regular checks to ensure accuracy and validity of their work in relation to their planned aims.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and documentation.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should routinely check their work using spell check and peer review. It is very important to make brief notes of changes and include these with evidence to demonstrate that review and modification has taken place.

4.2 I can review the effectiveness of the IT tools selected to meet presentation needs

Candidates should identify any strengths and weaknesses in the tools they have access to use.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and associated documentation.
Additional information and guidance
Attributes of tools can include ease of use, cost, ability to accept and produce open content and any other strengths or weaknesses. Increasingly web tools allow sharing of information much more effectively than those tied to desktop. e.g. a PowerPoint file can be sent by e-mail to individuals but a Google on-line presentation can be shared with anyone with a browser. Assessors should encourage candidates to compare different tools and consider why they use them. In keeping with level 1, unfamiliar contexts will need support. 

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.