Evaluation of OCR Nationals A06 Databases

Over the last term I have been teaching a series of lesson bassed on the ICT OCR Nationals syllabus. The syllabus is broken down into 6 modules and the pupils have to complete each module at pass level in order to get what is equivalent to half a GCSE.

I have been specifically teaching them the AO6 Databases module over the last 7 weeks.

Please see my medium term plan here >> http://bit.ly/lewvPv

The challenge with this unit was to make it interesting and engaging for the pupils. Databases can be a bland topic to teach as it is quite a formal and rigid skill that does not allow for much creativity. The easiest way I found to make it interesting was to try and choose a topic that allowed them to engage with the program. As a department we came up with an idea for the pupils to create a music festival and to allow the pupils to choose the types of bands that they would like to perform. This allowed the pupils to create the tables in the database with information that was relevant to them.

Each skill needed to be chunked into small tasks as at times the pupils got lost when doing the long processes of creating queries and reports. It was also important to explain why they would do certain tasks in the program so that they could see the benefit of using an automated program like this.

I found the use of the powerpoint template was helpful to scaffold the pupils work and give them direction however after a while the pupils lost interest and became obviously quite bored with the process of combing in again and again and gathering screen shots for each skill they have shown and annotating it. In the future i will try and find more activities that allow them to do the work quicker and more independently. To give time  allow for more creative teaching.

After we had finished this i was able to collect the work through the automated Joint assessment system program and I am currently in the process of marking it to give pupils feed back.

>> powerpoint template = http://bit.ly/iwZw8P

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