Key skill assessment unit: Information technology
Key skill assessment unit: Information technology

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Key skill assessment unit: Information technology

8 Part B: Evidencing your IT skills

This Part requires you to present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate that you have used and integrated your IT skills within your study or work activities to achieve the standard required. For example, you might include learning about new software for a particular task, using databases and other resources more effectively in searching for information, setting up and using different ways of communicating and sharing information, setting up and using computer-based models to predict, explain or design.

The work you select for your portfolio must meet the assessment criteria in Table 1 below and show that you can:

  • use IT methods and techniques to aid searching, evaluating and selecting information;

  • explore alternative lines of enquiry where appropriate;

  • develop and exchange relevant information and derive new information for the purpose required;

  • develop the structure for presenting your work and integrate different types of information;

  • present information effectively, using a format and style to suit your purpose, subject and audience and ensure it is accurate and makes sense.

Your portfolio might contain one or more items based on your assignments, or from a project report or other work that includes activities where you have taken responsibility for developing your information technology skills to meet your purposes.

In choosing work for your portfolio, it is your responsibility to be selective and concise. Each item you include must be annotated clearly to show how it is relevant to the assessment criteria in Table 1. You may find that you do not need to include all your assignments, notes or a complete project report. Including material that is not relevant, or which is not closely related to the assessment criteria, will not strengthen the assessment of your skills. Remember that you are not being assessed on technical content but on the relevance of your evidence to the assessment criteria.

Table 1 Criteria for assessment of your information technology skills portfolio and a checklist to help you select the evidence you need

Criteria for assessment: the evidence you present must show you can: Checklist: check that your evidence shows what you have done to:
Develop a strategy for using information technology (IT) skills over an extended period of time.
Establish opportunities for using IT skills and clearly identify the outcomes you hope to achieve. Identify where you can use and improve your information technology skills (e.g. learning about new methods or techniques, seeking and using feedback) within your study or work activities.
Identify your targets and goals, explaining why you have chosen them (e.g. better use of software facilities, improved access to information, effective communication, more efficient design).
Establish the criteria you will use to judge your progress and performance, and in seeking feedback from others.
Identify relevant sources and research the information needed for planning purposes. List reference sources and resources that you might use (e.g. databases, online help, textbooks and manuals, training courses, course materials, other people).
Plan your use of IT skills, making a reasoned selection of methods for achieving the quality of outcomes required. Draw up a plan for achieving your goal(s) that:
• divides the work into stages;
• identifies interim targets;
• gives a time schedule and deadlines for each stage.
Keep notes and/or a log to record changes to your plans, and reasons for them.
Take into account factors that may affect your plans (e.g. access to IT, work patterns, health and safety, social, ethical, and moral issues associated with IT, other commitments).
Select, giving reasons for your choice, the methods you are going to use to achieve your goals and targets (e.g. internet searches, econferencing, CAD/CAM techniques, use of specific software and hardware).
Monitor progress and adapt your strategy, as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required in work involving the use of IT for two different, complex tasks.
Prepare, and use IT to aid efficient searching, evaluation and selection of information, exploring alternative lines of enquiry where appropriate. Summarise the methods and techniques you used to help you achieve your goals (e.g. in creating macros, linking spreadsheets, defining styles, creating database structures, monitoring experimental results, organising econferencing).
Use search strategies effectively (e.g. to assist in finding, organising and comparing information).
Establish and use criteria to evaluate and select information.
Make judgements (using criteria and feedback from others) on the reliability and quality of the information.
Explore different lines of enquiry (e.g. use and evaluate critically different search strategies, or different rules in spreadsheet models to make predictions and test alternative hypotheses).
Keep an accurate record and note your progress towards your goals.
Develop and exchange relevant information, and derive new information, to meet your purpose. Choose appropriate ways of communicating and exchanging information (e.g. using email, online conferencing, shared access to documents, video conferences, web-based systems).
Describe how you are deriving new information (e.g. by making calculations, integrating information from a variety of sources to reach your own conclusions).
Reflect on how well you are meeting your purposes and your targets.
Monitor and critically reflect on your use of IT skills, adapting your strategy as necessary to produce the quality of outcomes required. Establish and use criteria to help you monitor your progress and critically evaluate your results to check that they are meeting your requirements.
Use feedback and self-assessment to check your skills development.
Identify the choices you have made in achieving your targets, and judge how effective they have been (e.g. in their impact on the quality of your work).
Reflect on your progress, and performance, identifying any changes you have made to your plan and the reasons for them.
Evaluate your overall strategy and present the outcomes from your work using at least one presentation, showing integration of text, image and number.
Develop the structure for presenting your work, integrating different types of information and using the views of others, where appropriate, to guide refinements. Identify the requirements for presenting your work.
Integrate different types of information to ensure consistency in the display of text, numbers and images.
Seek and record feedback comments from others, your response to it and the actions you took.
Present information effectively, using a format and style to suit your purpose, subject and audience, and ensure it is accurate and makes sense. Identify the audience(s) for your work and make judgements about how best to present your information.
Give reasons for the style and format you chose. Check accuracy in terms of content and conventions (e.g. spelling, grammar, punctuation, labelling of images, charts, diagrams and graphs, word limit, layout, style of references).
Proofread and amend your work so that it makes sense.
Use criteria to judge the quality of your presentation.
Assess the effectiveness of your strategy, including factors that had an impact on the outcomes, and identify ways of further improving your IT skills. Assess the quality of your information technology work by making connections between criteria, feedback comments and your own judgement of your performance.
Identify those factors that affected the production and presentation of your work (e.g. availability and quality of resources, working environment, level of your expertise).
Assess the effectiveness of your strategy for developing your skills. What worked well and what worked less well?
Relate your goals, targets and criteria to your progress so far and to possibilities for future development.
U073_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus