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PATHWAYS

2019

 
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VCE Computing

Computing Unit 3: Software Development

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

Students focus on the application of a problem-solving methodology and underlying skills to create purpose-designed solutions using the Python programming language. In Unit 3 students develop a detailed understanding of the analysis, design and development stages of the problem-solving methodology and use a programming language to create working software modules. In Unit 4 students focus on how the information needs of individuals and organisations are met through the creation of software solutions used in a networked environment. They continue to study the programming language used in Unit 3.

​​A major feature of the course is a school-assessed task, in addition to one piece of school-assessed coursework in each unit — the project is divided into two parts:

Unit 3: In the first of the project, students analyse and document a need or opportunity for software solutions, generate alternative design ideas, represent the preferred solution design and formulate a project plan for creating the solution.

Unit 4: In the second part of the project, students apply the stages of the problem-solving methodology to create the solution designed in Unit 3, using the programming language studied in Unit 3, and assess the effectiveness of the project plan in monitoring progress.​​

Areas of Study

Programming Practice

Students focus on the design and development stages of the problem-solving methodology and computational thinking skills. They examine the features and purposes of different design tools so they can accurately interpret the requirements for working software modules. They interpret given designs and create working modules using a programming language, undertaking the problem-solving activities of coding, testing and documenting (development stage). The working modules do not have to be complete solutions and can focus on limited features of the programming language, however, students are expected to fully develop the working modules in accordance with the given designs. Each module should allow the testing of the program logic in readiness for creating a complete solution in Unit 4. Testing techniques are applied to ensure modules operate as intended and students learn to write internal documentation in the code that they develop.

Analysis and Design

This is the first part of a project, the second part is undertaken for outcome 1 in Unit 4. Students construct the framework for the creation of a software solution that meets a need or opportunity determined by the students. The analysis is stated in terms of solution requirements, constraints and scope (analysis stage of problem-solving methodology) and presented as a software requirements specification. 

There are two steps to designing. Initially, through the application of design and systems thinking skills, students generate two or three different design ideas for creating their solution. These are briefly stated and could include annotations to indicate key functions and layouts. The next step involves developing and applying evaluation criteria to select the preferred design idea. This is then fully detailed, addressing both the functionality and user interface of the solution. The evaluation criteria will be used in Unit 4 to evaluate the quality of this solution.

Students prepare a project plan, taking into account all stages of the problem-solving methodology covered in this outcome and in Unit 4, Outcome 1. Students do not have to use dedicated project-management software and students determine the milestones of their project for use in Unit 4.

Software Tools

Analysis and Design:

  • Software to develop Unified Modelling Language use cases designs.
  • Programming Practice: Objective PHP or Python Programming Language.

Assessment

Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)

Interpret designs and apply a range of functions and techniques using a programming language to develop working modules.

In response to teacher-provided designs, create working modules to meet specific needs. 100

SAT - Analyse and document a need or opportunity, generate alternative design ideas, represent the preferred solution design and formulate a project plan for creating the solution to be completed in Unit 4 Outcome 1.

An analysis that defines the requirements, constraints and scope of a solution in the form of a software requirements specification. 100
A folio of two to three alternative design ideas and the detailed design specifications of the preferred design.
A project plan (Gantt chart) indicating times, resources and tasks.

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed coursework   10
  Unit 3 Task (Part 1) School-assessed task   15
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed coursework   10
  Unit 4 Task (Part 2) School-assessed task   15
3 Written Examination November 2 hours 50

 

Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au