Computing: Informatics Units 3 and 4
Informatics focuses on data, information and information systems. It involves gathering, storing, retrieving, using and visualising information to meet a range of needs.
You will learn how organisations gather data using interactive online solutions (such as websites and applications) and consider how users interact with these solutions when conducting online transactions. Additionally, you will examine how organisations fulfil their legal requirements to protect the rights of those who provide data and why organisations want the data organised in particular ways.
You will develop and apply skills using a relational database management system (RDMS) to store and manipulate data that they gather. You will learn how to structure data correctly, create queries to manipulate data and create appropriate reports for the required application.
As part of the course assessments, students will need to complete an extended assessment over Unit 3 and Unit 4 based on data analytics. You will need to draw a conclusion based on a hypothesis within the fields of entertainment, sport, science, medicine, business and education. You will learn how to create and manage a project plan that includes acquiring, manipulating, and interpreting relevant data.
Throughout the course the Problem Solving Methodology (PSM) drives the sequencing of the tasks. PSM is a series of steps that can be taken to solve a problem. The stages include analysing the requirements for a problem, designing a solution to the problem, physically developing a solution for the design and testing and evaluating the solution to establish the extent to which the solution meets the requirements which were initially set out in the early stages of the project with the client.
Who is it for?
This subject is for you if you have reasonably good IT skills and have an interest in gathering data and manipulating the data into useful information to draw a conclusion. To successfully complete this subject you need to be self-motivated and be able to complete research independently.
There is no prerequisite for this course, however prior knowledge and skills with relational databases will be beneficial but not essential. The course teaches basic database skills for students who have never worked in this area, but learning databases for the first time will be challenging so you will have to be highly motivated to able to work independently. You will need sound math and logic abilities.
What do you do?
You will learn how to gather information from different sources and arrange the data correctly in a relational database which, in turn, will make it easy to manipulate and produce meaningful output.
You will use a variety of drawing and graphics software to create online solutions including user flow diagrams.
You will complete a range of exercises to develop the skills and knowledge to learn how to store, retrieve and manipulate data using relational databases.
You will learn how to prepare a project plan for the execution of the problem solving methodology.
You will use software tools to manipulate data to create a multimodal online solution.
What skills do you need?
There are no criteria to enrol in this subject, but you should have good math skills, you should be good at logic and you must be self-motivated and resourceful.
What skills do you develop?
This subject will develop your logic skills, it will demonstrate the complexity of systems and what roles people play in the system. This course will enhance your math skills, it will give you a better understanding of a holistic approach to problem solving and it will help you to become an independent learner.
The following textbook is required:
Informatics: VCE Units 3 & 4, fourth edition, Nelson Cengage Learning ISBN: 978-0170364829
Things to think about
This subject will give you a basic understand on how organisations gather, store, manipulate, and use data in different ways. The end of year exam does not have a database programming task, but it does test your knowledge of the concepts and theory used with databases. The exam focuses on the theory behind gathering, storing and manipulating data to produce useful output. Your database programming ability will be assessed in Outcome 1 in Unit 3. There are two additional assessments in Unit 3 and Unit 4 which do not involve database manipulation.
The School Assessed Task (SAT) is approximately 15 week project which starts in the middle of Unit 3 and continues through to the middle of Unit 4. There are four assessments for the SAT in Unit 3 and another four assessments for the SAT in Unit 4. It is essential that you keep to the submission deadlines for each of the eight submissions over this project. VCAA has set assessment reporting dates for these tasks that are close to the student submission dates. Late submissions are assessed as S or N but no score is recorded. A non-scored task will affect your subject score so it is important that you adhere to the submission deadlines throughout both Units.
Things you can do now
If you want to get a head start, download and Install Libre Office. When you have installed it, create a database using Libre Base, the database application within Libre Office. To learn the basics go to YouTube and search for tutorials on the items listed below.
Focus on the following:
- learn about tables
- learn about queries
- learn about creating reports in a database
- learn a couple of cloud applications such as Prezi, to display data in an informative way.
Read information on how to prepare and produce multimodal online solutions using different software tools.
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.