Pseudocode for National 5 Computing Science Question Papers

Official psuedocode for Computing Science outlined by SQA here.

This document contains a specification for a pseudocode language designed for setting such questions , developed collaboratively by Heriot Watt University and the University of Glasgow.

Also see here.

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Information System Design and Development Units N5 Higher Subject Content

Source

Below is a table summarising the content for the Information System Design and Development unit taken from the Computing Science National 5 and Higher course support notes:

Information System Design and Development
Topic National 5 Higher
Structures and links
  • Database structure: flat file, linked tables
  • Field types: text, numbers, date, time, graphics, calculated, link,  Boolean)
  • Field lengths and range
  • Key field
  • Website, page, URL
  • hyperlink (internal, external), navigation.
  • Frames, sequence

 

  • database structures: relational, web-based
  • stylesheets, CSS
  • page structure: head, title, body
  • metadata
  • dynamic web pages, database-driven website
  • interactive web page, multimedia application
  • multi-level navigation

 

User interface User requirements: visual layout, navigation, selection, consistency, interactivity, readability
  • Usability: fit for purpose, efficient, robust, maintainable
  • Accessibility
  • Optimisation

 

Media Types Standard file formats:

  • text: txt, rtf
  • audio: wav, mp3
  • graphics: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
  • video: mpeg, avi
  • spreadsheet: xls, csv, xml
  • pdf

Factors affecting file size and quality, including resolution, colour depth, sampling rate

Need for compression

Compression:

  • lossy and lossless compression techniques, applied to sound, graphic and video data files

 

Coding
  • Scripting languages (including JavaScript)
  • Mark-up languages
  • Client-side scripting
  • Server-side scripting
Testing
  • Links and navigation
  • Matches user interface design
  • Beta testing
  • Usability
  • Compatibility issues (including memory and storage requirements, OS compatibility)
Purpose, features, functionality, users Description of purposeUsers: expert, novice, age range
  • Detailed descriptions of purpose
  • Users:

-human: expert, novice, age-range

-machine: search engines (crawlers and bots)

 

Technical implementation (hardware and software requirements) Hardware:

  • input and output devices
  • processor type and speed (Hz)
  • memory (RAM, ROM)
  • device type (including supercomputer, desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone)

Software considerations:

  • operating systems

 

Hardware

  • input and output devices
  • processor type and speed (Hz)
  • memory (RAM, ROM)
  • device type (including supercomputer, desktop, laptop,
  • tablet, smartphone)

Software considerations:

  • operating systems
  • licensing
  • proprietary versus open source
  • transferability

 

Technical implementation (storage) Storage devices:

  • built-in, external, portable
  • magnetic, optical
  • solid state
  • capacity, speed
  • rewritable, read-only
  • interface type and speed

 

Storage devices:

  • built-in, external, portable
  • magnetic, optical
  • solid state
  • capacity, speed
  • rewritable, read-only
  • interface type and speed
  • distributed and off line storage
  • backup systems and strategy

 

Technical implantation (networking\connectivity)
  • Peer-to-peer versus client/server
  • Media: wired, optical, wireless
  • Comparison of local versus web/cloud
Cloud systems and server provision

  • public, private, hybrid
  • cloud-based services
  • web hosting

 

Security risks
  • Spyware, phishing, keylogger
  • Online fraud, identity theft
  • DOS (Denial of Service) attacks
Security precautions
  • Passwords/encryption
  • Biometrics
  • Security protocols and firewalls
  • Use of security suites

 

  • Encryption
  • Digital certificates and signatures
  • Server-side validation of online form data
  • Biometrics in industry

 

Legal implications
  • Computer Misuse Act
  • Data Protection Act
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (plagiarism)
  • Health and Safety regulations

 

  • Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (2002)
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000)

 

Environmental impact
  • Energy use
  • Disposal of IT equipment
  • Carbon footprint

 

  • Lifetime carbon footprint (manufacture, use, disposal)
  • Environmental benefits
Economic and social impact
  • Economic: competitive advantage, global marketplace, business costs, maintainability, scalability
  • Social: censorship and freedom of speech, privacy and encryption, global citizenship, online communities

 

Software Design and Development Units N5 and Higher Subject Content

Source

Below is a table summarising the content for the Software Design and Development unit taken from the Computing Science National 4 and 5 course support notes:

Software Design and Development
Topic National 5 Higher
Languages and environments Language types:

  • imperative
  • declarative
  • object-oriented
  • domain-specific

 

Computational constructs Exemplification and implementation of the following constructs:

  • expressions to assign values to variables
  • expressions to return values using arithmetic operations (+, -, *, /, ^)
  • use of selection constructs including simple and complex conditional statements and logical operators (AND, OR, NOT)
  • iteration using fixed and conditional loops
  • pre-defined functions

 

Exemplification and implementation of the followingconstructs:

  • sub-programs and user-defined functions
  • parameter passing (value and reference)
  • sequential files (open/create, read, write, close, delete)
  • scope, local and global variables

 

Data types and structures
  • String
  • Numeric (integer and real) variables
  • Boolean variables
  • 1D arrays

 

  • String
  • Numeric (integer and real) variables
  • Boolean variables
  • 1D arrays

 

Testing and documenting solutions
  • Normal, extreme and exceptional test data
  • Syntax, execution and logic errors
  • Readability of code (internal commentary, meaningful  identifiers, indentation)

 

  • constructing a test plan (incorporating normal, extreme and exceptional testing)
  • syntax, execution and logic errors
  • dry runs, trace tables (tools), break points

 

Algorithm specification
  • Input validation
Design notations (for both software development and information system development)
  • pseudocode to exemplify programming constructs
  • other contemporary designnotations
  • structure diagram
  • pseudocode
  • wire-framing
  • other contemporary design notations
Development methodologies (for both software development and information system development) Iterative phases of developmentprocess: analysis, design,implementation, testing, documentation, evaluation,maintenance

Development methodologies

  • rapid application development
  • top-down/step-wise refinement
  • Agile methodologies

 

Low-level operations and computer architecture Translation of high-level program code to binary (machine code): interpreters and compilersUse of binary to represent and store:

  • integers and real numbers
  • characters
  • instructions (machine code)
  • graphics (bit-mapped and vector)

Basic computer architecture: processor, memory, buses, interfaces

 

  • virtual machines
  • emulators
  • mobile devices

Use of binary to represent and store

  • integers and real numbers
  • characters
  • instructions (machine code)
  • graphics (bit-mapped and vector)
  • sound
  • video

Computer architecture: processor(s), memory, cache, buses, interfaces

 

Heading: Impact of technological developments

Planning

Experiences and Outcomes from Technological Developments in Society contexts:

…the relationship between key scientific principles and technological developments…TCH 3-01a

…traditional with contemporary production methods to assess their contribution in the world around me and explain the impact of related technological changes…TCH 4-01a

…current trend of technological advance in Scotland or beyond, I can debate the short- and long-term possibilities of the technological development becoming a reality…TCH 4-01b

…possible future impact of new and emerging technologies on economic prosperity and the environment…TCH 4-01c

…the implications and ethical issues arising from technological developments for individuals and societies…TCH 3-02a

…materials, processes or designs in my local community to consider and discuss their environmental, social and economic impact…TCH 4-02a

Leading onto Computing Science National Outcomes and Assessments:

N4 (SDD O3.3)
Produce a short factual report on a contemporary software-based application by:

  • Describing its impact on the environment or society.

N5 (ISDD O2.4/5)
Consider the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system by:

  • Describing its legal implications
  • Describing its impact on the environment

(i) The Environment: resources

Textbook Sources

Computing and ICT Level 3: Chapter 7 The Green Machine?

Computing and ICT Level 4: Chapter 2 The Computing Technology, the Economy and the Environment?

Computing Science National 5: Chapter 11 The law and the Environment

Website Sources

Government: Environment Agency (UK)

Information: Preventing illegal e-waste export

News: Hazardous waste exporters must pay six figure sum

Video: Tackling illegal e-waste export

Government: Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

Information: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

News: Taiwan plans to build factory from e-waste

Wiki: Green Computing

(ii) The Economy: resources

(iii) Politics: resources

(iv) The Law

Information System Design and Development (N5) Outcomes

Outcome 1
The learner will:
1 Develop information systems, using appropriate development tools by:
1.1 Creating a structure and links
1.2 Creating a user interface
1.3 Writing or editing simple code
1.4 Integrating different media types
1.5 Identifying and rectifying errors

Outcome 2
The learner will:
2 Consider the factors involved in the design and implementation of an information system by describing its:
2.1 Purpose, range and types of users
2.2 Implementation (hardware and software requirements, storage, connectivity)
2.3 Security risks and precautions
2.4 Impact on the environment

Added value
Courses from National 5 to Advanced Higher include assessment of added value. At National 5 the added value will be assessed in the Course Assessment.

Taken from the National 5 Computing Science Course Support Notes