Information and Communication Technology

Identifying and using appropriate sources of information to match task requirements

Choosing sources of information to match task requirements

The world contains a vast amount of information. A lot of it is held on-line, like this page, but there is still a great deal to be found in non-digital formats. Books, newspapers, photographs, the inside of other peoples' heads, etc.

Finding a relevant source of information does not just mean typing a keyword into a search engine.

This page looks at sources of information and tells you how to match them to the requirements of a specified task.

Theory or practical?

The selection of appropriate sources of information could be tested in both the theory and practical papers of the IGCSE.

But, the requirements for a practical paper will be fairly limited. Candidates may have to justify their choices, but If a question requires that a selection be made, the examination conditions make it essential that all the possible alternatives be made available. These may be either printed in the examination paper, or supplied as data files for each candidate.

i.e. the computers used in the examination are not allowed to have an Internet connection, so everything must be given to the candidates at the start of the examination.

Questions in the theory paper can be more wide ranging, since hypothetical situations can be described and candidates asked what type of information source would be appropriate, and why.

ICT based sources of information

CDs, DVDs, text messages, podcasts, web logs, web-based reference sites

The sources of information listed in the sub-title are those given in the IGCSE LO20.

This not an exhaustive list though and the terms text messages and web based reference sites can cover a wide variety of different sources.

e.g. text messages could include forums, chatrooms, and emails, while web based reference sites could include on-line encyclopaedias, manufacturers' support sites, or web sites such as this one.

Other resources

newspapers, books, images, maps, conversations. All can be sources of information

The sources of information listed in the sub-title are those given in the IGCSE LO20.

This not an exhaustive list though and the items listed may well be available via an ICT system as well. e.g. on-line newspapers, e-books, and image collections. Even conversations could be via a voice over IP (VoIP) system such as Skype.

Is the source of information appropriate?

Does it match the task?

Selecting a source of information is often quite simple, there are a huge number of sources available for nearly any subject.

Deciding if a source of information is appropriate, and being able to explain that decision is a bit more difficult.

Note that appropriate, is not quite the same as fit for purpose

An appropriate source of information must contain information that can be used for the required purpose, but it must also meet other criteria e.g.

There are ways to solve such problems, but other sources that do not have them may be more appropriate.

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