Ask yourself this: If you were to recreate the technical conditions to make the issue happen, how would you do this? What are the main technology components that you require?

See the Google Image Search for an example of Criterion B.
Useful resources are howstuffworks and wikipedia (as a starting point - the references may take you to more specific technical sites).

Some Tips

3 marks is a full description of the IT. For 4 marks the explanation must be about how the major parts of the IT system linked to the issue in the news item work. This may be mixed with the description.
Sometimes students can move away and present minor IT background or IT that is not a major factor of the IT system in the news item.
The better explanations often use or cite a number of sources.

  1. Have you described the major parts of the IT system? I suggest that you use a paragraph for each of the major parts.
  2. Have you clearly linked the major parts of the IT system to the issue. Link your paragraphs.
  3. Have you explicitly analyzed (in your own words) the main link/s between the IT system and the issue. THIS SHOULD BE A FINAL PARAGRAPH.
  4. Have you cited a number of sources?

Analyse means explicitly ‘bring out the essential elements, the structure and or any underlying assumptions and interrelationships’ (Pg 54) between the IT system and the issue.

Level 1

  • The student has only stated the IT background. This type of response will be characterized by lists with no further development.

Level 2–3

  • For 2 marks the response will be largely a list, but with limited development. This may mean that only some of the major components are described or the description of the major components is superficial. For 3 marks the description will be full for all of the major components, but there may be omissions of some of the minor components. At this level students should also be using appropriate IT terminology.
  • These marks should be seen as a continuum. The student will have described the IT background, but the determinant of the mark will be the breadth or depth of the description. The appropriate annotation explaining why the work has been awarded 2 or 3 marks is paramount especially if it is requested for the team leader’s or principal examiner’s sample.

Level 4

  • The student will have explained the operation of the major components of the IT system.
  • However, it would not need to be exhaustive and the key determinant of the student reaching this level will be their explanation of the concepts linked to the issue in the news item.

Level 5

  • The student will have demonstrated evidence of the analysis of the IT background in the context of the issue.
  • This again need not be exhaustive, but should be achievable by a student bearing in mind their age and the word limit for the individual portfolio item. The key determinant of this level will be that the student has analysed the IT system rather than explained it.