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Educators' Guide for Pedagogy and Assessment

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Unit: 3. Computer system installation

Information Technology

Learning Outcome: 1. I can identify the reasons which require a hardware/software installation/upgrade/replacement

1 I can state reasons which require a computer upgrade.
Reasons for upgrade: e.g. user requirements, compatibility, increase storage capacity, increase processing speed, increase hardware reliability, software requirements.
1 I can describe the implications induced by hardware/software installation/upgrade/replacement.
Implications: user training/re-training; hardware compatibility; software compatibility; decommissioning of hardware; service level agreements on new systems; migration of data.

Learning Outcome: 2. I can identify the risks involved when performing an installation/upgrade/replacement and take the necessary precautions to avoid such risks on both human and electronic component terms.

2 I can identify good health and safety practices on the work place.
Good health and safety practices: no food/drink/smoking near workplace; clear fire exists; fire fighting equipment at hand; no trailing cables; enough space; good ventilation; adequate clothing; organised equipment.
3 I can describe the risks involved when replacing, installing or upgrading hardware components.

  • Electrostatic discharge;

  • Physical damage of equipment;

  • Negative impact on data (data loss and data corruption);

  • Human injury (cuts, bruises, harm to the eye).

2 I can discuss precautions which must be taken to avoid risks when replacing/installing/upgrading hardware components.
Precautions: e.g. anti-static equipment, appropriate use of tools, watch out for excessive force, backups, data-recovery tools, wear protective clothing.

Learning Outcome: ​3. I can install/upgrade/replace internal hardware components and configure the necessary software.

4 I can identify compatible components for a given motherboard.
Components: RAM; CPU; heat sink; hard disk; graphics card; sound card; network card; power supply unit.
5 I can outline the correct working procedures which must be followed during a replacement/installation/upgrade keeping in mind health and safety procedures.
Working procedures:

  • Identify the problem and think of a possible solution;

  • check for compatibility;

  • take data backups;

  • prepare the necessary equipment and data backups;

  • clean up the computer system;

  • install components in the best sequential way;

  • test the computer system;

  • restore data and install the necessary software;

  • set a system restore point. 

6 I can describe applications which can be used to test an installation/upgrade/replacement.
Ways: BIOS; operating system file manager; device manager; third-party diagnostic tools.
7 I can identify hardware problems from the BIOS.
Beep codes identifying hardware problems: e.g. system board error, video adapter error, keyboard adapter error, power supply error, processor error, memory test failure;
Post-test read-outs identify hardware problems: amount of memory; identify drives; date-time setting; processor test.

8 I can identify issues which can cause an installation/upgrade/ replacement to be unsuccessful.
Issues: Loose or wrongly inserted connections; internally broken cables; dead-on-arrival (DOA) components; installing components in the wrong slot.
3 I can explain a plan to pinpoint a system fault.
System fault: e.g. computer not starting, boot up disk not found, computer continuously restarting, no audio output, no video output, network connection.
4 I can justify which hardware components and their specifications need to be installed/upgraded/replaced for a given situation scenario.
Hardware components: e.g. RAM, hard disk, graphics card, sound card, optical drives, PSU, cooling system, battery external storage, motherboard. 
1 I can carry out the necessary preparations required to perform a hardware replacement/installation/upgrade.

  • Obtain and check resources (tools, anti-static equipment, cleaning tools, hardware components, software, access rights);

  • Develop a test plan;

  • Record hardware components' serial numbers;

  • Open up computer case following health and safety procedures;

  • Read the necessary hardware installation guides. 

2 I can install/upgrade/replace hardware components and configure the necessary software.

  • Remove hardware components which are to be replaced;

  • Install new hardware components: e.g. RAM, hard disk, graphics card, sound card, optical drives.

  • Reassemble computer;

  • Install and configure any necessary software;

  • Confirm that the installed hardware is functioning.

Learning Outcome: ​4. I can document an installation/upgrade/replacement and identify the importance of registering products.

9.  I can describe the importance of documenting an installation/upgrade/replacement.
Importance of documentation: record keeping of work done; warranties of any components; completed test plan; reference point for troubleshooting.
10. I can list the advantages of registering products.
Advantages: e.g. hardware updates, software updates, technical assistance, proof of purchase, service level agreement, promotional offers.
5. I can explain the different types of computer maintenance required in a particular scenario.
Sorts of maintenance:
  • Preventative: e.g. ensure that air vents are free from dust, take regular backups, cleaning the system;

  • Corrective: e.g. replace parts when they malfunction, re-attach cables which come loose, re-install software which has become corrupt;

  • Perfective: e.g. increase memory, increase screen size, upgrade to a more powerful software application;

  • Adaptive: e.g. use adaptators to connect older hardware to new systems or vice-versa, install drivers to accommodate new peripherals, convert old files to work with new version of application.

3. I can document the installation/ upgrade/replacement.
Documentation stating:

  • Reason/s for upgrade/installation/replacement due to a fault or user requirement;

  • Suggested installation/upgrades/replacements;

  • Implemented changes;

  • Log of serial numbers;

  • 2 tests for each component installed/upgraded/replaced and their respective results.

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