Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

Edexcel GCSE Business and Communication System / GCSE Business and Communication System

Magazine article Teaching Business & Economics

Edexcel GCSE Business and Communication System / GCSE Business and Communication System

Article excerpt

Edexcel GCSE Business and Communication Systems, Sue Alpin, Jan Cooper, Fiona Petrucke, Ged O'Hara, Hodder and Stoughton 2001, paperback, 301 pages, 12.99, ISBN 0348-04254.

GCSE Business and Communication Systems, Bill Owens and Lis Rogers (Editorial Consultant), Hodder and Stoughton 2001. paperback, 282 pages, L12.99, ISBN 0-34-802006. Tel: 01235 827720.

Both of these books have been written to address the GCSE Business and Communication Systems specification which has replaced GCSE Information Systems.

The Edexcel text is organised into the four Edexcel modules of Communication systems, Data gathering, recording and presentation systems, Money transfer systems and Constraints and influences on systems. These are then further sub divided into discrete chapters. Each chapter begins with what the student should understand by the end of the unit, taken from the GCSE specification outline.

Owens' structure is less straightforward, having sections on word processing skills in 'Part 1 Computers' and then 47 pages in 'Part 5 Design and Text Processing', followed by 14 pages of keyboard skills but no mention of mail merge which is covered in all of the specifications for this GCSE. Indeed, I find the inclusion of such detail superfluous as most students by this stage will have developed many of the skills outlined in this text. The back cover states that it is based on the success of the best selling book 'GCSE Office Applications'. I wonder about the extent to which it has been adapted for the new specifications.

Both books contain tasks at the end of each chapter and include extension materials. The Edexcel book's tasks come in various different forms. There are some revision questions from past papers, taken from Edexcel's Information Studies 1502 papers. This is a different but related specification. Then there are tasks within each chapter, some of which are intended to take a few minutes, while the more difficult questions would require longer. Owens' text also has a variety of tasks but some of the extension activities are questionable could students really find out about profit sharing schemes by visiting their local supermarket? Littered throughout the Edexcel text are keywords in bold; some tasks require students to look these up in a dictionary. These would have been much better included in an Appendix. …

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