Content: Information Processes and Technology – Preliminary Course

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8.1     Introduction to Information Skills and Systems

An information system has a purpose in that it addresses the need(s) of a group or an individual. It performs the information processes of collecting, organising, analysing, storing/retrieving, processing, transmitting/receiving and displaying. Information processes involve computer and non-computer activities. For the processes to occur, participants (people), data/information and information technologies (hardware and software) are required. The purpose for an information system defines who it is for and what they need. Information systems give rise to ethical issues for people directly and indirectly involved with them. They have a social impact on the environment in which they operate.


A student:

P1.1     describes the nature of information processes and information technology

P1.2     classifies the functions and operations of information processes and information technology

P2.1     identifies and describes the information processes within an information system

P2.2     recognises and explains the interdependence between each of the information processes

P3.1     identifies and describes social and ethical issues

P4.1     describes the historical developments of information systems and relates these to current and emerging technologies.


Students learn about:

Students learn to:

information systems in context

        diagrammatic representation of an information system in context


        diagrammatically represent a given scenario that involves an information system

        the environment – everything that influences and is influenced by the information system

        the purpose – a statement identifying who the information system is for and what it needs to achieve

        who the information system is for includes individuals and organisations

        the information system – a set of information processes requiring participants, data/information and information technology built to satisfy a purpose

        information processes – computer based and non-computer based activities

        information technology – hardware and software used in information processes

        data – the raw material used by information processes

        information – the output displayed by an information system

        user – a person who views or uses the information output from an information system

        participant – a special class of user who carries out the information processes within  an information system


        explain how an information system impacts on its environment and how it in turn impacts on the information system

        describe the environment and purpose of an information system for a given context

        explain how a given need can be supported by an information system

        describe an information system in terms of its purpose

        for a given scenario, identify the people who are:

       in the environment

       users of the information system

       participants in the information system








information processes

        collecting – the process by which data is entered into or captured by a computer system, including:

       deciding what data is required

       how it is sourced

       how it is encoded for entry into the system

        organising – the process by which data is structured into a form appropriate for the use of other information processes such as the format in which data will be represented

        analysing – the process by which data is interpreted, transforming it into information

        storing and retrieving – the process by which data and information is saved and accessed later

        processing – a procedure that manipulates data and information



        distinguish between, and categorise, the activities within an information system in terms of the seven information processes

        use an existing information system to meet a simple need

        manually step through a given information system identifying the information process

        for a given information system, describe how the following relate to the information processes:



       information technology

        schematically represent the flow of data and information through a given information system, identifying the information processes

        transmitting and receiving – the process that sends and receives data and information within and beyond information systems

        displaying – the process that controls the format of information presented to the participant or user


the nature of data and information

        data – the input to an information system

        data representation – the different types of media, namely:






        information – the output which has been processed by an information system for human understanding

        the generation of information from data via the information processes

        how information from one information system can be data for another information system


reasons for digital data representation

        the need for quality data, including:




        current data digitising trends, for example:

       newspapers on the Internet

       telephone system

       video on DVD


       media retrieval management











        distinguish between data and information in a given context

        categorise data as image, audio, video, text and/or numbers

        identify the data and the information into which it is transformed, for a given scenario






        identify examples of information systems that use information from another information system as data









        explain why information technology uses digital data

        describe advantages and disadvantages for the digital representation of data




social and ethical issues

·        social and ethical issues arising from the processing of information, including:

       privacy of the individual

       security of data and information

       accuracy of data and information

       data quality

       changing nature of work

       appropriate information use

       health and safety

       copyright laws

        the people affected by social and ethical issues, including:

       participants within the information system

       users of the information system

       those in the environment

        the ethical and social responsibility of developers

        current government legislation to protect the individual and organisations

        the use of information systems in fields such as manufacturing as well as the traditional fields of observation and recording

        global information systems:

       where the purpose involves international organisations, or

       where the data and processes are distributed across national boundaries












        describe social and ethical issues that relate to:

       information system users


        ensure that relevant social and ethical issues are addressed

        identify and explain reasons for the expansion of information systems, including:

       advances in technology

       suitability of information technology for repetitive tasks