Using ITGS language: Giving enough detail

Computer processor

Tuesday’s exam revision tips covered common IT mistakes, such as calling flash drives “USBs”, and yesterday’s post covered 5 common Spanish to English mistranslations. Today, here are some examples of how to correctly use ITGS language, and how to use it badly and lose points. Consider the question:

Hope Faulkner is a graphic artist who creates 3D computer generated imagery (CGI) for the television and film industries. She regularly uses advanced 3D graphics software to render special effects and CGI items, and is sometimes required to integrate them with video footage. Because her work will be output on television or fill, Hope is typically required to produce photo-realistic results.

Identify two specifications of her computer that would be necessary for Hope to perform her job. [4 marks]

You might know the computer components which are needed to perform graphic intensive work, but how you describe them is critical. Saying:

  • Hope needs a good processor
  • Hope needs a good screen
  • Hope needs a good hard disk

does not show the level of IT knowledge required of an ITGS student, and there is little or no ITGS language. What does “good” mean? Is there ever a situation where a “bad processor” is OK? What is a bad processor? You need to use the appropriate adjectives to describe each component (instead of “good”), and if you can include the units or example figures, even better.

Computer processor
Is this a “good” processor? (Image: Flickr pasukaru76 CC-BY)

Better answers would be:

  • Hope needs a processor with a high clock speed.
  • Hope needs a large screen (21 inches or more) with a high resolution (perhaps 2560 x 2048 or higher).
  • Hope needs a high capacity hard disk, perhaps up to a Terabyte (TB).

These examples use ITGS language to show I know which components are needed, I know how their performance is measured, and I know how to use IT language correctly. Always think about what you are describing and ask yourself if you  have given enough detail. For example:

  • An Internet connection or a high bandwidth Internet connection?
  • A printer or a photo quality printer?
  • A phone or a smart phone with an integrated camera?

You should also note that ITGS language does not only include technical language described here, but the appropriate use of ITGS terminology to refer to the social and ethical issues too.

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