Burnside High School Burnside High School

NCEA Level 3 Advanced Practical Computing Skills

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr J. Creighton.

Recommended Prior Learning

No prior learning required

This course also offers an Achievement Standards pathway for students who wish to use this as a University Entrance option.

This course will provide an opportunity for students who wish to enhance their understanding of digital literacy and computing software packages as a bridge to further secondary or tertiary study. Students will obtain basic computer competency for job skills, and recognised accreditation.

Students can take either a University Entrance or a Unit Standards pathway, or a combination of both. 

Most students will take between 16-24 Credits.

The course offers a range of Unit Standards or Achievement Standards across:

  • Data Entry and Typing Skills
    •  (Students will learn to enter information efficiently)

  • Word Processing:
    • You will learn about the features that enable you to create complex and professional documents with a consistent look and feel. You will control how text flows, and use section, page, and column breaks in your documents. You will also learn how to implement time-saving features such as document templates and automated mailings. This advanced course is designed to help users secure information. This course also covers techniques for creating complex documents, such as forms or documents that require reference pages. 
      • Using the various parts of the Microsoft Word interface
      • Getting help in Microsoft Word
      • Creating, opening, and saving a basic document
      • Applying formatting to text
      • Controlling text flow using the tools on the Home tab, Layout tab, and Page Setup dialog
      • Customizing document format using styles and themes
      • Using templates
      • Inserting and modifying tables, charts, text boxes, shapes, images, videos, and SmartArt
      • Proofing a document for errors
      • Customizing the Microsoft Word environment
      • Performing a mail merge
      • Using macros

  • Desktop Publishing:
    • This course is intended to help all novice computer users get up to speed with Publisher quickly. We will cover different features of the interface, show users how to create a publication, cover some basic publication tasks, discuss how to manage graphics in Publisher, and show how to prepare a publication for printing and electronic sharing. 
      • Perform basic tasks in the Microsoft Publisher interface
      • Add content to a publication
      • Format text and paragraphs in a publication
      • Manage text in a publication
      • Work with graphics in a publication
      • Prepare a publication for printing and sharing

  • Spreadsheets:   
    • This is intended to help all users become familiar with the more advanced selection of features of Excel. We will cover how to create and use advanced formulas, analyze data, organize worksheet data with tables, visualize data with charts, work with graphical objects, and enhance workbooks.
      • Creating Advanced Formulas
      • Analyzing Data with Logical and Lookup Functions
      • Organising Worksheet Data with Tables
      • Visualising Data with Basic Charts
      • Analysing Data with PivotTables, Slicers, and PivotCharts
      • Working with Graphical Objects
      • Enhancing Workbooks

  • Computer Management Competencies
    • We will begin by covering basics, such as the best way to save files for later use and tips for searching for and retrieving the files you want. We will learn how to organize larger projects by arranging groups of files and folders and making the best use of libraries and archives. We will also look at different storage options open to Windows users, from removable storage devices to network storage and cloud storage on OneDrive and Google Docs.
  • Effective Digital Communication in the Workplace Presentation Skills

The course also offers a range of Achievement Standards across:

  • Creating a Digital Information based outcome
  • Design and iteration
  • Critical reflection

Course Overview

Term 1
Getting Started with Microsoft Publisher
Topic A: Explore the Interface
Topic B: Customize the Publisher Interface
Topic C: Create a Publication

Adding Content to a Publication
Topic A: Add Text to a Publication
Topic B: Organize Text Boxes and Picture Placeholders in a Layout
Topic C: Control the Display of Content in Text Boxes
Topic D: Use Building Blocks

Formatting Text in a Publication
Topic A: Format Text and Paragraphs
Topic B: Apply Paragraph Styles
Topic C: Apply Schemes

Editing Text in a Publication
Topic A: Edit Text in a Publication
Topic B: Present Content in Tables
Topic C: Insert Symbols and Special Characters

Adding and Formatting Graphics in a Publication
Topic A: Add Graphical Objects to a Publication
Topic B: Manipulate the Appearance of Pictures

Preparing a Publication for Printing and Sharing
Topic A: Save a Publication
Topic B: Run the Design Checker
Topic C: Preview and Print a Publication
Topic D: Share a Publication

Term 2
Creating Advanced Formulas
Topic A: Apply Range
Topic B: Use Specialized Functions

Analyzing Data with Logical and Lookup Functions
Topic A: Use Text Functions
Topic B: Use Logical Functions
Topic C: Use Lookup Functions
Topic D: Use Date Functions
Topic E: Use Financial Functions

Organizing Worksheet Data with Tables
Topic A: Create and Format Tables
Topic B: Modifying Tables
Topic C: Table References

Visualizing Data with Basic Charts
Topic A: Create Charts
Topic B: Modify and Format Charts
Topic C: Create a Trendline
Topic D: Create Advanced Charts

Analyzing Data with PivotTables, Slicers, and PivotCharts
Topic A: Create a PivotTable
Topic B: Filter Data Using Slicers
Topic C: Analyze Data with PivotCharts

Working with Graphical Objects
Topic A: Insert and Modify Graphic Objects
Topic B: Layer and Group Graphic Objects
Topic C: Incorporate SmartArt

Enhancing Workbooks
Topic A: Customize Workbooks
Topic B: Manage Themes
Topic C: Protect Files
Topic D: Preparing a Workbook for Multiple Audiences

Term 3
Collaborating on Documents
Topic A: Modify User Information
Topic B: Share a Document
Topic C: Work with Comments
Topic D: Compare Document Changes
Topic E: Review a Document
Topic F: Merge Document Changes

Adding Reference Marks and Notes
Topic A: Add Captions
Topic B: Add Cross-References
Topic C: Add Bookmarks
Topic D: Add Hyperlinks
Topic E: Insert Footnotes and Endnotes
Topic F: Add Citations
Topic G: Insert a Bibliography

Simplifying and Managing Long Documents
Topic A: Insert Blank and Cover Pages
Topic B: Insert an Index
Topic C: Insert a Table of Contents
Topic D: Insert an Ancillary Table
Topic E: Manage Outlines
Topic F: Create a Master Document

Securing a Document
Topic A: Suppress Information
Topic B: Set Editing Restrictions
Topic C: Add a Digital Signature to a Document
Topic D: Restrict Document Access

Topic A: Create Forms
Topic B: Manipulate Forms
Topic C: Form Data Conversion

Term 4
This term will offer students a chance to extend in an area they choose, or to learn a different software package. Alternatively student may use this term to reassess against assessment where they have not yet reached Achieved

Learning Areas:


Career Pathways

Office Administrator, Information Technology Helpdesk/Support Technician, Data Entry Operator/Transcriptionist, Data Analyst

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

$10 consumables charge. A $5 printing credit is recommended.