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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus

The focus for this criterion is for the students to investigate and assess issues of performance in relation to cost.  Is spending more money on hardware always the best solution.

Students should investigate and discuss issues about computer power in terms of cost.  What is the best way to get value for money.


Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words USB, Hard drive, SSD, ports, CPU, RAM, mouse, keyboard, stylus, monitor, microphone, PSU, VGA, PCI, power consumption These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  

identify cost as an issue in performance

Evidence here will be student's own work, eportfolios and assessor observations  
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Students will continue to investigate the power and performance of computing hardware in order to compile a dossier of components and corresponding data for their own reference.  The focus here will be on the associated costs involved. At what point is the hardware no longer "good value for money"?  Do you get more, the more you spend?  Are you paying for more than just the hardware?
Learning Objectives
  • understanding hardware cost implications
  • be able to explain the main measures of performance versus cost
  • be able to discuss the difference between power and cost

Students should show that they can evaluate the benefits and cost implications of their hardware choices and be informed consumers of digital technology.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • Investigate hardware costs
  • Further investigation of component's features and functions in relation to cost
  • Students can break into groups and work on a range of hardware devices to investigate their cost vs. power relationship
  • Class discussion and examples of their findings
  • Group or individual work on describing performance and cost

We are constantly told to upgrade and get more power and features.  Most hardware manufactures work on you upgrading regularly.  Is there any real benefit to this.  What is the best way to determine value for money before parting with your cash.

What will you gain in your day to day activities from an expensive upgrade.  Will it make you work better, fastr, harder?

Use some of the student's ideas and examples to flesh out a solid understanding before progressing

Question students about how and why they did what they did.  Check for understanding.


Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. continuing to investigate hardware components and their price over performance
  2. investigate in detail more components to illustrate the way to evaluate the cost and performance
  3. write up of hardware features and functions in terms of their cost and performance
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

Money image How do you measure performance vs cost?  How do you know that you have spent money on computer hardware that you needed to?  What gains have been made?  How can you tell?  The following sites have lots of data that can be used for comparisons and guidance.

Saverstore logo Dabs logo  eBuyer logo

Other sites can be used for basic comparisons, particularly for CPUs.

 is a good place to look for some basic definitions as well and usually has some of the background history.

The benchmark here shows that expensive and powerful new CPUs are not good value for money (they are near the bottom).  What did you find out.  Does this seem true?  Do you notice real gains when you spend lots of money on hardware?

Homework Get students to complete their table of information about key hardware components: price, capacity, OS compatibility, performance, connections etc. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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