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A Scientist marking your A2 coursework??

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by TheMadScientist, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Hi ICT teachers,
    I'm a Science teacher (currently A Level Biology mostly) who has been offered, bizarrely, ICT moderation work by OCR. The unit is G064/01, and forms part of the coursework. The thing is, though pretty ICT literate, I don't have a formal qualification in the subject, and wondering if I'm qualified to do the job!
    Would anyone like to share stories (good or bad) of experiences with OCR, or of moderation?
    Thanks guys!
    *goes off to re-arange test tubes*

  2. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter


    I don't have a particular problem with a Science teacher moderating my coursework, as long as they were clued up enough to know enough about it to moderate it properly. I don't mean to be patronising, but what do you mean by "pretty ICT literate"?

    G604 is the Y13 A2 project, basically the students will spend half of their Y13 time creating an ICT solution to a problem that they identify. They follow the standard system lifecycle, so they analyse the problem, design a solution, implement a solution, test it, evaluate it and produce user documentation.

    Just one example of a typical project, a lad I was helping today with his coursework is creating a room booking system for the school using Microsoft Access. He's got about 6 or 7 tables in his database, all linked up into a relational system, to store the rooms that can be used, the teacher details, the size of each class, etc. The bit I was helping him with today was for the system to work out what would be the best room to book for the class when someone requests an ICT room - basically an algorithm than would find all of the free rooms, match it to the size of the class then pick the room that was the closest in size available - ie, if the class has 23 in and there's a choice of rooms with 22, 24 or 28 seats, it would pick the one with 24 seats. He's done this using VBA inside Access.

    Now, my question would be, if his VBA code didn't work properly but he said it worked, could you spot that from the code that he would include in his project? IIf you could, you're welcome to moderate any of my coursework. If you couldn't, maybe you shouldn't be accepting the offer.
  3. My students are extremely good at producing work that doesn't work. I have suspected for over a decade that moderators rarely know what they are doing or can spot code that doesn't do what students say it does. Yet strangely, not one of my A Level students have ever been moderated downwards in the last god knows how long. My advice to the O/P is what the hell, go for it. What difference will one more moderator who doesn't know what he's doing make?
  4. I don't know if a biology teacher should mark A2 ICT but in the specific instance given by gavcradd I think its up to the student's teacher who marks the work in the first instance to report if the solution fails to work and then have marked it accordingly. No moderator can be expected to hand trace programs when the teacher marking it at school has had the benefit seeing the system live and using the debugger.
  5. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    Abit naughty gav as you know what kind of rubbish can get through...and it is because moderators do exactly that moderate a teachers mark. It is up to the teacher to report the quality correctly. I remember the good old days of AQA not being able to get top marks because you never ended up with top band.
  6. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    I admit that it's a bit much to expect moderators to had trace
    code through, but my point was to show the sort
    of coursework that is produced - I don't know what level of IT
    capability the OP has, I just wanted to point out that it
    isn't just Powerpoint ad a few basic spreadsheets.

    I still think they need to be able to understand how my example works though, otherwise how
    could they possibly moderate it???
  7. Thanks for your input.
    After dong a bit more research on the courework requirements I've decided not to take the work. The computing element is definately not my area! I've contacted OCR this morning, who couldn't understand why I was offered work in an unrelated subject. Happily, it looks as if they can give me something Science related. But it doesn't say much about the quality of the exam boards surely?
  8. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    Glad you're sorted then - it's a shame that you won't be doing the ICT moderating in a way, as you seem to be very fair from what you've written. With my cynical head on, all I assume will happen now is that your role will be taken by someone else with less IT skills than you who has no qualms about slashing marks because they don't get what's going on. Ho hum.
  9. I hope you have been put off by our helpful comments. However, I'd have to echo someone else's comment: how can anyone review a teacher's marks for e.g. VBA if they haven't got the first clue about it?
    I've been on the receiving end of some very poor moderating experiences by exam boards over the years and there should be a law against employing non-specialists as moderators. One (positive) course of action is for exam boards to attract better, qualified people with decent money - the amount they pay moderators is a disgrace. It's being done on the cheap because they know no one will hold them to account and their procedures for complaints are really quite excpetionally good at splatting any moans.

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