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Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by sydbarrett, Mar 3, 2011.
The "results" of this review serve their political masters well.
Is that Alison Wolf or Winston Wolf? He also specialised in removing embarrassing corpses.
Doesn't mean to say the Review is wrong!
You know, it's not quite the anti-vocational rant that some would've had us believe...
And it's not all focused on Level 2 work. In fact the majority seems to be based on post-16 options. There are links to pupils doing 80% time on core subjects and following Academic routes pre-16 and 4 GCSE equivalents but this illudes to the fact that re-sit results for Maths and English don't improve the original grades (shock, horror - kids perform at an expected level ~ God forbid anyone picks this up, they might use this as a minimum expected target grade ) and looking to that.
It's not the hammer, but may end up being the nail, for the coffin of OCR that some people expect at first sight.
I think her claim is that statistics show vocational courses to level 2 have little/no value to employers and that therefore when a pupil takes such a course at KS4 but does not continue it to level 3/4 any benefit (to the student's employability) that might eventually have resulted is lost. I think the report also says that Germany etc don't do vocational courses until age 16 and that the UK is the ony country in the developed world without compulsory Maths/home language to age 18.
No, what she was saying was that 80% of the timetable should be set aside for a core curriculum (which would include RE, Cz & PE as they are compulsory) and that a maximum of 20% of the timetable should be used for thier options (which could include vocational courses). I would suspect that most schools adhere to this. The main concern is with schools who are using more than 20% of curriculum time to teach vocational courses at the expense of the core curriculum - eg, get them 4 GCSE's in this, plus one other and we have our 5 A*-C without having to get them through the more "academic" qualifications.
I think this so called expert, Professor Wolf has got just gone off into an unnecessary rant. For instance, she doesn't see the hard work that so many children around the country put into their vocational qualifications such as OCR Nationals. Has she actually been into schools and seen some of the quality evidence of learning that is produced? (yes, some may sneer its only print-screens, but its about the quality of the cropping and the position on the page). Has she seen how engaged they are when shape tweening in Flash? Those kind of skills have value in the workplace.
Maybe she hasn't seen the pride that year 9s have when they reach their 4 GCSE equivalent through the OCR Nationals? That kind of sense of achievement is difficult to achieve through a more laborious route in traditional academic GCSE study. I think she is misguided.Would she want to take that sense of pride away from hundreds of thousands of ICT students around the UK?
She says that schools have a 'perverse incentive' to offer qualifications such as the Nationals. Totally disagree. For instance in my school: my head is not perverse, he is just thinking of the headline figures and the respect from the community when the school is seen in high regard by the community for its academic performance.
I know that some people will use this report to point fingers, and beat up the many schools that are offering valuable skills through valuable and engaging courses.
Tos, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not! I hope you are!
Year 9's completing 4 GCSE's?!
Taking pride in cropping and moving a picture around?!
You've made me laugh, but I fear your post is genuine. Ugh.
OFSTED has said the Nationals are dubious. The Wolf review has said they are not up to standard. Most people I know accept that they, and the GNVQ's before them, are / were a bit of a con trick and designed and used purely to make schools look good (or rather less bad) in league tables.Personally, I don't like what they stand for in terms of the numbers of GCSEs ot the quality needed for a Pass or Merit (Distiction is pretty good though), but I do regularly use the Nationals textbooks and resources found on the exam boards' websites to teach parts of the GCSE ICT and functional skills, and there are a few little gems of units in there. In my view, the real problem withICT is far too many exam boards offering far too many ICT courses, and the result is a speghetti that few can compare or make sense of. What's needed is am academic GCSE in computing (not ICT), a REAL vocational qualification in ICT and then specialised courses e.g. in Networking.
Agree entirely with tosbrown. The qualification should be EXPANDED into primary and even infant schools where children can achieve a sort of sense of pride from achieving a fistful of really relevant qualifications. Just think of the pride they would feel as mums and dads hang up their OCR national certificates next to their 10 metres front crawl and 'I was a good boy at the dentist' certificates
I see both sides of this.The OCR Nationals are good at getting lower level or lower school students to achieve, and therefore may make them more engaged with future learning. But it is no where near the GCSE level of C and above. I would suggest that the distinction criteria is broadly C grade level.
Any Qual that needs evidence for things a 3 year old could do is pretty pointless. "Insert and Delete rows", Send an Email marked as urgent, Colour a Cell, produce 4 business documents, which can contain errors and use templates, produce a powerpoint of 4 slides, (with errors).
I teach it and loose the will to live, so teach above it and then have to backtrack to get pointless evidence. Students describe it as death by printsceen. I often ask myself if I only taught to the spec, what would the students really learn. I fear very little.
As for the Wolf report, we will have to wait for the details to come in.
I have had a look at Edexcels response, and they are laughingly positive, pulling the few quotes that play in their favour.
Stop teaching it so badly and getting away with it.
The Distinction criteria (2010 spec) is worthy of an A grade though probably not A*. It's all about context, and if you're teaching "insert and delete rows" as a skill in the same way you might teach Year 7 then no wonder your pupils are getting nothing out of it.
Rather than change the specification as some are suggesting, OCR need to get their moderators to tighten up, not accept work that is obviously of minimal effort and stop allowing some teachers to play the game.
Example in case - Unit 2 - Web Design:
How many schools teach it properly and show pupils how to submit the form into a backend using some simple PHP? Quite a few I've seen, and quite a few that fake it - that's where we need to fix the OCR!
Ah, a third page. That wasn't aimed at you ricsm73, but do you realise that you don't need to evidence all bits of the course? I've often thought of replacing the evidence documents with headphones and mics for all pupils and they can record the screen and talk through their documents. Great way to find out whether they know what they're doing, examiner can see how they're doing it ....
That's exactly what we do with some of the BTEC assessments, that and blogs and podcasts and interviews and presentations and regular video and functioning web sites etc. There is a large number of allowable forms of evidence and we are encouraged to make use of as many different forms of evidence as possible.
Good points, Perhaps i was a bit critical of all units, when really its just unit 1 that does my head in, to wide and not enough detail, I can see the merits in many of the other units, including the Spreadsheet 1. I think moderation for this unit should be nearly entirely on-screen. When a moderator has asked for additional evidence because a student has not shown how results change due to a change in data, despite the use of complex formulas, data entry forms, use of VB, and selective search lists,in a fully customised format, (A Level quality) You have to worry.
Have tested that principle, works fine for the kids (and maybe that should be my priority), however it takes a bloody long time to mark work rather than on paper, whilst if they make a mistake then they may well have to start from scratch.
Because so many different forms of evidence are acceptable what I normally do if a pupil has made a mistake in a screen recording is get them to correct it in a different form. For example they can write me a letter apologising for the mistake and explaining what they should have done. That then is added to the video evidence to produce a completed piece of evidence for a particular task.
I also find it pretty quick to go through the videos on the screen. Normally there are 5 or 6 specific things I am looking for. The rest of the video is fluff. (watching a status bar move up whilst a piece of software is installed) I fast forward through the fluff, check that whatever is being assessed has been completed correctly and then move on. Also I find that, because the screen recordings are narrated by the pupil, and I can recognise their voices, there is less opportunity for plagiarism or general copy and paste hand ins.