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AQA GCSE Graphics - moderated down by two grades - any advice?

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by keffels, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Disastrous results: coursework moderated down by two whole grades (24 marks).
    An A-low became a C-low etc and two pupils ended up with U
    Not good for the learners (or me in a threshold year)
    Any tips on tackling AQA, SMT and HOF etc?
  2. Just be prepared for failure or for them to lower you further. They will have checked and doubled checked before they did this.
  3. The exact same happened to us with the New Art GCSE Specification. We can ask for a re-moderation at a price - ask your exams officer for advice on your options if you believe the marks to be unfair.
  4. Re-moderation will not lower marks. Having examination papers remarked can.

    Only apply for re-moderation if you are sure, i.e. similar work last year got similar marks.
    Are you sure it was your marking which was adjusted and not the effect of the examination paper?
  5. Hi big b
    I have the component marks report:
    the better coursework grades were moderated down by 23 marks
    and the lower grades by 22 marks.
    The exam marks weren't great but would have probably been enough to see them through.
  6. Hi sideshow
    11% A-C ( target in the 80s ) there doesn't seem a lot to lose.
    I know that moderators aren't supposed to give instant feedback
    but they would realise impact of lowering by two grades.
    Could have suggested moving the the group into foundation tier?

  7. Was it a sample or was it the entire cohort? Have you not had the moderators freedback yet, it should be with the exams officer by now. Far too great a change without further discussion with the exam board.
  8. Hi f1shflap
    I have been tempted to do Graphics in Art rather than in DT. Our faculty system isn't helpful though. Since DT became non compulsory a few years ago in our school there has been a real drop in the number and ability of pupils. I advise pupils who are serious about a career in Graphics that Art is a better choice at GCSE as it is much more like how they will study and work at the next level. I find that those who choose both DT Graphics and Art struggle with the all the coursework at the same time of year, especially with all the other subjects piling on pressure.
  9. Hi lancon
    It was the whole cohort - only 9. Which makes it more embarassing.
    Moderator's report rather woolly and vague.
    I think he struggled with eportfolios
  10. if you think that he is wrong and there is a problem with eportfolios then I would make an appeal, especially if a rise of say half the missing marks would alter the grades appreciably. The board probably won't raise the total amount for fear of losing face.
  11. He must have visited either because the eportfolios were out of tolerance, or to look at the making. Possibly then recommending reducing the marks further. Given the weightings it was most likely the making which resulted in the large adjustment.
    Was the work similar to last year?
    Did you get a visit last year?
    Was the eportfolio easy to follow?

    If you are sure you are right request re-moderation. If you are right the school gets its money back. At least then there are no uncertainties. But your meeting with senior management is going to be uncomfortable if remoderation confirms the adjusted marks.

  12. Batsheep

    Batsheep New commenter

    Talk to your exams officer as he/she should know the costs and how to go about the re-moderation. I think it's around £150 for up to 10 candidates, money back if things change.
  13. Hi keffels,
    I too had my grades dropped - A grade students down to C. Really upset - been teaching course long time - so experienced with marking c/w. Exam marks generally low but could have been easily adjusted for some students to a grade C with their c/w. I am asking myself if I was too generous with marking - but honestly think not - especially for the higher graded students. Feel like packing it up.Will requst remark of some folios and , I think, some exam work - whilst appreciating this may not change much. Not looking forward to SMT follow up. Not sleeping well, feel like leaving.

  14. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    I had the same issue last year but with Edexcel Systems and Control.
    the coursework marks were dropped by about 30% and this resulted in the highest grade being a C and a drop to 35% A*-C
    There is probably very little you can do about it, I had everything re-moderated and the result was, one of the Es went up to a D and one of the Gs went to an F (both of which were no help at all! )
    Just a word of warning though...
    I had the year from hell as a result! to say i was "under scrutiny" is an understatement, the observations (of the "pop in" variety) were relentless, the HT took a very unhealthy interest in EVERYTHING i did in school even at one point suggesting (subtley) that i stop doing all extra curricular stuff like F1 in schools and Rugby coaching to concentrate on my teaching and learning.
    Hopefully you wont have a reactionist type of management and this won't happen to you but i'd make sure all your schemes of work and lesson plans are up to date just in case.
    In case your wondering this years grades were 78% A*-C and the whole thing has stopped (typically someone else is now "flavour of the month")
    My advice.... Take it on the chin and move on, if its a genuine mistake the HT etc should understand (as long as theyre not complete t*55ers like ours) And take steps to make sure its spot on next year.
    Sorry for the grim picture i've painted, hope it all works out. PM me if you want support in a less open manner.
    Best of luck
  15. I didn't teach Graphics to last years lot, but the person who did had exactly the same thing from AQA. All marks brought down by 2 grades. This seems to happen all the time with AQA Graphics to the extent that we have swapped to Edexcell under the new spec.
    It seems to be a Graphics "thing" with AQA. Our marks are always been interefered with. I also teach AQA Textiles. There are never any moderation issues with Textiles, so not sure what is going on with AQA Graphics.
    Having spent a loooong time as a Graphic designer, I do not think Graphics art is the better option. Dt Graphics is much much closer to the industry, eg printing, manufacture, nets etc

  16. hi everyone
    thanks for all your advice and support - it's very easy to feel isolated at times.
    Aren't forums great.
    We have a weak deadline management structure - consequently everything is last minute and a real rush at the end which doesn't help. Food manages it well but the rest of us feel pressurised into allowing the learners to achieve their best possible grades ie give them as much time as possible. Seems so unfair on those pupils that stick to the original deadline. Slippage is a real issue.
    40 hours is the suggested time allowed but I'm sure that most centres spend a lot,lot more which must skew standardisation across the country.
    We only got a laser cutter at the end of last year so most of the c/w was hand produced by 16 year olds which inevitably must look pretty rough next to laser cut projects managed by a technician.
    A valued colleague has suggested to get as many signatures as possible on the c/w sheet - moderators find it easier to 'pick off' a solitary marker - also that the internal verification is an affirming and dept bonding process.
    The grade boundaries always seem higher in Graphics.
    Apparently back in day teachers got paid for marking c/w (?)
    it rankles that that I'm in deep doing the board's work for them.
    I'm also really concerned because I know I will be expected to give more 'input' into the pupils' work to raise their grades this year but this seems totally at odds with the new controlled assignment diktat. So much for ownership.
    Anyway it's my birthday and I'm going to try and enjoy it.

  17. I am not willing to do eportfolios until they are the norm, concerned that i will get fuddy duddy moderator who is bored looking at the comp. Scared of rocking the boat really, just keep my head down
  18. Same here. Moderated down a grade. Bad because eighty percent of kids now have D. I'm planning to appeal. This is the worst set of results I've ever had (fifteen years teaching this course) I've never been moderated down before. I have been a moderator for AQA Graphic Products myself and was a Senior Moderator for three years. I am bound by some agreement I signed not to tell anyone what goes on in standardisation meetings. So I wont.
  19. Whilst everyone is writing such tosh, the facts are that you can appeal and have a second opinion. You do not get charged if the appeal is upheld. At the very least you will get your work looked at by a Senior Moderator/Principal Moderator and get more detailed feedback about what went wrong. They will be required to accept the original moderator's marks if within a six mark tolerance or their's, I am reliably informed.
    If the marks stand then you have to accept that however experienced you are you are not marking to AQA's standard. The e-portfolio should make no difference, moderators are trained on these. Indeed, as you have had to inform AQA that you are entering work in this format you have almost certainly been allocated a more senior moderator. According to the meetings I have attended this is likely to become the norm in the near future anyway.
    There are issues with the 40 hour project and will continue to be with the 45 hour Controlled Assessment Tasks as schools are under pressure to succeed. Most students include far too much padding and do not address the actual assessment criteria. Lasers are a side issue, credit can only be given to student's own unaided work so if the technician has been overly-involved without declaration then this is malpractice (cheating!)
    One of the main issues is "regression". AQA assumes you have the rank order correct. If you bump up the C/D border mark, for example, then the software produces a straight line best-fit regression. Top marked students can be affected the same as the C/D students. Having a cohort so small it is easy to get this wrong. Is the top student really A grade, for example? A couple out of tolerance (seven or more marks) can cause the whole cohort to be regressed. You might have "gotten away with it" in the past if folders were within tolerance. You clearly have had a visit in this case to get an adjustment so something was "wrong".
    You have only a few days left to appeal (20th Sept , I think). Grades do not go down (could not ask students to give their certificates back!) so there is very little to lose if you believe that you have been hard done to. Talk to your exams' officer and get the ball rolling.
    If you have students close to a borderline mark for the written exam I would also appeal. Exams are as subjective as coursework, especiallly in GP. These papers will be re-marked by a senior examiner. My experience has been that these are more likely to rise than go down. In any event, the only thing at risk is the fee, not the grades.
    Have you "standardised" with the other GCSE courses? Not a requirement but a useful excersise. It is one of the reasons I moved the whole department to Product Design. Never had a problem since as any differences are smoothed out within the department.

  20. Thanks DTwizard
    Would regression still exist on a remoderation or would the c/w be marked for what it deserves?
    Internal standardising would be ideal but we have too much deadline slippage to allow this - I will have to push for that this year (steps foward) - it wont be popular with some.

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