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BTEC Verification

Discussion in 'Science' started by Evertonian, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    I just had an email suggested 20% of BTEC will have to externally assessed from 2012 - though it's not totally clear and I can't find anything on the EdExcel website. Anyone else come across this? Whilst I actually 100% internal verification is a bad idea this is very annoying - how many changes do we have to keep having. You wouldn't mind but common sense would surely have had this happen from Day 1. This is the link http://www.bigvocationaldebate.com/?icid=K163-57420924-163I

    Goodness knows what this means now - will it be like a controlled assessment or just sending things off - another heap of paperwork. Sheesh - I mean who would ever have come up with the idea of us teaching them then an exam board assessing them?
  2. Evertonian

    Evertonian New commenter

    Oh it also suggests changing them too but not specific in if the recent lot will change much - joy!
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I read it somewhere too (probably the tree lined version of TES). This could alter the viability of BTEC for many of the children we enter.
  4. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    But surely the only difference should be staff workload in preparing the samples. Your comment almost suggests some schools put marks through for students that aren't up to scratch - and I can't imagine schools doing that to meet their A-C targets!

    BTEC is a good qualification with potential but is ruined by schools often shoving the wrong kind of students through, and turning it into a massive copyathon rather than an opportunity to teach the same science from a different angle.

    I can imagine I'd be rather annoyed if I was a C-grade GCSE student knowing that many others in my year group got an equivalent qualification just for copying out of some books. That is what needs clamping down on - they should start identifying schools that do this but of course to do this they would need to see a bigger sample (hopefully randomly selected too) .....
  5. fiendishlyclever

    fiendishlyclever Occasional commenter

    Arrgghh TES fix your cruddy forum software so that Google Chrome users don't lose all their paragraphs when they post!
  6. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I made my comment having interpreted words external assessment as an exam. We already have external moderation.
  7. Hi all
    There is an article in this week's TES reporting that external assessment is set to be introduced for the first time to BTECs. Edexcel is considering making at least a fifth of the marks for its hugely popular qualifications dependent on either exams or other types of external assessment from next year.
    Read the full article - Edexcel moves to keep BTECs in league tables
  8. headflower

    headflower New commenter

    I think they should mark it all! Not just 20%. I'd happily prepare little parcels to post off to them....
    What<u> would </u>be helpful: samples of Pass, Merit & Distinction work provided by EdExcel.
    Proper, complete criteria; our department is currently 'expanding' the criteria, but it's a case of 'the blind leading the blind.' We are making huge assumptions about the depth needed to obtain each grade.
    How can all the work across all schools be consistent if we're all just guessing?

  9. Hi all,
    I agree with simiisme's frustration at the criteria wording. I guess the idea of leaving it "open to interpretation" is to give teachers more freedom in how they get students to meet the criteria, but it's always difficult. I've been teaching BTEC Applied Science for quite a few years now (levels 2 and 3) and still have sleepless nights until I get word back from the external verifier that our interpretation has been OK. Samples of work would be great too, but the specification changes so often it's probably hard to pin down decent examples and distribute them in time.
    Overall in this debate I'm very much in favour of more external assessment. I believe it would promote much deeper learning. At the moment students can complete some of the early criteria then move on to the next without retaining anything of what they have "learned". As soon as they get a tick in a box they happily switch to the next topic. I'm really concerned that this doesn't prepare them very well for the next level of education or the world of work. I've seen a few cohorts go through now to university with good level 3 BTECs but then struggling with undergraduate work. I know it's supposed to be "equivalent" but that move back to academic study is often too much for them.
  10. Edexcelscienceteam

    Edexcelscienceteam New commenter

    We are currently piloting approaches to externally
    assessing BTECs that are appropriate to the subject and the ethos of
    BTEC. These would form part (e.g. 20%) of an overall assessment regime
    that would still predominantly include assignment-based internal

    External assessments can take many forms, including
    tasks, performances and tests. At this point, we have not completed our
    consultation and piloting and so have not taken a decision on which
    assessment style or styles are best used for each BTEC subject. Our
    priority is ensuring that the assessment method used is credible,
    focuses on the aspects of learning most important to the individual
    subject, and is suitable to the applied learning style of BTECs.
    Edexcel Science


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