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Controlled Assessment - Cheating abounds

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by djpb27, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. I am sorry if that has been said elsewhere (I suspect it has in spades), but I'd like to get it off my chest.
    As an NQT I have visited a few schools recently and spoken to colleagues in other schools.
    There are clearly many schools who don't respect the rules of controlled assessment. So they are correcting the language of pupils scripts for speaking/writing; they are correcting pupils pronounciation as well, perhaps with foreign language assistants.
    The simple conclusion I draw is a contradiction between teachers being rated on grades they get and the requirement to honestly and ethically follow a set of rules.
    If you are following the rules however, it is sure riling!
    Would it not be easier to have exams and so remove this contradiction?

     
  2. I don't really understand the point of controlled assessments, honestly. They seem very unfair for the pupils who don't get help from language assistants or who can't afford to pay a tutor. Also, in the end is just their memory that is being assessed isn't it?
     
  3. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    You are right. I follow the rules - I don't get the results. I will not cheat - I'm a professional. In the olden days I always made sure that my students did the writing exam instead of coursework. Until we return to final exams for all students, there will always be cheating. I don't blame all of the teachers for this, the pressure for them to succeed, or not fail, is immense. I know of other teachers who have been told to cheat by their managers in order to improve results.
     
  4. Hear, hear Sam. Is anyone listening to teachers' concerns about CAs? Would anyone reading these messages who is in a position to influence the decision makers please identify themselves and let us know where we are going with Controlled Assessment? A generation of language learners is being badly let down, and in all probability being lost to A level, so the sooner this urgent issue is addressed openly and honestly the better.
     
  5. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Yes it would, and it would also be worth it to see the looks on the faces of the senior management when they got the results.
     
  6. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Not an issue. You can always design a terminal exam to be accessible. Raw amrks to UMS makes many things possible.
     
  7. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    There kind of posts really worry me because I'm not going to cheat and I'm worried that that way my pupils will be at a disadvantage.
     
  8. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I haven't been told to cheat and I don't think the other people in my department are.
     
  9. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Lissadler, I didn't cheat last year and my students got good results, so it is possible. I do think they produced work of a higher quality than in the old system, but it's just meant that I've adapted my teaching and introduced more difficult elements for the top sets to stretch them. I am lucky to teach in a grammar school though, where pupils are between average to top ability - if I still had my low ability pupils from a few years ago I would really struggle to get them to a C grade as I did in the past.
     
  10. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Exactly the point. The conversion is just another way of saying what the pass mark is. These days it seems to me that is moved up and down to suit political whims and has nothing to do with standards of achievement.
     
  11. There is a similar problem with the GCSE English CA because of how some schools are interpreting "should not" in the panning and feedback stages of CA and task setting. I contacted AQA about this and below is their reply:

    Dear XXXXXX Thank you for your e-mail, The phrase "should not" indicates very clearly that an action should not be done. For example, if you told a child they "should not do something" you would not expect them to interpret that as "you can do something." The statement "should not be providing detailed / specific advice on how to improve drafts; give detailed feedback on errors/omissions; provide model answers or writing frames" is open to interpretation on both professional and moral grounds. Please contact JCQ on 020 7638 4132 if you require a more detailed explanation. Alternatively you can visit JCQ's web-site at www.jcq.org or e-mail at info@jcq.org.uk Kind regards, Exam Office

    It is simply not right that some schools are going to be placed under increasing pressure because of other school's "interpretation". I have contacted the JCQ and the DfE about this but teachers need to complain directly to the exam boards, JCQ and DfE if there is to be a change.
     
  12. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    As a deputy head of my acquaintance once put it, "should not is not the same as must not".
    I remember 10 years ago there was an examination question that we knew the candidates would have trouble with. They had to write about a celebration- the reason for it, preparation for it, what they were going to wear, how it went, what they thought about it afterwards, and how much they were looking forward to the next one. That task ticked all the boxes for grammar/tenses, opinions and reasons. We were very pleasantly surprised to see how well the candidates had done, as the they hadn't been prepared for that kind of question. The syllabus suggested that candidates would be tested on "famliar topics", which were listed, and a celebration wasn't among them. The candidates' marks for writing were as good as their ones for the other three skills.
    I think the exam board justified this by saying that the examiners had adjusted the UMS (the very point spsmith45 makes) to reflect the diffculty of the question as far as the candidates who sat the examination were concerned. That question was set at both tiers and the weighting in the mark scheme allowed for the emphasis at foundation to be on content and at higher to be on range and accuracy.
    So, my point is that it's a bit late in the day for examining boards, sorry awarding bodies, to be getting high and mighty about this. I don't care what the standard is as long as we're honest about it.
     
  13. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    It isn't down to political whims, I think. But Ofqual do dictate the
    grades because they insist that they have to be related to KS2 test
    results. So much for criterion referencing. If only the KS2 results were
    reliable! Even if they were, it makes no allowance for the fact that
    teachers get better at teaching syllabuses as time goes by, so you would
    expect some grade inflation.
    It's a complex business!
     
  14. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    As a result of some dissatisfaction with year 11's scheme of work, I decided on a radical overhaul of the year:
    September to November - coursework
    December to March - speaking practice, exams to be completed before Easter
    April and May - listening and reading practice.
    Now as an action plan, it got me through several quality assurance dialogues (or quality assurance interrogations) with the SMT. My colleagues in other subjects were happy that we had taken action to avoid some clashes with art coursework and humanities coursework and all the other coursework that was already 6 months late.
    The benefits were:that the results went up and the SMT was happy. Moving the (then) speaking tests to before Easter was a masterstroke in that it showed that we in MFL had taken into consideration the students' workloads and had tried to spread it away from the May-June exam season.
    The drawbacks were: that teaching suffered in that everything was exam-driven. The young learners did not appreciate what was being done for them.
    Now when I say that results went up, in no way do I mean that attainment increased.
     
  15. vandersar

    vandersar New commenter

    The thing that frustrates me is that if you aren't supposed to comment on individual scripts, what on earth do you do for the 24 hours+ that they are preparing the controlled conditions? Sit there in silence for an hour or role out the same tired nagging about including 3 tenses and opinions before sitting in silence for the next 50 minutes. Bring written and spoken exams back - it'll mean i can actually plan lessons and teach my year 11s the language instead of wasting half of their final year on doing exams they cheat at anyway.
     
  16. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I do not think that the worst thing about CA is the cheating. Coursework was much worse. But the learning time lost to a summative assessment is plain stupid.
     
  17. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

  18. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Well spotted Siegen81to82 - I skim read it and noted that p. 26, 73 and 83 are noteworthy. So I was a little surprised to read in the conclusions that French teachers were generally supportive of controlled assessment. The survey is positive overall about CA across all the subjects surveyed.
     
  19. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    I have just spent 5 school days off timetable doing year 10 controlled speaking assessments for 70 students who are being entered this year due to school policy. Imagine how galling it is now to find that well over 50% are not representative of the students' abilities and that we will have to spend more time testing on a different task as well as doing the normal second task of course. I think the first writing task is OK but after our marks last summer, I'm not sure.
     
  20. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

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