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Controlled assessment worries

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by poopyjamas, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Depsite many years of experience, last year's horrors with inconsistent marking have really knocked my confidence. I am now really panicking about everything i am submitting, so if anybody can reassure me about any of the following issues, it would be nice.
    Task planning forms - I'm not submitting many, most of my pupils didn't use them. Some of my pupils did, and then forgot to leave them behind for me. They are now missing, is this a problem?
    Speaking - Most of my unrecorded marks are higher than my recorded task marks. This is becase i had some marks lowered last year, so i have been as mean as i can be with the marks for recorded tasks. For the unrecorded ones, i feel much less scared, so have gone with the fairest possible mark i can give, not being generous, but not feeling the pressure to "think of a mark, then knock three off." Last year, we had unrecoreded marks lowered on the basis of the recorded marks being too generous, so i am trying to avoid this again. Is anybody else submitting higher marks for non-recorded tasks than for recorded tasks?
    Writing / Speaking overlap - AQA changed the rules, after many of my pupils had used similar material for writing and speaking tasks. They said that the new rule would not apply for tasks already completed. Do we trust them to stick to their word?
    Opinions and reasons - Can a pupil give a reason for an opinion without using the word "because" E.g. I like fish, they are interesting. Does that count as a reason / explained opinion?
    Like i said, confidence shaken by last year. Our writing got hammered by poor marking. Nearly all the writing marks were moved up on re-marking, although just enough to not change a grade boundary (which fits with what i overheard a principal examiner saying at a meeting) As a resul tof this i am worried, and not even confident that bad marking can be fixed with re-marks.

    Any reassurance would be fantastic!
     
  2. Depsite many years of experience, last year's horrors with inconsistent marking have really knocked my confidence. I am now really panicking about everything i am submitting, so if anybody can reassure me about any of the following issues, it would be nice.
    Task planning forms - I'm not submitting many, most of my pupils didn't use them. Some of my pupils did, and then forgot to leave them behind for me. They are now missing, is this a problem?
    Speaking - Most of my unrecorded marks are higher than my recorded task marks. This is becase i had some marks lowered last year, so i have been as mean as i can be with the marks for recorded tasks. For the unrecorded ones, i feel much less scared, so have gone with the fairest possible mark i can give, not being generous, but not feeling the pressure to "think of a mark, then knock three off." Last year, we had unrecoreded marks lowered on the basis of the recorded marks being too generous, so i am trying to avoid this again. Is anybody else submitting higher marks for non-recorded tasks than for recorded tasks?
    Writing / Speaking overlap - AQA changed the rules, after many of my pupils had used similar material for writing and speaking tasks. They said that the new rule would not apply for tasks already completed. Do we trust them to stick to their word?
    Opinions and reasons - Can a pupil give a reason for an opinion without using the word "because" E.g. I like fish, they are interesting. Does that count as a reason / explained opinion?
    Like i said, confidence shaken by last year. Our writing got hammered by poor marking. Nearly all the writing marks were moved up on re-marking, although just enough to not change a grade boundary (which fits with what i overheard a principal examiner saying at a meeting) As a resul tof this i am worried, and not even confident that bad marking can be fixed with re-marks.

    Any reassurance would be fantastic!
     
  3. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Not a problem really as nobody would know if they brought planning forms anyway.
    Sounds odd. Don't you try to apply the same standard to each test whether recorded or not? Are you ina team? There should be moderation.
    I wonder how thorough they would be about checking that stuff. I would not worry about that point.
    I would say that there is a justification for the opinion in that case.You have to take each case on its merits.
    We had a similar experience so I share your concern. I am getting the impression that AQA may do better this year. They need to. As long as you have done your best and the youngsters have too, then that's all you can do. You are clearly thinking along the right lines. Good luck.




     
  4. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    First of all, I think you are right to be confused, and AQA's inconsistent and changing advice has made quite a significant contribution to the confusion. When senior examiners say one thing at INSET and it is contradicted either in practice or in documents on line, you know you're up against it. What you say about the writing/speaking overlap would strike a chord with many of us, who were told initially that the four tasks - two writing, two speaking - had to be on different areas and then told subsequently that this is not the case but that changing one word in a task made it new task.
    To answer your specific questions, I hope this helps:
    They are optional. Don't use them. If you have some of them, destroy them. Let the examiner mark or moderate the candidates' work without any help. After all, at AS and A2, the essay planning form is not submitted.
    By lowering your marks for the unrecorded element, the moderator is simply adjusting on the basis that he/she thinks your marking was consistent for both the recorded and for the unrecorded work, and was consistently high. There is nothing wrong with that. Previous advice had been that AQA would accept unchallenged the mark for the unrecorded work. If the moderators have received different instructions, it is I suppose to stop people putting in very high marks in the knowledge that they will accepted. Otherwise, we'd all give them 30/30. But again, AQA's original advice may have been modified in the light of experience.
    The guidance on this is on AQA's website at http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcse/pdf/AQA-MFL-W-TRB-FAQCAAUT.PDF, points 39 and 40. Paragraph 40 makes it clear that the content must not be the same for more than one task, which is fair enough.
    I would spell it out here and insist that "because" is used, simply to make the link. Otherwise "I like fish, they are interesting" gives two opinions but it doesn't make it clear that the second one the reason for the first.
    This is where I begin to see red, simply because you are a teacher trying to do the best for the pupils and working with a mark scheme and other guidance documents. I refuse to accept that your marking is bad and would argue that you have - as an unpaid examiner - interpreted the mark scheme differently from the the way in which the moderator has interpreted it. I don't see how they can ask for more. The sooner teachers can concentrate on teaching and examines can concentrate on examining, as is the case at A level, the better.
    AQA has all the links you need at http://web.aqa.org.uk/subjects/mfl-controlled-assessment.php. Good luck.
     
  5. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    As I was composing my reply, spsmith45 had already submitted his. Good to know there is a good deal of overlap in what we looked for in the OP and the advice we offered. Now, how would you mark and moderate the two answers?
     
  6. I know exactly what you mean. Teaching is worrying enough and den Manding enough without the added head ache of a new and very vague Mark scheme to work out. Controlled assessment will always be subjective, hence the problem. I can not answer your questions, sorry, because I have similar issues myself. Perhaps a third of my non recorded speaking tasks are higher than the recorded tasks because pupils had obviously improved a bit and had also rehearsed their scripts more. What a nonsensical exam, testing nothing but memorisation of several subsequently useless passages. I am not prepared to worry too much this year and am hopeful that the new igcse which aqa are producing will prove useful. No controlled assessment, and terminal exams in all four skills. No more hours of wasted marking and remarking and worrying about it all! Good luck.
     
  7. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    The question was rhetorical and therefore meant to illustrate the subjective nature of the exercise, which is exactly the point you are making and why moderators have a job to do.
    Nor should you do any of that - I'm with you all the way, and that's the point that I am making, or at least trying to.
     

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