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Functional Skills - Is it me???

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by dancetiludrop, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. Am I the only person who thinks that the "Live" assessments for Functional Skills are much easier than the ones we were doing during the pilot?
    I guess I shouldn't complain the results from the first window were good and students came out saying "that woz much easier than the practice papers..." but I really felt that the assessments particularly at Level 2 during the pilot did stretch students' functionality..
    What does everyone else think?
     
  2. Am I the only person who thinks that the "Live" assessments for Functional Skills are much easier than the ones we were doing during the pilot?
    I guess I shouldn't complain the results from the first window were good and students came out saying "that woz much easier than the practice papers..." but I really felt that the assessments particularly at Level 2 during the pilot did stretch students' functionality..
    What does everyone else think?
     
  3. There is another way of looking at this.
    During the pilot, the assessments were very much different to anything we had seen before as they were based on problem solving in novel situations. Failure rates were higher because students struggled to get their heads around the fact that they had to identify a problem, use the skills and come up with REASONABLE solutions that were justifiable rather than simply pick A/B/C/D.
    But with 3 years of pilot behind us and 6 months of delivery in the real world, aren't students and teachers starting to get used to this problem solving approach and therefore we'd expect more confidence in exams.
    I would suggest that it's because were becoming more familiar with the very different live assessments that things seem to be easier. Of course, schools who didn't embrace the pilot may well get the same feeling as you did during the pilot.
    Functional Skills are different!
     
  4. I have three points to make:
    • when we moved from the trial paper to the sample assessment paper, the questions were of a similar difficulty but set out differently - chunked in other words, which made it seem easier. I have to say that I tried out the trial paper along with some students and gave up on the last couple of questions because I realised I didn't actually care how much money could be saved by changing the rules about gritting roads!!! (Little did I know that, actually, that information could have been VERY useful in December!!)
    • there is no doubt that getting used to the problem solving aspect of FS does help with deciding on the right calculations to use - writing everything out helps as well.
    • I am, at the moment, working my way through the February L2 paper, so shall be able to comment more knowledgeably when I have finished it (if I make my way through without losing the will to live I shall, no doubt, agree, that the standards are slightly lower!)
    Finally, if they are easier, it will be a shame as I thought that was one of the points of Functional Skills - challenging the students!!!!!
     

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