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GCSE ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by dstokem, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. dstokem

    dstokem New commenter

    I know this has probably been on the forum as a thread already BUT given the choice which boards provides is the most engaging of the GCSE ICT courses. Can you give reasons why please

    Or are they all rubbish and unexciting.

    Thanks for those who feel they would like to answer this question.
     
  2. dstokem

    dstokem New commenter

    I know this has probably been on the forum as a thread already BUT given the choice which boards provides is the most engaging of the GCSE ICT courses. Can you give reasons why please

    Or are they all rubbish and unexciting.

    Thanks for those who feel they would like to answer this question.
     
  3. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    We've been looking into this, and the OCR board seem to be the only ones to offer gamemaking or coding as part of the possibilities - the others offer multimedia, but there's the suggestion this is via interactive powerpoint or a website rather than a game.
    On the other hand, OCR has two exams, which seem very similar in content (one theory and one contextualised theory), and I believe they're both 1 h. The other boards have one exam but it's 1 1/2 h.
    Edexcel do a single which is the same as OCR's short, i.e. theory and office, and a double which is the same as OCR's full, so to do the creative stuff rather than just office stuff you would need to do the double award.
    For OCR, you do either a multimedia unit (web, pp or game) or a coding unit, so it provides a neat crossover for those who don't want to go the full computing route.
    OCR would be my board of choice, except for the two exams, but Camb Nat offers more variety if you don't want the full GCSE route (one office unit, one theory unit plus further office, creative or programming/technical units).
     
  4. We're with WJEC, and so far I am unimpressed. The nuts and bolts first. 2 exams of 1 1/2 hours each (I believe). 2 pieces of Controlled Assessment - the first one is business/office type project and the second is a multimedia project.

    There is a lot of crossover with regards to which topics are for which exam, which has led to some confusion. The specification is not very clear about what you need to cover for each exam. Some are covered on both exams, but it isn't specified what about the topic is on unit 1 and what is on unit 3 - particularly the more conscientious students hate this ambiguity. The topics are what you would expect - some boring, some thoroughly interesting, some just in the middle.



    I posted about the controlled assessment previously. Rather than repeat what I said, here's the post:


    We're doing WJEC ICT at the moment. Halfway through second year of GCSE. Initial findings:





    <h4>Coursework is badly planned</h4>

    • Mark schemes, student guidance and teacher guidance did not match up for the first Controlled Assesment.
    • The first Controlled Assessment was very specific in what to do for the database task yet very vague as to what to do for the spreadsheet task.
    • The second Controlled Assessment is incredibly vague. It is hard enough for experienced teachers to interpret the coursework, let alone students.
    • The second Controlled Assessment expects them to complete tasks for the mark scheme that aren't mentioned in the task sheet.
    • The second Controlled Assessment expects students to somehow organise themselves (as a group of students) into completing feedback for each other's work.

    <h4>Lots to cover for exams</h4>

    We have gone through the first exam unit so far. There was a huge amount of stuff to cover - we only just finished it about 1-2 weeks before the exam last June (thankfully the exam was late in exam season.


    I expect the second exam unit will also have a huge amount to cover as well.

    <h4>Good support</h4>

    Whilst the course is not planned out well, whenever we have had questions or concerns the people at WJEC have always got back to us quickly and with very helpful answers. They have explained things well and given us guidance in terms of new resources and how to complete tasks. So full marks for support!

    <hr />


    Overall, the course feels like it was rushed out. The exam topics aren't very clear. The candidate instructions/mark scheme/etc for the controlled assessments aren't very clear either. Maybe it will improve.
     
  5. The AQA gcse ict course is just as bad. What is a real concern is the lack of any quality control of controlled assessments. My colleagues in other schools are all doing them in completely diffent ways, some like exams, some like the old coursework, some a bit at a time and some doing almost identical projects then getting pupils to customise their answers.

    Where is the quality control? Who is in charge of standards? Who is doing random checks on schools to ensure JCQ standards are being followed?

    Fortunately for us, we have twigged that quality checking is the last thing anyone cares about, so we ensure that our students get very high marks in our own way ....

    God bless the system!
     
  6. hoof_hearted

    hoof_hearted New commenter

    I'm delivering the Edexcel one, and have found the students are interested in the content, and find it relevant. However, the exam stupidly included things that didn't appear in the spec, or official book. Mean!
     
  7. We're with CCEA. Can't wait to leave.
    CA task specifications are vague and contradictory in parts. Mark schemes contradict the tasks.
    Official textbook for the course: the most amateurish, half-witted excuse for a textbook I have ever seen. It claims to be written by the GCSE Chief Examiner and A-level Principal Moderator. I hope for their sake all the mistakes, and all the abominations against the English language, were put in by later editors. Otherwise, CCEA should have no confidence in them. I certainly don't.
     
  8. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Check out the grad distrubution for the OCR GCSE before you go there. HoD are losing their jobs across the country after using them. It is a good course BUT is your head happy with

    <h5>1% A* A*-C 30% and A*-G 80% amongst a largely selective and private cohort</h5>
     

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