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ICT only a fourth subject at AS for top Unis according to the media

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by ictgoodpractice, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. So the Mail and Telegraph say our subject is a soft one for A level and kids for top unis should be advised only to take it as the AS. I think the coursework from OCR anyway is quite hard. Are we a soft subject? I don't think it is any easier than some, especially the exams where the kids seem to have to write the same as the mark scheme or they get nothing.
     
  2. So the Mail and Telegraph say our subject is a soft one for A level and kids for top unis should be advised only to take it as the AS. I think the coursework from OCR anyway is quite hard. Are we a soft subject? I don't think it is any easier than some, especially the exams where the kids seem to have to write the same as the mark scheme or they get nothing.
     
  3. Honestly? The reliance on coursework means weak / lazy students can resit, redraft and redo until we get them to pass. Every one of my AS students achieved a positive residual last year and every one beat their ALIS target by at least half a grade. I'd love to think I was *that* good of a teacher, but the conclusion I am drawn to is that certainly the Edexcel Applied course makes it easier to get good grades than, say Physics.
     
  4. It's old news and the press were only reporting what they got from the Universities. If schools continue to use certain subjects to massage results then it is sensible of Universities to take account of it.
     
  5. papakura

    papakura New commenter

    I think the game is up. Some A Level ICT courses should be on the same academic footing as tiddly winks.
    Seriously though, as ateacher, you can get 100% pass marks with SOME A Level ICT and make sure that your students achieve above target grades by effectively doing the work for hem. Presumably they then expect the same at degree level. Belatedly, we are not in the business of improving the student but instead making sure the powers that be do not sack us. The Powers that be are the weak link in the education system
    The question is - how does this relate to other subjects? I think you will find that all subjects have been dumbed down and Physics is no different. It is just that people have different aptitudes for different subjects. a good physics student of yesteryear will find the A Levels seriously easy. You can compare questions from 20 years ago with those of today, perhaps, but need to understand that the students from yesteryear did not have access to model answers from a google search.
    But pertinently, I do not like the way ICT has gone even in the last 5 years. 100% coursework at GCSE (DiDA, OCR nationals etc) has meant that a dishonest person can easily get a high grade if the teacher is not strict enough. This then makes the grade expectation at A Level much higher. and who could resist DiDA or OCR Nationals when the old GCSEs required a bit of graft and intellectual reading!
    I think we need to acknowldge that there are more high achieveing students than ever - due in a great part to dedicated teachers - but that their achievment is watered down because the system allows non deserving students to pass with high grades when perhaps they should not pass at all. Until we change our mentality and acknowledge that a student failing an exam could be a refelction on the student rather than the teacher, things will not change. I suggest we all put our Headteachers on the block over this - they are the ones driving the constant improvement in exam stats.
     
  6. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    I would also say that we seem to be driven by UCAs as does funding and this is also a bad thing. Many employers want people qualified in vendor quals and yet to get funding into sixth form it has to be wrapped up in a "traditional" A level Why when the country is crying out for these skills!
    I would argue that the "dumbing down" starts at primary with few specialists and then into KS3 when curriculum time is almost non existent so depth of knowledge is not there no matter how hard we try then into KS4 its a race for the examinations - lets face it GNVQ was the undoing of this and then yes we do not get the high flyers at A Level as suddenly the subject becomes more taxing!
    Would love to see vendor qualifications hitting sixth forms with a proper funding structure for pupils to take these qualifications!
     
  7. ICT has become a cra pp subject. There must be a crazy 30 different confusing ICT qualifications, produced by half a dozen exam boards, all who think they know what ICT is, grading it in different ways, confusing the hell out of everyone and listening to no one. It's now a real mess because of dunbed down Nationals, the old GNVQ, the Diploma, Dida and so on, worth a million GCSEs. This constant battle between voactional and academic, comparison of worths in terms of GCSEs and dumbing down to ensure everyone is 'above average' is at the root of where we are now.
    Personally, I think most of us will be looking for a new job within two years. I think ICT will be scrapped as a subject. It will go cross-curricula despite all the evidence from previous decades that that won't work. There will be a greater emphasis on teaching ICT in subjects, Computing will return properly and lots of money will be saved.
    I hope you are all brushing up on your second subjects. We're doomed. Doomed.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    What a great post papakura.
    The news is old, it has come up before.
    I've been annoyed at coming under fire from the performance lazy students, despite doing all what's reasonable in a comprehensive school to help. I've noticed a growing number of students in 6th form who are not fully committed or are totally right for the course - worrying. I don't know how this reflects nationally.
    Who has got the power to start letting students get the grade they deserve? Is it going to end up being bottom-up or top-down?
     

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