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KS4 GCSE Computing vs. WJEC AS ICT

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by shenn, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. shenn

    shenn New commenter

    Thanks for the offer I have sent you an email from school as requested.
    As I have no experience of controlled assessments I have a few questions:
    Could you let me know how the controlled assessment was for time, was it realistic in 20 hours?
    Also how much preparation did you do before the controlled assessments?
    As they are all producing a similar product how did you make sure they were sufficiently different from each other?
    I have used checklists for coursework are these banned in controlled assessments?
    Which controlled assessments did you do for A452 and A453?<font face="Helvetica-Bold"> Thanks
  2. We did AQA GCSE ICT. Horrible horrible horrible. We are still not finished unit 3, even after 38 hours of lessons. The marking has taken up all of my waking life for the last 3 months. Unit 2 was just as bad. The tasks are tedious. I went to their 'Teaching Unit 2' and 'Teaching unit 3' meetings. It is clear that the exam board are unrealistic in their timescales, that all the other teachers I spoke to had the same complaint. It is also clear that widespread cheating is the norm (giving individual specific feedback to allow improvements without documenting it, doing a task with pupils that is identical in name only, then getting pupils to do the 'real' task e.g. if the unit is about a birthday party, you do a similar practice assignment about an aniversary party - all tasks are the same except that it is for an aniversary party not a birthday party. After each 'anniversary party task' is done, with unlimited teacher help, the party task is done without the teacher - but it's just the same as the one they completed with the teacher!). AQA produced a scheme of work for the course. Have a look at it. The timings are nonsense, totally unrealistic (again). AQA only put on support meetings in London and up North. If you are in Wales, East, West or in the middle of the country, be prepared to travel.
    AQA say you need 120 teaching hours to teach this course. I think 160 - 180 hours of contact time is realistic. If you have any option, I would avoid courses that have controlled assessments and avoid the AQA GCSE ICT without fail.
    Sorry to be so negative, but I have every right to be.
  3. shenn

    shenn New commenter

    Thanks for the input. That is what I am worried about switching to GCSE courses as controlled assessments appear to be an issue in all subjects. It is like doing coursework with all the negatives ie. marking and none of the benefits. I think that the AS coursework for WJEC is the best one I have taught. The mark scheme is very clear and structured, they do not have ridiculous expectations and will accept full marks being given. I have taught OCR GCSE and AQA A-level specs before and found them tedious, overly demanding and repetitive. I really do not fancy switching to controlled assessments but at least I know teachers are bending the rules as I was worried about the amount of work needed and the fact that students could not get any help/feedback whcih is crazy for a practical task in ICT, I needed help on my degree so I do not know how pupils are expected to be independent at 14!!!

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