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Marking GCSE coursework - where is my work-life balance?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by robot1, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    Coursework marking is the worst part of my job. When coursework came in the exam boards probably couldn't believe their luck. They were going to get teachers to do part of their job for free! They didn't even make it 'maker friendly', because it wasn't their problem anymore. I can't understand why the unions at the time accepted this huge extra workload for no extra pay of time. I now spend far more time marking than planning, how does that benefit my students? I am a part time teacher and part time examiner. When I set work such as homework, I always think about making it a bit easier to mark. It's to do with finding a balance, easy to mark but not easy for the kids to do. Exam boards do not need to consider this balance as we do this work for free anyway.
    Sorry not to add anything constructive, it's good to have a moan sometimes.


     
  2. As a science teacher I totally agree with your last comment. The new GCSE ISAs involve more lengthy answers, that require a good deal of scrutiny and a fair amount of subjective interpretation to mark accurately. Where is the time supposed to come from to deal with this workload ?
     
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Assuming you're still employed in a state school and not in an Academy where Anything Goves, sorry, 'Goes', could I offer the following advice:

    1. If you're engaged in drinking a warm beverage or fine wine, place the receptacle in a safe place well away from your computer.

    2. Consider this item from the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document regarding Head Teachers' responsibilites:

    "56.12 - Lead and manage the school?s workforce with a proper regard for their well-being and legitimate expectations, including the expectation of a healthy balance between work and other commitments."

    3. When you've finished laughing, get back to your marking.
     
  4. I hope you're running courses in how to mark accurately and quickly, DJ.
    I've been in this job for 23 years and although I wouldn't spend an hour marking a finished folder, I still have to spend many hours of every easter holiday marking, and what's worse is the formative marking that goes on week by week.
     
  5. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    we're doing edexcel's GCSE and to be fair i haven't started marking it yet, however, i'm going ot mark it by the activity. and i've been adding my feedback to the reviews as i go along. Which should make it pretty easy to give them a formative grade. THEN if they choose to improve based on that, i'll work on a "mail improvements to me and i'll mark it"/ tell me and i'll have a look.

    With OCR NAts i used to have a folder system where if they printed it and wanted it marking they'd shove it in the front, sticking out, that way i knew that was to be marked and i'd file it correctly for them, if it was not good enough, i'd leave it sticking out of the front so they knew there was still work to be done. Worked for me and took me about 30 mins to do a class, as it would vary who handed stuff in week to week.
     
  6. "I've been adding my feedback to the reviews as I go along ... THEN if they choose
    to improve based on that, I'll work on a "mail improvements to me and I'll mark it""
    Would you say that what you are doing is just ever so slightly cheating?
    See section 4.5.2 in
    http://www.jcq.org.uk/attachments/published/1388/ICA%2011-12.pdf
     
  7. Unless you've seen his feedback then there's no way to infer from what he's said that he is in any way cheating.

    There is a line between what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable in terms of feedback but the post made no mention of it and you've either accidentally or deliberately misinterpreted what was said.

    Where I work we mark work regularly, and in the case of the OCR Nationals, the visiting moderator sees all the feedback students have received and their multiple drafts of work. There is no problem with this as we do not cross the line and I see no evidence to believe that anyone on this thread has!
     
  8. Feedback that enables the candidate to improve their work is very clearly cheating. Have you read 4.5.2 in the JCQ guidelines?
     
  9. Utter tosh! The JCQ guidelines repeatedly refer to the exam board specifications. What he is describing is within the OCR specification.

    Are you really trying to advance the point that the JCQ say teachers cannot provide feedback the enables a candidate to improve their work? What other kind of feedback is there?!

    The JCQ guidelines make it clear, particularly with your highlighted point that feedback that leaves room for the student's initiative to make use of it is permitted, they are talking about overly proscriptive feedback where the candidate is told print screen this, write this etc.
     
  10. You still haven't read 4.5.2 - that is EXACTLY what they are saying.
     
  11. 4.5.2 When marking the work, teachers/assessors must not give credit in regard to any additional assistance given to candidates beyond that which is described in the specification and must give details of any additional assistance on the appropriate record form(s). Examples would include:
    • having reviewed the candidate’s work giving (either to individual candidates or to groups) detailed advice and suggestions as to how the work may be improved in order to meet the assessment criteria;
    • giving detailed indications of errors or omissions which leave the candidate no opportunity for individual initiative;
    • giving advice on specific improvements needed to meet the criteria;
     
  12. Please go and stand outside the Head's office and report yourself now.
     
  13. Are you having a laugh?! It doesn't mean what you think it means:

    4.5.2 When marking the work, teachers/assessors must not give credit in regard to any additional assistance given to candidates beyond that which is described in the specification and must give details of any additional assistance on the appropriate record form(s). Examples would include:
    ? having reviewed the candidate?s work giving (either to individual candidates or to groups) detailed advice and suggestions as to how the work may be improved in order to meet the assessment criteria;
    ? giving detailed indications of errors or omissions which leave the candidate no opportunity for individual initiative;
    ? giving advice on specific improvements needed to meet the criteria;

    Read the first sentence - must not give credit in regard to any additional assistance given to candidates beyond that which is described in the specification - the OCR specification allows for feedback provided that it is not too proscriptive.

    Their meaning is clear when you read "gving detailed indications of errors or omissions which leave the candidate no
    ?opportunity for individual initiative;" - feedback is permitted provided that it is at such a level which requires the candidate to think, implement etc. independently.

    You are misinterpreting the JCQ guidelines to the point of making a fool out of yourself.
     
  14. I don't agree with Steve_ICT here. You can make general comments to the whole class, but you cannot give feedback to an individual that then enables them to make improvements to their own work. That means you are telling them how to improve their work, which is not allowed and was the whole point of controlled assessments as opposed to coursework. I think Steve_ICT is making an **** out of himself by trying to justify cheating practices. The JCQ guidelines fortunately are crystal clear on this and gives very clear examples about what is not allowed. OCR does indeed allow you to make general comments to the whole class, but not specific comments to an individual's work - that is very bad and the teacher could get into a lot of personal trouble if it is found out they have been doing this.
     
  15. That's rubbish. The issue with feedback has always been how far you go but if your feedback says, something along the lines of "in order to improve this work to merit you must make sure you include an additional interactive element to your website" or something similar then it doesn't breach the spirit or the letter of the law.

    What we are talking about is not just OCR, the Edexcel GCSE controlled assessment actually has sections on the candidates work where a teacher is meant to give written feedback!
     
  16. You cannot tell pupils what they have missed out so that they can then improve it:
    4.5.2:
    • giving detailed indications of errors or omissions which leave the candidate no opportunity for individual initiative;
     
  17. I have to say I do wonder what the line is. I try to give feedback individually but I have not marked the work just looked over it. I do a final mark at the end of the unit. Is that cheating? I have always done this. I am not wanting to have cheating on my file either. So should coursework be just a practice project, then no help or help sheets as could we not say helpsheets and software videos of similar but different projects are also cheating?
    What are other school's doing as I am getting concerned now, as at the moment Nationals are not controlled assessments. If they were I bet half our kids would not do as well? I see the JCQ and can see both sides of the arguements.
    Like another thread are they doing or learning?
     
  18. Do you give individual feedback to pupils on how to improve work before you officially mark it? Or is it one mark and that's it?
     
  19. mymoose read the whole sentence! - giving detailed indications of errors or omissions which leave the candidate no opportunity for individual initiative; I am not taking it to the extent of limiting their initiative, all I have done is tell them where they are not meeting the criteria, I haven't told them how to do it, or where to put it etc. You are reading the criteria incorrectly! You could even argue I haven't even given them detailed indications - that would be more along the lines of "you need to include an additional interactive element, put the roll-over button on page 3 between the two party images and have it use the same colours as your website and link to the local taxi company."
     
  20. I have just read the JCQ and that is for controlled assessments. I do not have controlled assessments and Nationals and many others are not controlled assessments?
     

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