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OCR GCSE Computing

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Dhesketh, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Dhesketh

    Dhesketh New commenter

    For those who are about to start coursework for OCR GCSE computing.

    Why have they decided to drop App Inventor from the practical tasks ? Do they not know how much effort and resources it takes to set up App Inventor on a school network and that when you have gone through it with a cohort it is nice to maybe do it again.

    I have lost confidence that there will be a Python task the next time I look for the next cohort either.

    I think I will be changing to EdExcel because I cannot keep up with OCR and their changes to GCSE Computing, they do too much too fast with little notice.

    App inventor was what made this course accessible for many of our students in the first place.

    Has anybody else stopped using OCR for GCSE computing or considering it?
  2. MrIT

    MrIT New commenter

    Yes I was rather disappointed to see they have changed all the tasks. I did the cypher one last year (first year of teaching the course) so will now have to dump that and start planning all over again for a new one. I suspect this will be the thing now though - change the tasks every year to try to combat cheating (or at least give the impression that they are trying).
  3. danlee

    danlee New commenter

    App Inventor is awful, I have used it but hate it. The kids prefer Python to App Inventor.

    I'm glad it has gone, gives us something new and more interesting to do.

  4. Dhesketh

    Dhesketh New commenter

    I agree that App Inventor was terrible as a product but it made for a good bit of coursework that was easy to follow. Python isn't an alternative though as that is usually a solution from A453 and I always take the Python option!

    Which task are people deciding on from the 2017 A452 choices ?

    I think I may go with the Linux based one :/

  5. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Properly designed tasks would be language and OS neutral

    The purpose of the assessment should be to test their generic programming skills not their skills with a specific language or platform.
  6. tjra

    tjra Occasional commenter

    Yep, felt same way last year and so current Year 11 are on Edexcel spec now (previous two years were on OCR). We'll go with either Eduqas (WJEC) or Edexcel for the new specification - need to look in more detail at it.
  7. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Sorry, but agree with madcat here. And to be fair, the assessments ARE language neutral. However, still perturbed by hearing from some sources that 'oh all they need to do is copy the answer'. Clearly says in mark scheme that they need to show a progression to the final answer and not a 'Ta-da' moment

    And it'll be my guess that we'll have a new assessment every year with the 2017 series. Though it may not be in as much depth as currently due to the lesser marks attached to CA next year. But if you can't work it out, what hope have your kids got?
  8. Dhesketh

    Dhesketh New commenter

    A453 may be language neutral but they are suited to Python.

    A452 Practical investigations are very prescribed in their software use.

    This is why I am talking very specifically about App Inventor having taken so much time to set up and deliver for students and then it getting taken away.
  9. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Yes A452 is prescribed, because you are investigating an aspect of software and therefore you have to prescribe what you are looking at. Its not like A453 where you are trying to solve issues with programming.

    However, totally agree with you on App Inventor. Why OCR couldn't keep it going for this last year group before the change to the structure of the GCSE is beyond me. It was only 1 more year for heaven's sake, and even if people bleat on about finding info from the net, it was still an investigation CA, so just finding a completed answer without going through the process of developing the answer as you went along would not have got you many marks.
  10. Dhesketh

    Dhesketh New commenter

    Colwynexile, totally agree with that.

    This was my response from OCR.

    "Using App Inventor is still a great way of transitioning pupils into Computational Thinking and Programming and I would encourage you to use these resources to help pupils develop from more "drag and drop" coding into more formal "written" coding skills. Perhaps this could form a transition project for one of your year groups?"

    Off to get our tech department to set up a MySQL server then.
  11. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Completely agree. Yet another needless chunk of work has now been created. You have to marvel at the gormless nature of some exam boards, totally insulated from the teachers and schools they serve.


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