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QWC in edexcel, but what about kids who have severe learning difficulties, just because their spelling is wrong should they be marked down??

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by chocoholic2007, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. I wonder if anyone out there can help me please.
    I have a student who has severe dyslexia, which shows quite clealry in her written work at any time. Whilst she can clealry explain her understanding of a performance, when writing it there are a lot of mistakes and words are often jumbled, but you can get the undertones of what she wants to say.
    This is my problem;
    In the edexcel spec it includes marking based upon QWC, however, is there anything I can do to ensure she gets the mark she should have, or do I just have to say, sorry love you have dyslexia and that means that you have poor QWC so can not access anything above 6 out of 20 for your theatre review?
    Does this idea of QWC not discriminate against some of our students? or do we have to just get on with it?
    I was thinking that if she recited her review to me I could type it up as she says it, as long as I attach a copy of her recording, will that still count? I thought that because I can then type what she says, even if it is grammatically not quite right, that might do?
    I just worry because a student who has high ability elsewhere may suffer. Also wouldnt I be questionned when this girl is getting high makrs in her practical but really low ones in her written work??
    Sorry if this is a rant, but I am a bit frustrated and unsure what I can do to help her.

    Thanks if you've lasted long enough to read this last bit!![​IMG]
    Any advice would be great
     
  2. I wonder if anyone out there can help me please.
    I have a student who has severe dyslexia, which shows quite clealry in her written work at any time. Whilst she can clealry explain her understanding of a performance, when writing it there are a lot of mistakes and words are often jumbled, but you can get the undertones of what she wants to say.
    This is my problem;
    In the edexcel spec it includes marking based upon QWC, however, is there anything I can do to ensure she gets the mark she should have, or do I just have to say, sorry love you have dyslexia and that means that you have poor QWC so can not access anything above 6 out of 20 for your theatre review?
    Does this idea of QWC not discriminate against some of our students? or do we have to just get on with it?
    I was thinking that if she recited her review to me I could type it up as she says it, as long as I attach a copy of her recording, will that still count? I thought that because I can then type what she says, even if it is grammatically not quite right, that might do?
    I just worry because a student who has high ability elsewhere may suffer. Also wouldnt I be questionned when this girl is getting high makrs in her practical but really low ones in her written work??
    Sorry if this is a rant, but I am a bit frustrated and unsure what I can do to help her.

    Thanks if you've lasted long enough to read this last bit!![​IMG]
    Any advice would be great
     
  3. I can totally understand your frustration. I've had similar students in the past. However, the quality of written communication isn't across all of the coursework, I don't think. And unfortunately some students find that expressing themselves in a written form very difficult and if that's one of the assessment criteria then it can't really be discrimination if they can't achieve it. After all, it's a test. I don't think you can type it up for her unless she qualifies for a writer in exams and this technique is used in other subjects. I would say that, as a guideline, I'd speak to the English department and ask what provisions they make for dyslexic kids and perhaps use that as an idea of what you could do to help. I don't think you'd get questioned as you can put on the front sheet the evidence of her practical and make a comment such as 'she finds it hard to express her ideas on paper'. School wouldn't question it as she will be on the SEN register.
     
  4. Assuming she is on the SEN register, check for any dispensations she has: Your SENCo will be able to give you a list of students. I have a number of students who are entitled to 25% extra time: that applies to written exams and to CA where there is a time limit. If she has the right to a scribe, sort arrangements so that she can do the best she can with the CA. If she's only entitled to extra time, there's little you can do, unfortunately.
     
  5. The inclusion of QWC in assessment criteria is a requirement of Ofqual (QCA as was, required it). However, it does not mean that QWC overrides a candidate's ability in the subject itself. It would be patently absurd, in my opinion, to penalise a candidate who demonstrated the assessment skills in the subject they had spent two years studying only to have marks 'knocked off' because of poor spelling, grammar etc. It must be remenbered that the assessment is in a particular subject - not, in this case, English. My view is if politicians want to have a test of spelling punctuation and grammar - then devise one for that purpose!
    In my subject, Business and Economics, we use QWC in the following way. QWC is only applied to certain types of questions - these are denoted by an asterix by the question number. These questions tend to be marked according to a levels of response mark scheme. Examiners are encouraged to look first at the skills being targetd - klnowledge, application, analysis and evaluation, and to decide, in the context of the subject, what level the student has attained.
    Then the examiner looks at where in the level the candidate sits. Assume that Level 3 has between 8 and 10 marks. The examiner may feel that the QWC is weak (and note QWC doesnot just refer to spelling, punctuation and grammar but the style of writing as well) in which case the examiner might be looking towards the lower end of the level for the mark - 8 in this case.
    In addition, if a candidate does have learning difiiculties, whatever this might be, then the school, in conjunction with the parents, should apply for special consideration to the awarding body. Examiners will not take this into account (we do not know who the candidate is gven electronic marking) but the candidate's mark will be adjusted to take into account the special consideration which has been granted via the rules laid down by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
    I cannot speak for Drama, but the same principle ought to apply across subjects and qualifications. I would suggets,therefore, that the principle adopted in all cases is to be fair to the candidate and in my experience, we do not penalise a candidate for the quality of their English when assessing their business or economics understanding.
    Hope this puts you rmind at rest - if you are still unsure then contact the subject specialist at Edexcel and put your query to them via the Ask the Expert service (http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/contact-us/Pages/home.aspx)

     
  6. I teach GCSE english and students with dyslexia are not marked differently. Unfortunately, students with reading and writing problems cannot expect to get marked up if that is a criteria of the exam. Unit 2 Live Review is based on QWC as much as subject knowledge. If they question it, you can show them her dyslexia test results, however I wouldn't imagine they would question one pupil - only if there was a trend. Lots of students have poor written skills and good practical skills, but at the end of the day if that student who cannot do written exams ends up in your A level group, you are going to complain. Make sure you do everything you can to support her written work - she will take longer than other students and should be given more time. She will need to ensure she is double spacing her work and you can give her spellings of key words prior to the assessment - this is a test of proof reading ability NOT exam literacy testing. Do what you can, but the spec, as all specs are and all subjects, are dependent on QWC and literacy. Ensure that she can access as much literacy support as possible and then use the marking criteria. Just like in English, if you can't write well, you cannot access marks for QWC.
     
  7. If Edexcel had a brain, they would not put the live review as QWC, but the Unit 2 doc response that carries fewer marks or have the usual percentage of marks allocated for QWC in general. I still have students with literacy issues painstakingly going through their live reviews - it is exhausting!
     
  8. As I tried to point out earlier, this is only the case if QWC is being assessed specifically - in English this may be the case; in other subjects QWC has a different role.To get more of an idea about what I was talking about I suggest looking at some of the exemplars for the GCE Drama qualification on the Edexcel website. The focus of the marking was on the skills being assessed, vocal awareness, characterisation, interpretation, explanations given, examples used etc. not on the candidate's ability to spell, punctuate and write correct grammar. At the end of the comments on the skills comments such as ' QWC is good' or 'QWC is satisfactory' etc. But, the point is that the focus is on the discipline specific skills not on QWC. Good students demonstrating good subject specific skills can access marks across the whole range and are not, in my experience, limited to the bottom of the range just because of their written English.
    The main point to note is that students are not 'marked down' because of their QWC in subjects as suggested by the original post.
     

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