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Edexcel finally give an answer


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#1 Dan Dyson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:13 PM

I have been trying to get a definitive answer about whether students should have access to mark schemes for the courseworks or not for some time. Several discussion threads here seem to have different schools implementing different interpretation of the rules.

My Question to EdExcel was quite simple - "Can they be given the mark schemes or is it a breach of the rules?"

Here is the "definitive" answer:

"I am writing in response to your call log query xxxxxx regarding GCSE
History coursework. The coursework assignments are still on the website (you
have to access using the field in the top right hand corner of the subject
page).

[B]We would advise against centres giving candidates the mark schemes for the
assignments as candidates are unlikely to comprehend the indicative nature
of the mark schemes and also fully understand the assessment objectives.
Access to the mark schemes is therefore likely to be counterproductive for
many candidates.
[/
B]

Advice to candidates should be presented in the form of explanation of what
information different types of stimulus questions are trying to elicit, in
terms that candidates understand, alongside the taught element of the units.
You may find the material in the teachers guide (unfortunately titled
specification guide) useful to guide you in delivering coursework. Some of
the specimen material in the guide might be adapted for presentation to your
candidates to illustrate substantive points.

This guide is also available from the website, or from our publications
department.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Saunders
Assessment Leader
Operations and Assessment



Well I'm glad that clears that up then ;)

If my interpretation of this is correct - they advise not to give the candidates the mark scheme as it may confuse them.
However its not against the rules.
So you can give it to them without fear of repercussions
Some candidates do find it useful
Teachers can help explain it
Teachers can reproduce the mark scheme in simpler language
:unsure:

Dan D

Edited by Dan Dyson, 29 January 2003 - 09:19 PM.

Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#2 neil mcdonald

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:26 PM

Thats it then I'm going to speak to AQA and see what they say.....shall we have a competition on how similar/different they'll be?
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#3 Dan Dyson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:33 PM

Perhaps a copy of their AQA's reply and Edexcel's reply could then be given to GCSE students to practise coursework. They could compare similarities/differences.
Assess utility of sources to a historian
and for a final sources based question "Should GCSE students be allowed to see the exam board created mark schemes? - discuss" Certainly a damn site harder than "Who was Jack the Ripper?" :zorro:
Dan D
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#4 Andrew Field

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:35 PM

As long as you don't give them the mark scheme.


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#5 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:43 PM

...  and for a final sources based question "Should GCSE students be allowed to see the exam board created mark schemes? - discuss"

Nah! "Consider the view that GCSE students should be allowed to see the Exam Board created mark scheme."

Get it right Zorro :ouch:

#6 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:44 PM

I've been waiting weeks on an email from them whether you can do Crime and Punishment AND Jack the Ripper.

'How useful is the Edexcel customer services department as an aid to examination centres?' (10)
You may use email, telephone and INSET and your own knowledge to answer the question.
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#7 Dan Dyson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:47 PM

I have just sent a rsponse back to Edexcel along the lines of my first posts ambiguities. Asking for a simple Yes or No answer - I wonder if they will manage that.
Let's see
Level 1 - Answer suggests candidate knows something about the subject but a lot of waffle is included
Level 2 - I am referred to the (un)specification guide
Level 3 - A copy of the (un)specification guide is either emailed or snail mailed to me with a complements slip pointing me towards the relevant chapter, subsection, verse... that has also handily been highlighted to show the question isn't answered.
Level 4 candidate answers the question

:sorcerer: Stranger things have happened you know!
Dan D

Edited by Dan Dyson, 29 January 2003 - 09:47 PM.

Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#8 Dan Dyson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:55 PM

I've been waiting weeks on an email from them whether you can do Crime and Punishment AND Jack the Ripper.

I believe you will find that Jack the Ripper and the material that has to be taught to go with the coursework is covered in the syllabus for Crime and Punishment and therefore the two can not go together. I believe that when I went to one of their conferences about the 1999 or 2000 exam they held a session on the new GCSE and someone asked the same question to be told that they can't. However you can do a coursework linked to the study in depth which is why the syllabus for the depth studies was reduced with content being transferred to exam board produced coursework.
Similarly schools doing Medicine can not do the new exam board produced coursework on Cholera - but we can use it to teach the topic for the exam with.

This was two years ago and perhaps things have changed slightly.
I am emailing you direct with Duncan Fraser's direct line phone number. (Qualifications Leader for Media, History and General Studies). Perhaps he might give a different interpretation to the key question this thread is about - again?
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#9 Stephen Drew

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 10:07 PM

Level 4 candidate answers the question

What! From an exam board? :ermm:

I think you may have overdosed on the old thought process thing. :hehe:
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#10 Dan Dyson

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 05:54 PM

I have to admit - Edexcel finally DO get something right. They have answered the question. I sent the same question to Steve Saunders, and Duncan Fraser (Qualifications leader for Media, History and General Studies)
Here are both their separate replies...

Dear Mr Dyson

I am sorry you did not find my response clear.

It is not against the rules for candidates to be shown the mark scheme. It
is in the public domain. Our advice is that by doing so you are likely to
disadvantage your own candidates and therefore we would advise against this.


Professional teachers have been trained to understand and make use of an
indicative content mark scheme. Candidates are unlikely to have the same
depth of understanding of Assessment instruments and their application.


Yours sincerely

Stephen Saunders



And Duncan's

Dear Mr Dyson,

The simple answer is that it is not a breach of the rules to show students
coursework mark schemes. The fact is that they are, as you point out, in the
public domain, and would be, whatever form we published them in. They cannot
be kept secure until after the exam, in the way mark schemes for written
papers are and we obviously cannot, therefore, make an absolute rule on
their availability to students.

However, we advise that they are not shown to students, as it might confuse
them or mislead them into thinking they have "got the answers". Indicative
content mark schemes are professional tools, and consequently are best not
shown to young people who have not been trained in how to apply them. That
said, some teachers, may choose to present them to students with the
appropriate caveats, rather than leave them to be discovered by the savvy
few and then misapplied or misused - though, if they do choose to show mark
schemes to students, it must be made absolutely clear that they are not
exemplar essays, or even essay plans, that much more is required than what
is contained in them, and that a student who simply regurgitates a mark
scheme is not going to get much credit.

In the end, of course, this is a question of professional judgement and so
must be left to individual teachers to make up their minds about. Some might
think it helpful, others don't.

As to the question of the "level playing field," if one takes the position
that this is a matter of personal professional judgement then it seems to me
quite reasonable to argue that it comes into the same category as any other
pedagogic strategy, the rightness or wrongness/effectiveness or
ineffectiveness of which might cause hot debate amongst a group of teachers,
and hence it is not our place to interfere by taking a specific view or
making an absolute rule. Variation in the way coursework mark schemes are
used across the country is just another variation in the way the subject is
taught which will vary from school to school, even teacher to teacher within
the same school and, precisely because it is questionable as to whether they
are helpful to students (which is, as I have said, our view), it cannot be
said that those who do use them are necessarily giving their students an
unfair advantage.

I hope that clarifies the situation.

Best wishes,

Duncan Fraser.



So much for the one word answers - but at least it finally clears the whole issue up.

I feel that I have achieved greatness today now! B) :halo: :whistle: :flowers:

Dan D

Edited by Dan Dyson, 30 January 2003 - 05:57 PM.

Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#11 Dan Dyson

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 05:56 PM

So what level shall we award them? The all elusive Level 4?????

B)
Beware of the History Teacher,
Cause of many a pupilís sorrow,
Though he drones on about the past
His homework is due in tomorrow!

#12 Stephen Drew

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 08:07 PM

Gold star to Mr Dyson! :woo:
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#13 Dave Wallbanks

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 09:21 PM

I'm waiting for a call from edexcel regarding RS short course GCSE. I've spoken to 3 different people in the department and it never seems to be the same person twice. I needed to know which code to put down for the exam entries and even the people in the exams office there couldn't tell me!
That's why the board has such a bad name.
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#14 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 09:56 PM

I got a letter today from Edexcel - it said -

American West + Crime and Pun
Vietnam + Jack the Ripper cwk



OK

So Crime and Ripper is OK!

Roll on the Ripper walk! Its either that or a sneaky Law + Order in the West. The Football cwk is dull btw even though 200 people a day are visiting my website for it.
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#15 Lesley Ann

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 08:19 PM

you may have guessed from earlier threads but I am busy on coursework again. I wrote 5 idiots guide to coursework last year...

Booklet 1: Coursework isÖ
Booklet 2: Understanding and using sources.
Booklet 3: Answering coursework questions.
Booklet 4: Writing it up.
Booklet 5: Your coursework assignment.

anyway getting back to the original question...I checked with AQA coursework adviser and he said it was okay to supply the AQA mark scheme to the pupils...and so I did.
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