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OCR 2592 - What was your experience?


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#1 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 03:53 PM

And another year rolls by,... but OCR 2592 is still our nemesis unit. I am glad it's the last time it runs - even if I do have to mark the assignments next year!

The order of merit for my students was nothing like I predicted. I am worried that yet again it is not being consistently marked.

How was it for other people?
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#2 cj.ayres

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 04:12 PM

Although ours were better this year they were still rather erratic. One student who I was very confident about as she had written a really sophisticated piece on Anne Boleyn got a C... the same grade as one my less able students who wrote a very descriptive piece on Hitler. What gets me is there seems to be no consistency between the years. The Anne Boleyn question did well last year and students got good grades, this year I think my candidates did a better job yet got 2 grades less, whilst students who wrote mediocre narrative gained better marks.
Oh well, I guess things can only get better ;)

And another year rolls by,... but OCR 2592 is still our nemesis unit. I am glad it's the last time it runs - even if I do have to mark the assignments next year!

The order of merit for my students was nothing like I predicted. I am worried that yet again it is not being consistently marked.

How was it for other people?



#3 Mark H.

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 06:38 PM

For once ours were pretty much on the money in terms of rank order, although a couple received lower marks than I would have predicted. However, predictions are worth little in this module (see earlier years' threads passim) and I can confidently state that the scripts that were awarded As this year were no better or worse than studies that have received nearly full marks or Ds in previous years. Well, at least this is the last year of the OCR History coursework lottery. Surely we can't have similar problems with moderated studies? (Can we?)
In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#4 Jeremy H

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 07:09 PM

I was pleased with our coursework marks as well - the students who had worked hardest and had "got" the critical evaluation of sources bit were rewarded with As - which were well deserved. The unit that puzzled me was 2589 (Gladstone and Disraeli) - usually we do very well on this one but this time the marks were a lot lower than the other units. This particularly surprised me because the same candidates had done so well on the coursework which tests a similar skill to this unit. Did anyone else have a similar experience on these 2 papers?
Thanks.

Edited by Jeremy H, 20 August 2009 - 07:10 PM.


#5 Mark H.

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:10 AM

We take G and D as a January module but our results were disappointing this year so many of the candidates resat. The resit marks weren't disastrous but none of the students managed an A, even those who ended up with an A-Level grade A overall. Our marks for 2589 G and D have deteriorated somewhat in the last couple of years, even though the same people are teaching it to a similar calibre of candidate.
In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#6 Anne Piper

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:24 AM

Coursework marks were shocking this year. Last year all had As and Bs: this year very few As, the odd B, but mostly Cs and Ds. One candidate lost his Oxford place by one mark-D for coursework! Am looking into it as too many lost out on first choice places because they fared so badly in 2592.
Let no one think of me as humble or weak or passive ...

#7 Mark H.

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 10:05 AM

I hate to say it, Anne, but you could be wasting your time. I've complained until I'm blue in the face about the apparently arbitrary marking of this module, as have teachers from other schools (see threads on this in previous years). OCR refuse to admit, officially at least, that there has been a problem with it, despite all the evidence to the contrary. We've had all sorts of weird results over the years- one year 10 out of 15 candidates got As, the next otherwise top grade students got Ds and a very modest candidate got virtually full marks for a study which essentially precised two textbooks. Similar calibre of students; same teachers. I've met people at conferences who are genuinely convinced that the examiners don't even read the studies before awarding the marks! My complaints have always been dealt with dismissively by the board and they've refused to acknowledge in letters to me that other schools have also complained despite the fact that I know some of the teachers involved personally. Their standard get-out (which they've been using ever since this Specification started, see http://www.independe...xed-607297.html ) is that schools are misinterpreting the requirements. That means in our case, for example, that one year the teachers get it right and the next year the same teachers get it wrong. Er, I don't think so. As it's the last year of this Specification, I'm afraid I can't see OCR suddenly changing their minds and admitting that there has been a severe ongoing problem with the marking of this module.

Edited by Mark H., 21 August 2009 - 11:40 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#8 Anne Piper

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:30 AM

I think you are right Mark (actually I know you are!). I think last year's results were due to the fact that we had made a huge stink about marking the previous year. And yes, pupils who are straight A grade getting full marks on the exam modules get rubbish in the c/w. How on earth do you explain that to parents when they want to know why their child missed out on a top uni place because of arbitrary marking of c/w modules! It makes teachers look very follish when we predict As and Bs and the pupils end up with Cs and Ds. It certainly does not fill pupils with confidence about the skills of their teachers.

Have now changed to Edexcel and have to say the support so far has been excellent although I haven't had time to digest the AS results yet!
Let no one think of me as humble or weak or passive ...

#9 Mark H.

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:39 AM

We are very seriously thinking of moving from OCR as a result of all this. What amazes me is how blase OCR appear to have been about the quite obvious problems with coursework marking. From talking to people at conferences etc, it's been THE biggest problem with the OCR History A-Level since the AS/A2 change and I know for a fact that schools have deserted them as a consequence. We've always liked the content of the OCR course. If they could only get their marking on a consistent basis we'd be happy to stay with them. Unfortunately our initial experience with the new AS has not been reassuring.

Edited by Mark H., 21 August 2009 - 11:45 AM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#10 Jenjane

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 01:32 PM

We are very seriously thinking of moving from OCR as a result of all this. What amazes me is how blase OCR appear to have been about the quite obvious problems with coursework marking. From talking to people at conferences etc, it's been THE biggest problem with the OCR History A-Level since the AS/A2 change and I know for a fact that schools have deserted them as a consequence. We've always liked the content of the OCR course. If they could only get their marking on a consistent basis we'd be happy to stay with them. Unfortunately our initial experience with the new AS has not been reassuring.


Am in utter turmoil regarding our results. OUr highest grade was a C, all other students got D's andE's. Similarly, several lost places. Thankfully our 2 Oxford students still got in despite OCR feeling their coursework was only worth E. Strange considering that Oxford even wrote to us after the interview commenting on how one of them was such an excellent candidate...
Am going to try to make contact and see what happens. They massively cocked up our courseowrk proposal procedure this year : didn't get them back until December, February and March despite sending them off in October (in one lot!) . And the duplicates we got (Feb and March) surprisingly were completely contradictory. Controversially they actually sent a letter of apology, but claimed it would not affect their final grades. I fear it has. Perhaps I have an angle here...?
will let you know what happens.
Jane

#11 Mark H.

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:13 PM

Good luck. To be fair I have always found the Coursework Advice given thorough and helpful. Unfortunately, when candidates clearly act on the advice given it doesn't seem to make a jot of difference to the final result! As has been made abundantly clear by numerous contributors to this forum over the years the marks awarded by OCR for coursework studies are often completely inexplicable and there is seemingly no consistency between one year and the next. Far from indicating that schools are misinterpreting the requirements the obvious conclusion is that the problem lies with the assessment procedure. However OCR stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this 'inconvenient truth'.

Edited by Mark H., 21 August 2009 - 07:56 PM.

In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.

#12 Jenjane

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 02:46 PM

Good luck. To be fair I have always found the Coursework Advice given thorough and helpful. Unfortunately, when candidates clearly act on the advice given it doesn't seem to make a jot of difference to the final result! As has been made abundantly clear by numerous contributors to this forum over the years the marks awarded by OCR for coursework studies are often completely inexplicable and there is seemingly no consistency between one year and the next. Far from indicating that schools are misinterpreting the requirements the obvious conclusion is that the problem lies with the assessment procedure. However OCR stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this 'inconvenient truth'.


Surprisingly OCR failed to see how the proposal form cock-up would have impaired results. Told me to give specific examples in a letter and they would investigate. But also try a remark if we are reliant on getting a place!!!
Shocking.
Jane

#13 Carl Fazackerley

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 06:34 PM

At least we don't have to do it again!
"Ernest Hemingway: In order to be a great writer a person must have a built- in, shockproof - crap detector."

#14 JohnP

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:29 PM

We managed 6 A-grades out of 12; 1 B and 4- C grades. Average group but pleasantly surprised as I did a lot of work with these students. We've moved onto 'Option B' for the new A level and our first batch of grades produced 7 A grades! So I'm surprised, relieved and slightly apprehensive. Surely that standard can't be kept up?
I'm more concerned with the 2589 paper which was woeful with an A candidate picking up a 'U' grade!! No idea how but we'll call for the paper to see what went wrong as it's such a disparity. Thankfully it's over now.

#15 Mark H.

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:53 AM

We've had some very odd individual marks on 2589 (Gladstone and Disraeli) in the past couple of years. Which option did you do?
In memory of my boyhood hero Jim Clark (1936-1968): 'Chevalier Sans Peur et Sans Reproche'.




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