Having again found the marking of the coursework an experience akin to peeling off my skin, I wonder whether any fellow travellers might like to compare notes? (Go on, please! Have a go!)
1. Starting at the shallow end... At the risk of being pedantic, regarding both the Interpretations
mark schemes, was it necessary for Band 1A text in columns A01a and A01b to be reproduced exactly in the respective cells for Level 1B? Presumably nobody would ever dream of writing down 'Level 1B' for either column, so that band seems utterly redundant for those columns. Haven't OCR heard of the merging cells
facility in spreadsheets?
2. In both the Interpretations
mark schemes, reference is made in A01b to the 'understanding of key concepts relevant to analysis and to the topic'. The heading talks of 'causation, consequences, continuity, change and significance within an historical context' *and* 'the relationships between key features and characteristics of the periods studied.' All suitably intimidating language to a mere mortal like me.
So were one marking the essay, Assess the view that the Holocaust was the result of a predetermined
plan by the Nazi regime
, presumably one would have to look for signs in the essay that the pupil makes a connection
- say - between the Wansee Conference's timing and the recent failure of Operation Barbarossa (which now precluded the Nazis from the option of 'disposing' of all the European Jews in their 'possession' by 'dumping' them over the Urals)? Is that it?? Or am I missing something? Does 'the relationship between features and characteristics of the periods studied' mean something terribly arcane and significant that I am simply missing??
3. In the Interpretations
mark scheme, A02a requires a 'judgement' of the historians' interpretations. To my mind, in *every* task, each of the 4 interpretations has clear strengths and weaknesses. Is it enough to display this 'judgement' by showing which bits in each are more/less convincing? Or does the necessary 'judgement' in fact require an 'overall winner'
to be picked, i.e. 'In conclusion, as we have seen, overall Smith is the most convincing because...'? If the latter, do the remaining interpretations need to be ranked in order of how convincing they are?
4. In the Investigations
mark scheme, A02a requires 'critical use of a range of research materials'. I interpret this to mean that a candidate can present an argument/view taken from a source, and validate, qualify or challenge that argument/view by using evidence taken from other sources, i.e.:
'Smith claims x, but I find Jones more convincing when he says y. That Wilkins makes essentially the same point as Jones makes their argument all the more convincing.'
I presume an acceptable alternative would be:
'Smith claims x, but I believe he is wrong because in my research I have found statistic Y which contradicts Smith's claim.'
Presumably a combination of both is acceptable but not obligatory
'Smith claims x, but Jones says y. I believe Smith is wrong and Jones is right, because in my research I have found statistic Z which contradicts Smith's claim and supports Jones's.'
5. Continuing with the Investigations
mark scheme, A01b carries only 6 marks maximum, whereas A02a carries 28. In which column would you penalise a candidate's essay were it very good at evaluating the evidence that it *did* present, yet missed certain important key 'causes'. For instance, in the aforementioned Holocaust essay, what if the candidate never actually got round to discussing the important factor that the Einsatzgruppen had already been murdering vast numbers of Jews *throughout* the Barbarossa campaign? Is this 'missing' factor a 'key concept' (A01b), or is it a serious deficiency in terms of 'analysis' / 'range of research materials' / 'discrimination' (A02a)?
That's enough for now, as my poor brain is buzzing!
Edited by Matt Spring, 05 May 2011 - 07:15 PM.