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INSET: Improving Performance AQA Modern World His


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#1 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 08:22 PM

As promised I shall be providing a summary of a recent INSET course I attended on Improving Performance in AQA GCSE Modern World led by Steve Waugh. An outstanding course with useful advice, tips, and practical suggestions that can be implemented straight away.....and suggestions on how to reduce our workload.....if you ever get a chance to go on a Steve Waugh course...grab it!

WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
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#2 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 08:39 PM

What makes GCSE History difficult?

1. Content – probably more depth & breadth than any other GCSE subject.

2. Variety of skills – again probably more than any other GCSE subject – QCA (bless them) added an extra layer of skill in 1998 (interpretations)

3. Examination conditions – one of the few subjects in which candidates have nothing to help them (e.g. annotated scripts)

4. Examination papers – no tiered papers. Supposedly accessible to all ability and ranges.

5. Examination questions – often demand higher order Thinking Skills (analysis, evaluation & synthesis) No structured questions with scaffolding to help. No one word answers.

6. Essay questions confuse pupils: What skills are being tested? Concept nightmare: For example: Did relations between the USSR & USA improve between 1955, when Khrushchev came to power, and the setting up of the ‘hot line’ in 1963?

7. Examination papers contain levels of response mark schemes – imposing conceptual demands on the candidates.

8. Teachers have High Expectations of students: We are always aware that there is a ‘better answer’. Students feel they must produce the ‘perfect’ answer in order to achieve the top level. Examiners do not look for perfection when awarding top marks.

9. AQA specific difficulties:
No standardised exam paper
Objective 1 & 2 across both papers
Great variety of question styles – it is like the Heinz 57 variety.
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#3 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 08:45 PM

Analysis of the exam papers

It is very important to analyse the examination papers in order to assess the nature of the questions that your students will have to answer.

Essay type questions


Describe: This will involve describing key events or features or giving an account.

Causation: This involves explaining why an event occurred.

Consequence: Explaining the key results of an event.

Change: Explaining the key changes and (often) continuity.

Analysis: This usually involves making a judgement on an event or person.

Key issues for essay type questions are:

· There is no scaffolding to help candidates answer these questions.

· This has implications for all students at all ability levels.

· Often high tariff mark questions e.g. 15 marks

· Students need to learn how to answer these types of questions. They need to learn how to plan.

Source Questions

Source comprehension and inference: Candidates need to be able to interpret sources and make inferences from them.

Source comparison/cross referencing: Candidates have to compare the views given by two or three sources looking for similarities and/or differences.

Source reliability: Candidates have to analyse the reliability of a source based on contents and provenance.

Source utility: Candidates have to assess the usefulness of one or more sources, discussing positive value and limitations.

Sources and own knowledge: Candidates have to explain the causes or results of an event using a source and their own knowledge.

Key issues for source questions are:
· Students need to develop basic, generic source skills, which include nature, origins and purpose.

· Students need practice in answering specific source questions.

Interpretations

Single source interpretations: Candidates are asked to judge the accuracy of an interpretation using content and motives/purpose of author.

Two source interpretations: Candidates have to explain why two sources give similar or different interpretations.

Analysing an interpretation: Candidates have to use the sources and their own knowledge to discuss a given interpretation.

Key Issues for interpretation type questions are:

· Students need to understand interpretations especially from historians and textbooks. Not always easy to grasp.

· Need practice in the specific questions they will have to answer.



THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR EXAM SUCCESS IS NOT CONTAINED IN THE EXAMINATION PAPER.
IT IS CONTAINED IN THE MARK SCHEME.



Next post: the secret of success is in the mark scheme
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#4 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 09:08 PM

THE SECRET OF EXAM SUCCESS IS HIDDEN IN THE MARK SCHEME

The significance of mark schemes

Key questions to consider

· At what level does the candidate have to perform consistently to achieve a grade C?
· Look at the generic mark scheme. What are the key skills required to achieve a C?
· At what level does the candidate have to perform consistently to achieve

AQA B Modern World History June 2003
Grade Lowest %
A* 78
A 68
B 58
C 47
D 39
E 30
F 23
G 15



Teacher activity to do:
Looking at the mark scheme for Paper 1 & 2 summer 2003 exam – If you have not received yours yet contact via email: history@aqa.org.uk

· Add up the maximum marks each candidate could get for each sub-question at levels 1, 2, 3 & 4

· For ‘penny points’ marks (first question in section A Paper 1) 1 mark level 1, 2 marks level2 etc.

· If there is no level 4 mark give the candidate the maximum level 3 mark.

· If there is no level 3 mark give the candidate the maximum level 2 mark.

· When you have your total from both exam papers multiply by 2 as the candidate will have answered 2 questions on Paper 1 and 2 questions on Paper 2.

· Paper 2 section B last question only credit (d) or (e)

· Each paper is marked out of 75. Your total will be out of 150. Now turn it into a %.


In true Blue Peter style the results are as follows:

Level 1 top marks 38 24%
Level 2 top marks 89 62%
Level 3 top marks 130 87%
Level 4 top marks 150 100%

So:
If a LEVEL 1 pupil consistently scored top marks at LEVEL 1 then they could achieve 24% - Grade F.

If a LEVEL 2 pupil consistently scored top marks at LEVEL 2 then they could achieve 62% - Grade B.

If a LEVEL 3 pupil consistently scored top marks at LEVEL 3 then they could achieve 87% - Grade A.

Obviously Level 4 pupil would 100% A*.

For me this revelation was fantastic……for years I have pushed pupils to aim for Level 3 answers to get them over the C/D borderline….the real potential here is to get the Level 2 pupils to consistently apply top Level 2 answers and they could achieve a Grade B.
Marvellous!


Following posts: generic level response mark schemes for both the teacher and pupil for objectives 1, 2 & 3.
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#5 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 10:51 PM

Generic Level of Response Mark Scheme Objectives 1 & 2 (teacher version)


Level 1 answers come in the form of unsupported sentences, which are appropriate, but which lack any depth of knowledge or understanding OR in the form of generalisations that could refer to any period of time.

There is no attempt to back up initial statements with any form of explanation or to supply further explanation in the form of knowledge and understanding that would make the answer relevant to a specific period.

Level 1 answers are usually short unsupported statements OR generalised accounts which may be lengthy, but lack contextual knowledge and understanding.


Level 2: Answers come in several forms. Some will be undeveloped paragraphs in which students are able to back up initial statements with relevant supporting knowledge and understanding or one developed paragraph and one or more undeveloped. These answers will often look as if the student has written all he or she knows, with little or no attempts to discriminate in terms of content OR in terms of the focus of the question.

Level 2 answers may well be lengthy, but are usually undirected descriptive accounts of events with a series of relevant but unconnected paragraphs.



Level 3: Answers take the form of a series of developed paragraphs, which show that the students have clearly taken the trouble to impose a degree of planning on the response. There is a clear focus on the demands of the questions and the answer reads logically. The student has selected his or her knowledge appropriately.

Level 3 answers are usually a series of developed paragraphs which focus upon the key issue of the question, such as causation, change etc.


Level 4: These answers show clear understanding of the focus of the question and are structured accordingly. Students show clear and consistent evidence of a planned and logical approach and use knowledge and understanding of the topic with discrimination.

The key words and terms in the question are explained in the introduction, along with the main points to be made in the body of the answer. The main body pf the answer refers to the factors identified in the introduction and these are subsequently referred to in the conclusion. The student gives a sustained and reasoned judgement in connection with the question.

In Level 4 answers, students clearly know where they are going to end up before they begin.


Next post: Pupil version for objective 1 & 2

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#6 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 11:19 PM

Generic Level of Response Mark Scheme Objectives 1 & 2 (pupil version)


Level 1: This means that you are able to write some sentences to answer the question, but you do have enough knowledge an understanding of the topic to be able to write a paragraph. You may write a paragraph, but not actually add very much to what you have said in the opening sentence. Your answer may be a general statement. This means that you have suggested that everybody was treated the same or that you have given one general reasons why something happened. You may also have written a description that could be true of almost any period of history. This can often happen when you are describing a war or the role of a woman in society.

To improve to Level 2 you will need to add more detailed information to help you back up and explain your answer and try to write in paragraphs.



Level 2:
This means that you back up your answer with more detailed knowledge and understanding of the topic. You write an opening sentence for each paragraph and tehn explain this in more detail. Your answer will be a series of paragraphs that contain detailed information about the topic.

The information that you include in each paragraph must be relevant to the topic that you are writing about. It is no good just writing about anything that comes into your mind. The best idea is to stop and give yourself time to remember what you have studied.

To improve to Level 3, you will need to take time to plan your answer and ensure each factor is well developed.



Level 3:
This means that you have written a sequence of developed paragraphs with detailed knowledge and understanding and have organised the paragraphs in a way that makes sense.

The most important feature of a Level 3 answer is that it must be read logically. There must be no paragraphs that are out of place and you much have spent some time planning before you start writing.

To improve to Level 4, you will need to organise your answers do that you write an introduction, an argument and a conclusion.



Level 4: This means that you have read and fully understood the question. You must also have worked out what you are going to say in the conclusion before you actually start writing the introduction. To do this you must plan your answer fully.

The introduction must state clearly what you believe are the main factors and this must be supported by the argument in the following paragraphs.

Your conclusion should be a sustained judgement on the key issue in the question.



Next post: Teacher version for objective 3
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#7 Lesley Ann

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 11:56 PM

Generic Level of Response Mark Scheme Objective 3 (teacher version)

Level 1: Answers show that students have read/looked at the sources and have understood them, but are unable to do anything else. They many copy out relevant sections of the sources, or can paraphrase them, or maybe able to spot simple similarities and differences of content, but they cannot make any inferences. Ofetn make generalised comments about reliability and utility.

Students may make unsupported general comments about the provenance, which are unrelated to context, e.g. ‘this is only one letter’. Own knowledge if required will either be generalised or in short statements.

Level 1 answers accept the sources at face value with little or no own knowledge.



Level 2: Answers show that students are able to go beyond what is in the source at face value. They make inferences from the content or provenance of sources. This may apply either to the content of the source or the details of the provenance. Answers are often undeveloped and unbalanced. For example in assessing reliability they only comment on content of source, in utility they only look at limitations of source and in both cases mainly either own knowledge or the source. Own knowledge will be used to explain references in the sources, for example the name of the writer or any events that are mentioned. Answers often describe the contents of the source rather than answering the question.

Level 2 answers show clearly that students are able to explore sources by making inferences OR commenting briefly on possible limitations/utility/reliability.



Level 3:
Answers show that students are able to comment effectively on significance of the content and the provenance of the sources in relation to their contextual knowledge. They can set the sources firmly ‘in period’ and can also make use of the details in the provenance to explain how the sources can be useful/reliable/accurate. Own knowledge will enable students to relate their answers to the period in question, rather than just being used to explain references in sources. There is greater development and balance.

In Level 3 answers students are able to use sources to explain how useful/reliable, accurate sources are by exploring the provenance and content and using contextual knowledge.



Level 4: Answers are fully balanced with the student able to evaluate utility/reliability/accuracy/different interpretations in a comprehensive way including.
· Positive value and limitations
· Provenance and content
· Contextual knowledge and the sources

Level 4 answers the student shows a complex understanding of the source and is able to give a sustained explanation.




Next post: Pupil version for objective 3

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#8 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 09:11 PM

Generic Level of Response Mark Scheme Objective 3 (pupil version)



Level 1: This means than you take information form the sources without thinking about the context of the source or who produced it. You simply rewrite the information that the sources gives you, without trying to work out anything from the information. If you use your own knowledge it will be in simple statements or sentences.

To improve to Level 2 you will need to make inferences or pay attention to the ‘provenance’ of the source; that is the information given at the top.



Level 2: This means that you are able to make inferences from sources, for example you can work out what is going on in the background. You can also sport if a source is unreliable or one-sided (biased) but your answer will often be undeveloped and unbalanced. You can give the limitations of a source when asked if it is useful. You only look at the contents of a source when deciding whether it is reliable or accurate. You still tend to describe the contents of a source, what it says or shows, rather than judging whether it is accurate, reliable or useful. You can compare two sources but may go through the sources in turn rather than looking for similarities and/or differences. Your answers are often undeveloped.

To improve to Level 3, you will need to give a more balance, developed answer and try to look at contents and provenance of sources, their value and limitations.




Level 3: This means that there is more balance and focus to your answers and they are more developed. You use the contest, content or provenance of sources to decide upon utility, reliability and accuracy. You use your own knowledge to put the source in context and answer the question. In utility questions you fully explain limitations and positive value with reference to content or provenance. In deciding reliability you evaluate the provenance of the source or use your own knowledge to question the contents and context. You can judge an interpretation by analysing the purpose of the author or the content/nature of the source.

To improve to Level 4 you will need to write a fully balanced answer totally focused on the question.



Level 4: This means you can give a fully developed, focused and balance answer. You use the context, content and provenance of sources to decide upon utility, reliability and accuracy. You use your on knowledge to put the source in context and answer the question. In utility questions you fully explain limitations and positive value with reference to content and provenance. In deciding reliability you evaluate the provenance of the source and use your own knowledge to question the contents and context. You can judge an interpretation by analysing both the purpose of the author and the content/nature of the source. You write a conclusion, which gives a final, sustained judgement on the source or sources.



Next a little marking exercise to explain how to effectively target set levels with pupils.
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#9 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 09:52 PM

Marking exercise:

Mark the following answers using the generic mark scheme. Award a level for each answer and then explain how the candidate could have improved the answer to reach a higher level.

Why did support for Hitler and the Nazi Party increase during the period 1929 to January 1933?


Candidate A:In 1929 there was a depression in Germany. It started with the Wall Street Crash in the USA. America withdrew loans from Germany and this ruined many businesses. Many Germans were laid off and by 1932 unemployment had reached six million. Hitler toured Germany and made many speeches to the German people. In those speeches to the German people he promised he would get rid of the Treaty of Versailles and create jobs for the unemployed. He used his brown shirts to protect his meetings and beat up communist opponents. Propaganda was organised by Joseph Goebbels. President Hindenburg and Papen decided that they would use Hitler. He would become Chancellor but they would have real control. In January 1933 they invited him to become Chancellor.

Candidate B:
There are several reasons why Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933 including the effects of the Depression, effective Nazi propaganda and the collapse of parliamentary government.
The Depression of 1929 certainly brought increased support for the Nazi Party. It destroyed many German businesses and led to unemployment of six million by 1932. This further reduced confidence in the Weimar Republic with many Germans now turning to extreme parties, such as the Communists and Nazis, who seemed to offer solutions to Germany’s problems. Many businesses feared the rise of communism and gave funds to support the Nazi Party.

Hitler and the Nazis also won support because of their appeal. Hitler toured the country making speeches and promises to the German people. Goebbels used propaganda very effectively, including posters, the newspapers and radio, to get the Nazi message across. Hitler’s promises to destroy the Treaty of Versailles, reduce unemployment and restore the greatness of Germany appealed to many Germans.

Successive Weimar Governments were unable to cope with the level of unemployment until eventually President Hindenburg ruled by emergency decree and began to appoint Chancellors with little of no support in the Reichstag. Eventually, under the guidance of an ex-Chancellor, von Papen, Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in the belief that they would be able to control him and use the Nazi support in the Reichstag.

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#10 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:01 PM

Candidate A:

Comments:
Weak Level 2 answer because:
· Candidate describes/narrates the events of 1929-31
· There is not explanation of the key factors

Target:
This candidate is capable of achieving a good level 2 by:
· Structuring the answer to include an introduction, paragraphs and a conclusion.
· Beginning each paragraph with a reason e.g. the depression and then explaining that reason.



Candidate B:

Comments:
A good Level 3 answer because:
· The candidate focuses on the question
· Good structure to answer – introduction & paragraphs
· Three main reasons explained

Target:
This candidate is capable of Level 4 by:
· Making links between the reasons/paragraphs.
· Writing a conclusion which makes a judgement e.g. on the most important reason.
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#11 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:26 PM

Another marking exercise:


Describe the consequences of introducing Prohibition in the USA during the 1920s. (5 marks)


Candidate A
Prohibition was when the USA banned the sale of alcohol. This was brought in because people said that alcohol was causing all sorts of problems such as violence, crime and poverty. Many brewers were of German origin and when the USA joined the war in 1917, there was a lot of anti-German feeling.

The main consequence of Prohibition was to encourage gangsters. They were able to make massive profits from selling alcohol. They even took control of many cities by bribing local policemen, judges and politicians. The most famous city was Chicago which was controlled by the famous gangster, Al Capone.



Candidate B

Prohibition had several consequences for the USA in the 1920s. First of all it led to moonshine or people making their own alcohol. Some of it was very poisonous.

It also led to a lot of smuggling of alcohol especially from the West Indies and Canada. One of the most famous smugglers was William McCoy.

It also encouraged gangsters who were able to make a lot of money from making and selling alcohol. The most famous gangster was Al Capone who controlled Chicago.




Describe the consequences of introducing Prohibition in the USA during the 1920s.
(5 marks)


Level 1: Basic description: E.g. a lot of people broke the law by smuggling in alcohol from abroad or making it themselves.
(1 mark)

Level 2: Either
Detailed description: e.g. details on bootleggers and gansters
Or
Limited description of wider aspects: e.g. outline on bootleggers, gangsters, prohibition agents, raids.
(2-3 marks)

Level 3 Detailed description of several aspects.
e.g. details on items listed above.
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#12 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 10:31 PM

Candidate A:
Comments:
First paragraph about why Prohibition was brought in cannot be credited. Candidate then describes only one consequence – gangsters.
Low level 2

Target:
· Do not include irrelevant information – check key word – consequences
· Describe more than one factor

Candidate B
Comments:
Gives a very brief description of three consequences
Level 2

Target:
Give more detailed description of at least two factors.
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#13 Lesley Ann

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 11:22 PM

Phew! That took awhile to type up!

Now how to reduce your workload:

1. Start this with Year 10
2. For HW (Homework) set a GCSE question – collect it in, mark it – give it a level, mark and target on how to improve.
3. Repeat this two or three times.
4. On the fourth HW: Give the pupils the mark scheme and tell them to mark it themselves, to give themselves a level and a target to improve. Then you collect it in and remark it.
5. Repeat this.
6. Vary which pupils mark the HW. (e.g. friends, own, similar ability – then try and get a level 2 pupil to mark a level 3 and so on so pupils get to see a range of abilities and levels)

The pupils become the examiner…they understand the examination process…they SELF ASSESS and the onus is placed on them to set their own targets for improvement.

· Steve Waugh suggested setting classes where possible….
· Teaching to the Levels – don’t introduce a Level 1 pupil to Level 4 answers…..give the level 1 pupils scaffolding to achieve level 1 to 2…..give the level 2 pupil scaffolding to achieve level 2 to 3……etc….

Target setting

The information gained from an assessment taken under the demands of an examination paper and mark scheme can be used effectively to target set and inform students of their progress.

Teacher assessment and target setting
· In years 10 & 11 the marking of students work should provide as much info about their progress as possible.
· Marking should relate as directly as possible to examination grades.
· Students should be provided with the information they need to be able to identify in what ways they need to improve their work
· Teachers can set reasonable and achievable targets for students in relation to their GCSE grades
· Teachers can differentiate between students in terms of expectations and targets and so reduce the demands on certain students.
· It greatly assists differentiation

Student Target setting
· Students should be encouraged to take more responsibility for their own learning and preparation for GCSE - the ideal autonomous learner.
· Students awareness and use of mark schemes early on in year 10
· Students should set themselves targets for all assessment

Student self-assessment
· Student self-marking to encourage target seeting and greater understanding of the needs of the examination
· Varied approach e.g. self or peer assessment
· Reduced teacher workload
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#14 Lesley Ann

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 12:07 AM

We must get the pupils used to using plans:


Here is the scaffolding suggested to use with Level 3 pupils..Level 3 essay plan:


Introduction: This must be the beginning of the topic. Look for the key word, such as ‘Why’ and try not to leave the examiner guessing as to what you are going to say. Make sure that you begin at the beginning. If possible, explain any words or terms in the question.




Body: This must cover the main points that you want to make. It is very important that the paragraphs must be arranged logically, which means that you must work out the sequence before you actually start writing. For example, if you are referring to long and short term causes, make sure that you explain the long term causes first. But, if you are referring to long and short term effects, make sure that you refer to the short term effects first.

Write down what you are going to mention in each paragraph, and how you are going to link it to the next one.

Paragraph 1:


Link

Paragraph 2:


Link

Paragraph 3:


Link

Paragraph 4:


Link

Conclusion: In this section you finish off your answer. Try not to stop dead and make sure that you end with the last reason or event in chronological order. Make it clear to the examiner that you have brought your answer to a logical conclusion
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#15 Lesley Ann

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 12:18 AM

Essay plan framework for Level 4:

Introduction: In this section you must make it clear to the examiner that you understand the question. You must explain any names, dates or terms and also refer to the main points that you are going to make in your answer. You should be aware of what you are going to include in your Conclusion.




Argument: In this section you explain your answer in detail. It is essential that you refer to all of the points that you made in the Introduction and that they are dealt with in a logical sequence. The examiner should be in no doubt about what you believe are the most important factors, events or consequences and these must be explained in this section and also referred to in the Conclusion.

The most important quality of a Level 4 answer is that it is clear that the student has planned it fully beforehand.

Paragraph 1:


Link

Paragraph 2:


Link

Paragraph 3:


Link

Paragraph 4:


Link

Conclusion: In this section you finish off your answer. Refer back to the points that you made in the statement and explained in the support. Make absolutely clear what you believe to be the main reasons etc. Do not introduce any new information at this point.
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