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Lessons from the moderation of controlled assessment in 2013

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1 Lessons from the moderation of controlled assessment in 2013
WJEC GCSE Geography A Marking the DME in 2014 Lessons from the moderation of controlled assessment in 2013 The Principal Moderator is pleased to report that the vast majority of centres developed effective DMEs that were marked accurately. The work of 244 centres was moderated in Of these, the marks of 43 centres were adjusted – in some cases upwards. However, there are some marking issues that recur in a number of centres and this presentation will focus on those issues. Indeed, where marking is unreliable it is more likely to be unreliable in the DME than in the Fieldwork Enquiry. We will deal with task setting issues in another presentation.

2 There are revised level descriptors for AO3
Headlines There are revised level descriptors for AO3 The DME mark scheme has been revised. You must use the scheme on page 40 of the current specification! 11-15 LEVEL 3 Selects and uses relevant information from sources which are accurately referenced. 16-20 LEVEL 4 Independently selects and uses relevant information from a range of sources which are accurately referenced. Recognises some limitations / bias in the sources used. Identifies vested interests and reflects on the validity of the sources used. Selects and uses, with reasonable accuracy, techniques or technologies to process and present appropriate evidence. Independently selects and uses, with accuracy, a range of techniques or technologies to process and present appropriate evidence. Communication skills are well developed and ideas are presented logically. The mode of presentation is appropriate. Communication skills are highly developed and the candidate is able to weigh up evidence available and present a very logical argument. The mode of presentation is entirely appropriate. The revised mark scheme must be used when marking candidate work for the 2014 award ie the work that will be sent to the moderator in March The mark scheme is available in the specification and also as a grid which can be downloaded from the WJEC website. Amendments were made to the level descriptors for AO3 – to provide clarity and resolve queries that had been raised by teachers marking previous cohorts. These changes stress the importance of annotating appropriate evidence of: The recognition of opinion and bias. Selection and use of resources (eg video, books and websites) which are accurately referenced. We recommend you have the marking grid in front of you when viewing this presentation.

3 AO1 – Knowledge and Understanding
In some centres there is a tendency for generous marking where candidates have copied large sections of resources. Copying does not provide evidence of understanding of the topic / issue. There is a tendency by some candidates to copy out large sections of resources as evidence of understanding of the topic or issue. If they have copied then the understanding is very often limited as is the use of geographical terminology and this tends to become more evident as the work progresses. Candidates should be encouraged to explain the problem and analyse the options using their own words. Sources can be used but must be acknowledged. They could be annotated to show understanding.

4 AO2 – Application Generous marking gives credit:
to the use of the word ‘sustainable’ even where the candidate makes no attempt to explain why one option is more sustainable than another. Where a candidate has written a descriptive report which makes little attempt to make and justify a decision. Markers should annotate evidence that shows the candidates understands complex relationships between people and the environment to achieve level 4. Many candidates use the word sustainability without demonstrating any understanding of this important concept. The teaching of the topic prior to the assessment could focus more clearly on developing an understanding the different elements of sustainability so that candidates have the opportunity to apply this understanding. Remember that controlled assessment is a form of summative assessment – it should not be a learning opportunity. Some resource folders suggest that teaches are trying to structure learning and assessment at the same time. The same is true when we come to the enquiry process – where heavily structured tasks suggest that candidates have not had prior experience of fieldwork or data processing and presentation. Many candidates receive a level 4 for decision making despite writing very descriptive accounts. This suggests that the centre has not fully considered what it is that candidates will be deciding when the task is being developed. We will discuss this in more detail later today. Conclusions must be "perceptive and informed" to be awarded marks at the top of level four. It is important to remember that there is more than one descriptor in this AO, where annotation can help to pinpoint evidence. A discriminator between level three and four is the word "complex” at the higher level.

5 AO3 – Geographical Skills
Generous marking gives credit when: Candidates list stakeholders or describe viewpoints without explaining why those views are held or considering bias. Candidates have written descriptive reports illustrated only with photographs without processing any data. Teachers should give their candidates opportunities to increase the range of techniques by carefully selecting items for a resource pack. The recognition of bias is weak area in many centres. The moderators see examples where viewpoints were listed but where there was little or no analysis of those points of view. Often this part of the mark scheme is not given enough emphasis, and as a result candidates are given too high a mark. Candidates should be given the opportunity to consider the reliability of sources, and/or the biased views of stakeholders in the decision making process. The recognition of bias is now rewarded at level 3 in the amended mark scheme. To achieve the new level 4 statement candidates need to show understanding that some stakeholders have a vested interest. Most candidates use photos in their reports but many fail to use them effectively by, for example, annotating them. Some candidates fail to manipulate, process or present any data. Later today we will consider how tasks can be better designed to provide greater access to AO3 marks.

6 AO3 – rewarding independence
This AO rewards independent thinking at level 4: Independently selects and uses, with accuracy, a range of sources which are accurately referenced Independently ... a range of techniques ... To process and present. This may seem challenging – but controlled assessment should differentiate and provide opportunities for stretch and challenge for the most able candidates. Clearly, teachers need to consider the need for candidate independence when developing new tasks. Tightly structured tasks do not allow candidates to show their full ability and may present candidates with a glass ceiling – preventing them from entering level 4 of the mark scheme. It greatly assists the moderation process if markers annotate instances where candidates have demonstrated independence.

7 Level 2 Level 3 The moderators see a lot of examples where teachers have highlighted all of the statements in one level 3 whereas the moderator sees evidence across the levels. It suggests that the marker may be marking what they know about the child rather than the evidence in the report itself. Using the levels should be a best fit exercise which is dependent on the quality of the response (not the quantity!) What level would you award based on this evidence? The levels depend on the quality of the response. The grid suggests that the candidate is working in level 2 for some strands of AO3 but in level 3 for other elements. The best fit suggests that the quality of responsehas crept into level 3 in most respects so a mark of 11 could be awarded.

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