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Advanced Higher Geography Erica M Caldwell Senior Examiner SQA November 2011 version.

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Presentation on theme: "Advanced Higher Geography Erica M Caldwell Senior Examiner SQA November 2011 version."— Presentation transcript:


2 Advanced Higher Geography Erica M Caldwell Senior Examiner SQA November 2011 version

3 The Folio The Geographical Study

4 THE GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY Maximum length 25 sides of A4 paper or their equivalent. Larger sheets e.g. A3, may be folded to A4 size. A3 sheets count as two A4 sides so should be numbered accordingly. All overlays, whole or part of sheets, count as separate or extra sheets/pages. Font should be 12 except in diagrams.

5 The penalty of 10% of the marks will be deducted once the stated page limit has been exceeded i.e. 8 marks for the study. The cover, title page, contents page, maps, diagrams, tables and appendices (if you must have them) ALL count as pages. So page 1 must be the cover. The bibliography is the only exception to the page count… but it if it is in excess of the 25 pages it must only be bibliography and have no other materials on it.

6 How to improve candidate performance in the Study Study must have purpose Proper Geographical introduction Good quality location maps Clearly marked sample areas Dont waste too much time, space on detailed, simple methodologies Marks come from the data collected and what is done with it Use appropte size graphs Text to go with graphs or stats should develop and look for reasons and relationships and should not merely describe what the graph shows! If results dont work well use secondary data to help back up or explain Time for proper presentn …pages from field note books…bad news!

7 Using field centres with groups - purpose and issues Is this a way of introducing field work techniques or is this the ONLY experience candidates have? Are all your candidates using the same data? How do you assess one hard working candidate v group work? Studies need depth…take river studies… Physical are often done better than human but… Add in land use transect? Some settlement or transport? Secondary data e.g. from BGS, SEPA, SNH, census

8 Some other points… Using Street View to do an urban transect…what are the issues? Have the stats tests been checked for correctness, appropriateness, within range of possible answers? Quality of, and use of photos… Quality of printer?

9 Choice of topic for the Study This is really important difficulty and challenge of the chosen topic its viability of realistically being able to collect the amount of necessary data for a high quality AH study credit demanding topics take care with shared data and field centre work when marking be aware of your own experience and expectations

10 Marking the Study Total marks 80 Four x 20 marks Presentation Data and Content Techniques Relationships

11 The Marking Instructions Use the introductory statements and the key word descriptors The grids may help to differentiate Dont feel you have to make use of every part of the descriptor…guidance on the standard Use key words to provide the range in those with several marks e.g … The intro e.g. for 9 marks has some very helpful words for use in comments…

12 Presentation Written text - quality, accuracy, attention to detail (checking the Spell Checker…is it US?) Maps, diagrams, graphs: range/types: are they a suitable size for their relevance Scale, key, acknowledgements are clear: examiners shouldn't need to find information Properly laid out bibliography Overall finish; design, layout but…not just pretty or funky publishing…

13 Data and Content Quality of data collected; is it well beyond Standard Grade?? Are there both primary and secondary sources of data? Quantity; is there enough to make this an AH study? Appropriateness; is the data collected related to specific aims or research questions? Data…sound and suitable? Effort; is there evidence of serious work being done? e.g. revisiting sites for comparison.

14 Techniques Range and variety; the GMT section means there should be plenty of analytical and graphical techniques; good candidates search out more Effectiveness; are they suitable for the data or results being presented? Do they effectively bring out relationships for commentary in the text? Are they understood? Using difficult techniques is fine so long as they are correct and the results understood Focus; do they relate directly to the study questions???? What were the research or study questions?

15 Relationships Need to be sought out at all stages from development of study questions onwards Their quality related to research questions Explanation or analysis of relationships and conclusion; lucid, mature…not merely a repetition of results Appreciation of complexity of relationships Theoretical background to analysis; flair in use of theory and background reading

16 It is often very obvious that more work could and should have been done but the candidate hasnt done it. If the weather is a problem, secondary data can help lift a study out of the mundane. Constant excuses are very negative for the examiner! Revisiting sites is an excellent way of deriving relationships! Urban Studies: many are very simple, hardly beyond Standard Grade…use secondary sources and background theory Interesting material is often stuck in an appendix when it would have had far more impact as an integrated part of the whole

17 Them…these awful markers??? Remember markers see the finished product… cannot give credit for potential cannot reward effort unless it is obvious and contributes to a very well written piece of work shouldnt have to look for key, scale, page numbers, try to work out abbreviations &c Candidates must not assume that markers know their area. They need to introduce it and provide proper maps. S6 pupils need to learn to meet your deadlines and allow the time you agree with them for the final writing up, drawing diagrams &c so that they dont end up in a rush stuffing in bits of their fieldwork notebooks! ***************

18 The Folio The Geographical Issues Essay

19 The Rules of the Game: Essay Maximum length of 12 sides of A4 paper or their equivalent. Larger sheets can be folded to A4 size. An A3 sheet will count as two A4 sides and that each overlay, whether a whole or part sheets, will each count as a sheet in its own right.

20 For the Geographical Issues essay, a flat penalty of 10% of the marks available for the piece of work in question will be deducted once the stated page limit has been exceeded i.e. 6 marks for the essay. The page limits apply to ALL PAGES THAT ARE SUBMITTED, regardless of their content, and will therefore include any covers, title pages, contents page, maps, diagram, tables and appendices. The Penalty

21 The only exception to the rule on page limits applies to the bibliography which is excluded from the page count for the Geographical Issues Essay. Word Count Although the word count has been removed, there is no intention that the essay should be much longer than about 2,000 words The font size should be 12 for the main body of the work. Print for diagrams and footnotes will obviously be smaller size The Exception

22 How good candidates can do less well than they should Write overlong essays This often shows little or no selection of materials Or…summarise so much that the final product is bland Fail to look for suitable, relevant illustrations Waste time overproducing i.e. using fancy publishing styles which make it difficult to read Many essays of 5-6,000 words do worse than those which remain within the spirit of the old prescriptive word count: candidates literally talk themselves out of better marks!

23 Choice of topic Although topic choice is not separately marked, it is vital to choose a topic with enough meat and controversy to allow a quality essay to be written. Contextualisation: can only come through if candidates have done a lot of background reading and this is made obvious in the final essay. They need to use their background reading to prove/ disprove/ challenge/ corroborate/ back up the viewpoints or sources they are discussing. This is where real quality critical evaluation of the sources or viewpoints comes from, not from rants about words or phrases being biased!

24 Good viewpoints or sources Who are the people whose viewpoints are chosen? Name, position &c Are the people credible? A properly organised group of protesters with access to good statistics will have more weight than one eccentric protestor! A well respected academic… Value of newspapers? Quality? Credibility of reporter, his/her sources? Have the right* people been questioned? What do *their own websites say? Have they published any quality articles or research papers? Why are they qualified to pontificate? …contd

25 …continued Who else agrees (or disagrees) with them? {contextualisation} Is there real research or reliable statistics to back up the viewpoint? {contexualisation} Enough controversy to make it interesting? Range of sources i.e. not all from a local weekly newspapers Take care with relying too much even on quality newspapers…the articles are already summarised; 3 newpaper articles dont make for substantial sources Look for academic papers, journals, books

26 Marking the Essay - 60 marks 15 marks for each of the headings Presentation Research, content and relevance Structure and logical development Critical evaluation

27 Presentation Text is very well written; quality/high standard of grammar; well finished;shows attention to detail Graphics/illustrations; appropriate use; relevant and referred to in text; acknowledged; enhance the essay Bibliography is extensive; effective background reading; shows contextualisation Abbreviations are explained!!

28 Research, content and relevance Standard of research reflected in quality of materials consulted; intellectual substance Choice of content; appropriateness; range of viewpoints; contextualisation Relevance; clear understanding of the topic; provide a distinctive perspective

29 Structure and logical development Proper scene-setting introduction Clear description of the sources to give a basis for evaluation and critical commentary Clear specific arguments which show understanding and insight Organisation; written as an essay (although many will follow the NAB idea and still work quite well)

30 Critical commentary Is explicit and effectively incorporated Has commentary on the sources and viewpoints and is not a continuous rant about individual words Shows balance and is supported by other reading i.e. contexualisation Well argued conclusion which is not just a repetition of points already made; provides focus

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