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UCC DSS Workshop Series

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1 UCC DSS Workshop Series
Using Scribes in UCC Jessica Amberson

2 What is a scribe? And what do they do?
A scribe writes down a student’s dictated answers to questions in an examination In some cases a scribe can act as a reader as well Ideally, the scribe should speak only when spoken to, leaving the student: In charge of asking to have text read back, or To have the exam questions read out again. However, this rule of silence sometimes be broken, if for example the scribe cannot keep up with the speed of dictation. Generally, the scribe is responsible for spelling unless otherwise has been agreed. However, the student should be prepared to spell any technical words and give the main punctuation.

3 What is a scribe or amanuensis and what do they do?
The student may ask the scribe to alter either at any time and in this case the scribe must comply, even if he thinks the student is wrong The scribe should make sure all details (name, candidate number etc.) are correctly completed The scribe should make sure all answers are clearly numbered The scribe should make sure that any materials deleted by the student are cleared or crossed through.

4 The Scribe’s Additional Duties
In UCC, the scribe is usually also the invigilator so: They will inform you of exam protocol Observe timings as dictated by the paper Will accompany you to the bathroom (or doctor if you become unwell) He/she entitled to check bathroom/exam venue etc. before you use it.

5 What a Scribe Can Do The Scribe is someone who can write at a reasonable speed over prolonged periods of time, or be able to touch type Scribes are able to write clearly and neatly – you may wish to read over what is being written and can ask the scribe to read back what you have written at any time and as many times as you like The Scribe's spelling and punctuation will be accurate.

6 What Can Scribes Do When requested, the Scribe will read back any passages or make alterations to the text on the exact instructions of the student It is recommended that the Scribe write on every second line in order to accommodate changes, additions and corrections. You can expect your scribe to respect student confidentiality at all times and adhere to the University's expectations of scribes.

7 What a Scribe Cannot Do The Scribe cannot and will not re-word, re-structure, fill out or in any way augment what is dictated by the student The Scribe cannot answer any questions about the question, examiner’s intention or meaning. For example, the scribe cannot answer questions such as “Is this the right way to set up the problem?”, or, “Can you tell me what this word means?” The Scribe cannot make any recommendations about how best to answer the question In most cases he/she will not have studied the area in which you are being examined unless this is necessary i.e. perhaps in Maths, foreign languages or music.

8 What You Should Do – Your Comfort and Positioning
Find out where your exam venues are in advance and locate them in person – they may not all be on campus i.e. Brookfield, Western Gateway, ORB On the day ask if your scribe is right or left handed Sit on whichever side of them allows you to most easily monitor/watch/read what is being written.

9 What You Should Do – Dictation
Dictation is the central aspect of scribing. The main aspects of good dictation are: clarity punctuation paragraphing. Think about whether you want to write your own notes/rough work and if so, get an answer book from them for your own work or do the rough work in advance in the correct answer book i.e. the one where the matching answer will go. Headings can also be very useful in creating structure.

10 What You Should Do – Dictation
Adopt a normal tone of voice Be aware of how you articulate words - speak clearly and distinctly to assist the scribe to distinguish words correctly and reduce need for interruptions Enunciate more clearly than usual while maintaining fluency If numbers need to be dictated, tell the scribe before you begin. Say "zero" for '0' and pronounce numbers in a slightly exaggerated fashion to avoid any confusion

11 What You Should Do – Fluency
If stuck for a word, don't panic: relax and concentrate on the idea you want to express. If you lose your train of thought, you can ask the scribe to read back what has been written. Alternatively, you can ask to read what has been written yourself. Try to be sure of what you want to say before you say it, but ask the scribe to make corrections if necessary.

12 What You Should Do – Punctuation and Paragraphing
Normally the Scribe would add punctuation. Agree in advance whether the Scribe is going to do the punctuation Punctuation helps the structure and gives sense to the written work, so you should also learn to dictate punctuation. Let the Scribe know when you are starting a new paragraph

13 Practical Exercises 1. Prepare a list of instructions that you will use or give to your scribe in exams Where you want to sit and where you want them to sit Write on every/every second line Rough work and notes Notification of time

14 Practical Exercises 2 Practice planning and dictating an easy topic to your neighbour Your weekend ahead What you like and dislike about your course Your hobbies… Are you doing some rough notes to guide you? Are they somewhere you can access them while the scribe is writing?

15 Practical Exercise 3 I will provide scribing for one or two volunteers and we will hand around the finished product I expect the volunteer to direct me as you would a scribe in a formal exam setting and I will not do anything unless told to do so!

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