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Blog » The Answer To Controlled Assessment?

The Answer To Controlled Assessment?

Sunday 6th July 2014. UPDATED: Thursday 10th July 2014

It looked like OCR were going to make Computing Students do their GCSE controlled assessment coursework again when model answers appeared on the web this week. Fortunately, they changed their mind but will be looking out for students that may have copied model answers.

Read about it here:

http://agent4change.net/policy/curriculum/2251-ocr-assessment-shock-hits-gcse-computing-students.html

The news was inevitable, it was going to happen at some point, and may happen again. Were the answers posted by mistake, or were they a deliberate attempt to highlight how controlled assessment is open to abuse?

How CA can be abused:

  • Students accessing controlled assessment accounts outside of school
  • Students being given 'extensions' beyond the set limit
  • Having full access to the web in controlled assessment sessions (up to around 30 students per teacher - which can be hard to manage) - downloading tasks done at home or using model answers.
  • Teachers giving direct help - especially if they are pressurised into getting results from students that lack capability or a positive attitude.

Information circulating the web rightly implies how results from "controlled assessment" can make it hard to differentiate between high and low ability students. Controlled assessment typically accounts for 60% of an overall mark, the remaining 40% is awarded in a theory examination.

Online exams sat in one session, in exam conditions with moderators, are the answer to solving controlled assessment malpractice. Yet historically these have been fraught with all sorts of technical issues which need addressing. In the mean time, we have to rely on promoting good practice and giving proper, 'just' support to teachers to ensure "controlled" assessment is just that.

There is a JCQ document that all teachers should abide by.