Another dot in the blogosphere?

So what gives?

Posted on: May 9, 2020

A news article led with the headline “More than a third of GCE coursework subjects to have assessment tasks reduced”.

If you read the details, that “more than a third” is stratified. The 12 academic subjects are:

  1. N(T)-Level Music Syllabus T
  2. N(T)-Level Food Studies
  3. N(T)-Level Design & Technology (Revised)
  4. N(A)-Level Food & Nutrition
  5. N(A)-Level Design & Technology (Revised)
  6. N(A)-Level Design & Technology (Legacy)
  7. O-Level Food & Nutrition
  8. O-Level Design & Technology (Revised)
  9. O-Level Design & Technology (Legacy)
  10. O-Level Exercise & Sports Science
  11. O-Level Drama
  12. A-Level H2 Theatre Studies & Drama

If the subjects share anything, they are performative or skills-based.

If anything at all, this is a reminder not to play the quantitative game. The qualitative details matter.

If you actually read the article, this segment might give you pause:

SEAB said the move aims to “alleviate stress on students and teachers… without compromising the validity of the assessment”.

If I was to challenge that statement, I would simply cite the examples in the same article about not performing group drama pieces or sports science students forced to work with truncated training plans.

If this reduction is possible with compromising on quality, why was there that much assessment before?

If such a reduction is possible with skills-based subjects, might the same be said about the other subjects? If the immediate answer is no, why (really!) not?

If the examination board is “allowing special provisions” like “footage recorded as far back as last year”, might the COVID-19 lockdown be a push to portfolio-based evaluation instead of paper-based assessment?

1 Response to "So what gives?"

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