Assessment of Practical work at GCSE

Assessment of Practical work at GCSE

Assessment of Practical work at GCSE AQA in action Background Millar York Gott Durham 21st Century Science Gateway

AQA Edexcel Practical data analysis Case study/science in the news Investigation Practical skills assessment Exam board set

tasks Investigation (Edexcel) Rationale What do we want to assess? How can we keep it simple/fair/reliable? - procedural

understanding - tasks set by the exam board - practical skills - short tasks that support teaching and learning in science Procedural Understanding

The thinking behind the doing What question am I asking and how can I answer it? What do I need to measure? How precise do I need to be? How many measurements do I need to make? How can I ensure they are reliable and accurate? Is the equipment precise enough? What is the most valid way to analyse the data? What conclusions can I draw? Are they valid? Are they reliable? How sure am? Investigative Skills Assignment

(ISA) Assesses AO3 and some of AO2 (QCA, 2005) Experiment done in class Written test set by the exam-board 45 mins Section A based on their experiment Section B based on a related experiment. Alternative data is presented. ISA

Marked out of 34 One ISA submitted do more than one and take the best result Dual Award use one from Physics, Chemistry or Biology Done as part of normal teaching Progressive Example ISAs Effect of acid rain on seed germination and growth Effort of human activity on distribution of

organisms Testing the viscosity of different oils Finding the degree of unsaturation in food oils Investigating the rate of loss of heat from various containers Investigating the effect of surface area on the pd from solar cells. Example ISAs

Rate of photosynthesis and light intensity Investigating the best conditions for a compost heap. Effect of temperature on enzyme activity Factors affecting the rate of reaction Displacement reactions investigating the effect of the mass or concentration on the temperature rise. Measuring the terminal velocity of different parachutes Investigating changes in resistance

Practical Skills Assessment(PSA) Mark out of 6 Based on ability to carry out simple procedures accurately and safely. Moderation Cascade system

Internal system varies according to school Each mark the work of their students Heads of department mark samples from each teacher Head of Science marks samples from each department Progress? Definitely simpler to administer Good discriminator and therefore fairer Good use of time as the preparation for the ISAs is relevant to the exam.

Driving HSW in the curriculum Implications for teachers subject knowledge Issues for the future Opportunities for formative feedback are missed Security Inclusion levels of reading required? What will the long term effects be? Will it promote thinking or will students learn the answers?

References Roberts, R. and Gott, R. (2006) The role of evidence in the new KS4 National Curriculum for England and the AQA Specifications SSR, 87 (321) p29-39 QCA (2005) Criteria for Science Downloaded on 11/11/09 http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/files/11881_gcse_science_crite ria_apr05.pdf

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