YouTube Video of how a Qld teacher is supposed to “add up” a few dozen letters:
Prof Peter Ridd (HOD Physics at James Cook University) explains the crazy assessment schemes used in Queensland high schools. Instead of giving numerical marks to each assessment piece and adding up the marks to give the final mark, in QLD teachers must somehow try to “add up” (or as they put it make an holistic judgement) based upon dozens of letter grades. It is highly subjective and gives students no idea of how much the assessment is worth relative to other assessment. It is doubtful that almost any parents or students know how it works and seems to be applied differently by different teachers, schools and education regions. Nowhere else in the world uses this system which is the invention of a bunch of university education academics. See video below for description posted in 2012
How long writing tasks are destroying Physics, Chemistry and Maths and turning these subjects into defacto English classes.
In the video below Prof Peter Ridd (HOD Physics at James Cook University) explains some of the problems with the long written tasks such as EEI’s that Queensland high school students are forced to do. Instead of quantitative problem solving, Qld students do enormous long writing tasks which often have little to do with real physics, maths or chemistry. (posted in 2012):
This is how the QSA explain their system:
http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/27974.html which is a Queensland Studies Authority video production on how to guess a student’s grade by reading tables of paragraphs. The last minute or so is the best (they basically just say make a guess). (The transcript of the video can be found here: video transcript.)
QSA has uploaded more waffle: http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/29448.html
No External Exam
Qld, unlike any other State in Australia, and virtually any jurisdiction around the world, does not have an external exam. External exams are used to provide some level of consistency so that grades in one scholl can be reasonably comparable to every other school. In Qld, all the assessment is internal to the school and thus unique to the school. An attempt is made to ensure comparability between schools using a system of social assessment where a small portion of the class assessment is taken to a meeting of different schools (Panel Meetings). The panel looks at the assessment and makes a judgement about the relative standard of each schools marks. There is no common assessment task to help with this task and it is evident that considerable cheating occurs which is very difficult to detect.
For more read some of the submissions to the EIC Inquiry or click here
Below are some other links which illuminate, as much as is possible, the Qld system
- The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement. Hanushek and Woessmann 2010 study concludes that external exams in maths and science improve international results. Additionally, giving more independence to schools only helps if external exams are mandated….
- Maths assignment marking sheet. Real-life ‘marking’ sheets showing how letters are collected instead of weighted numbers that used to be added up before.
- Maths exam marking sheet Real-life ‘marking’ sheets showing how letters are collected instead of weighted numbers that used to be added up before.
- A Senior MATHS RESULTS sheet – QLD style – PART A Children in the higher grades now get no numbers and no percentage, just this kind of profile sheet stapled to the back of their paper.
- Explanation of a Senior MATHS RESULTS sheet – PART B This marking sheet is an example of how a poor kid should have been told they clearly got 76% of the test material correct and instead gets a C grade on a hunch…
- Assessment, Teacher Workload and Student Standards This report from Nov 2010 contains the experiences of 10 high school teachers of maths and science.
- Maths-A-criteria This year we were advised by panel to assess students in the CAJ domain with extra rigor so that we may strengthen the position of our higher ended students…
- Calculating Overall Positions (OPs) and OP Fast Facts These QSA documents about OP scores in Qld attempt to explain the conversion of a holistic criteria based system of assessment to a norm referenced system. Ours is the only state that does not submit to the pre-tertiary ATAR system.
- Chemistry and Physics: Advice for teachers. “The importance of instrument-specific criteria and standards: Moving on from marks.” Queensland Studies Authority Advice for Teachers, 2008. The presumtion here is that marks are evil, and only Qld knows the way to a brighter future of assessment. The rest of the world will ctach up eventually perhaps.
- QSA Mathematics A Sample Assessment. Knowledge and procedures assessment task using a task-specific criteria sheet.Compiled by the Queensland Studies Authority October 2008
- QSA Mathematics A Sample Assessment II Discriminating questions Compiled by the Queensland Studies Authority September 2008
- Senior Mathematics QSA Assessment Mathematics A 2008 Sample assessment instrument and student responses.
- Senior Physics Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Senior Maths A Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Senior Maths B Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Senior Maths C Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Senior Chemistry Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Senior Biology Audit Tool A set of audit tools for teachers, developed by the QSA, to better guide them to what is expected.
- Advice for Biology Teachers The importance of instrument-specific criteria and standards: Moving on from marks: Advice for Biology Teachers.
Facebook users: Let’s end the experiment in Qld. Students, teachers and Queensland deserve external exams and ATAR scores like all other states.
For more information go to: School Watch Queensland – External Exams Now