7 posts • Page 1 of 1
Cambridge have announced that they plan to award grades based on mock exams, assignments etc. - and want to see the physical evidence! How on earth can they think it's possible to get this from students, especially as they are scattered across the world? Even under normal circumstances this would be challenging - I'm sure there are a large number of students who don't neatly file away assignments, exams, etc., and even when they do, they might be covered in improvements, highlighting, etc. It's absolutely insane.
I did think that initially, but surely not! What's to stop schools saying, 'I don't have evidence but all the grades were good'? Even if schools are honest, then there's going to be so many evidence gaps that it becomes impossible to do it fairly. Imagine two schools: one with loads of evidence, one with not much. Is it fair to say to both 'Fair enough, here are the grades you think'? There's so many questions - I think it's a massive can of worms.
I don't think there is a way to avoid a can of worms here...the only way to ensure objective grades IMO is to cancel the series and force all students to postpone until Nov., which I don't see happening. I'd much rather provide evidence of student work than be asked to just estimate their grade based on my own opinion, because (as someone on the TES thread on this topic put it) the morally virtuous schools will get worse results and the morally corrupt schools will try to hand out free As. :-/
There arent any good solutions and there isnt a lot of variation in the bad ones either. I entirely agree that the proposal as now is going to find ISs with morals doing poorer than the ISs who are ethically challenged are going to do better than they have historically. Regardless of what Cambridge says though, theres going to be an asterisk and possibly a stigma attached to "equivalent" marks that were awarded based on evidence as opposed to externally moderated exams. A pass/no pass system would be better for students that really cant postpone exams with the option to take them as private students if they cant delay graduation.