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Coursework

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Hi,

 

I am probably way behind, but is there not a discussion forum for the new A Level Coursework?  And furthermore, I understand that all titles must be checked by OCR, but I'm not sure how this is to be done - especially given that my History AL group have all picked wildly different topics for coursework.  I have previously been teaching AQA, where the approach to coursework seems to have been very different, and I would be grateful for more guidance than I have so far received.

Replies

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Tim,

The Y100 Candidate exemplars pdf is definitely there - under the 'resources and materials' tab then 'past papers and mark schemes' For the point about AO3 I think last year's examiners' report is useful:

"The supported analysis and evaluation of a range of historians can be demanding, but it was often done well. There was not over reliance in many centres on ad hominem historiography and there was plenty of assessment of views using knowledge. Having said that, there were lists of sources and juxtapositions rather than real evaluation and still some determination to consider historians’ biographies or membership of schools of history. However, the centres, though more generous in assessing this were not overall unrealistic. The range of OCR Report to Centres – June 2017 10 historians considered was often impressive and included wider consideration of more recent work than has sometimes been true in the past in similar coursework. Referencing historians without much explanation of the basis of their arguments should not be over credited in terms of analysis and once again, annotation should draw attention to this. Essays which offer short quotations from a range of historians to link together views are to be discouraged. Showing assiduous attention to detail, such answers are, nevertheless, often hard to follow, and show little in the way of strong supported argument or assessment. A reductio ad absurdum is this sort of writing which is not uncommon: “Scarisbrick finds the reformation ‘widely supported’ but Randell questions ‘the support’ while Smith argues that ‘regional differences’ should be taken into account in what Dickens calls ‘varied’ regional responses in Barnard's King’s Reformation’” However, much more common is a reliance on the general consideration of the writer rather than the actual evidence. ‘Neale was writing before much research had been done so his views are no longer acceptable’ ‘More was a Tudor propagandist so must be discounted’ ‘Kolko is a well known revisionist so is unreliable’ ‘Sources written in the USA during the Cold War will be influenced by anti Communism and the threat of nuclear war’ ‘Hill is a Marxist and will be biased’ These considerations could be starting points and they do show some evaluation, but it is by itself limited and if centre annotation indicated more about the support offered for critical comments and how developed they were, then this would be helpful both for initial marking and moderation."

Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Sorry, I'm being stupid.  When I went to past papers on the interchange, for History AL it only seemed to have the Question Papers for 2017.  Also have you been able to look into my earlier question about provenance?

Thanks,

Tim

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Tim,

 

On Interchange, under the 'past papers' tab.

 

Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Sorry, something else.  Your answer above talks of commentaries on a range of coursework examples from last year.  Where can we access these?

 

Thanks, Tim. 

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Hi,

 

I am now marking coursework again.  It suddenly occurred to me that in AO2 and AO3 there is no direct reference to using provenance to evaluate sources.  I assume that provenance is a basic part of evaluation of primary sources, and is covered by the mark scheme in the sense that it requires knowledge about the provenance to analyse the sources.  Clearly in the vast majority of cases of secondary sources, provenance is not very relevant - however I have already come across a couple which do seem to me to be acceptable forms of evaluation - in one case referring to Hobsbawm's Marxism as making him more likely to look for social reasons for events (in this case giving women the vote); in the other talking about 18th century historians as tending to adopt a "great man" approach to History, and therefore focusing on Henry VIII's own personality as the reason for the split from Rome.  I have given credit for both of these as a degree of evaluation of a secondary source.  I just wanted to check that that was OK.  Thanks.  Tim.

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Rachel,

The materials used at last year's INSET here: https://www.cpdhub.ocr.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?e=fjefcbdbhgnidcpindncdphpabihkmpcehicklnfcaahobnfib include a Crusades essay that achieved top levels in all three assessment objectives. We are currently writing commentaries for a range of coursework examples from this summer, which will include several that achieved very high marks, so I will let you know when these are available. Regards, Asher, OCR

r.barrett
r.barrett
Posts: 1

Hi everyone,

Our department is looking for some further support with the Y100 coursework module. Specifically we would like more support with the higher end. We have got all the exemplar materials that OCR have provided, however, we are looking for more examples at the top end, this is where our students need more support and their is only one example provided by OCR. Students have just begun their coursework module, so ideally we need more examples now. Can anyone point us in the right direction or is anyone willing to share examples and advice on exactly what our students need to do to get above 31/32 out of 40???

All help will be greatly received. Thanks

Rachel

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

The short answer is we don't know how many but we certainly know all of these approaches have been taken by a veriety of centres for different reasons. One of the great things about this course is that we've given teachers the flexibility to do this unit in the way that they think suits their students best. Whichever approach is taken independent learning will have taken place. But rather than me saying this hopefully some other teachers can respond and expand on this. Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Just as a matter of interest, how many schools have given pupils a free choice on what to do for coursework?  We did, and not one of them chose a subject we were already doing.  I found that encouraging, though I suppose it may cost them marks.  Surely the idea is to provide independent learning, and that is not really what is happening if all the pupils are doing the same topic, or are doing something that they have already been taught.

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Lucy,

The deadline for submission of marks is 15 May so your sample list will be generated shortly after that.

Regards. Asher, OCR

Lsmith10
Lsmith10
Posts: 3

Hi, any idea how long it will take for us to get the sample list sent through, we submitted our marks over a week ago and on the website it says it should only take 2 days for the list to be generated. 

 

Thanks

Lucy 

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Tim, the overall word count suggestion of 3-4000 words is for guidance only. The marking thus depends on whether the 6000 word essay is as good as the 3-4000 word one, or whether it drifts away from a tight argument.

Since the word count is for guidance only, candidates will not be penalised for going over it per se. However, experience does tell us that some candidates drift away from a tight argument at this length, and the JCQ guidance on Non-examined assessment states " Where limits are for guidance only centres should discourage candidates from exceeding them." (http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/non-examination-assessments/instructions-for-conducting-non-examination-assessments-2016-17  )

 

Regards, Asher, oCR

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi, All of the formatting and word count issues will not be a problem - the word count is for guidance. On the piece of work that is a single line of argument you are correct about the requirements of AO1. However, for AO3 there should be a wider historical debate and a range of interpretations discussed, although again these do not need to be polar opposite views. If you feel that the quality of the work for AO1 is such that it deserves a relatively high mark and meets the requirements of the mark scheme then this is fine. Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Asher Goodenough, 15:41, 18th April 2017

Hi, All of the formatting and word count issues will not be a problem - the word count is for guidance. On the piece of work that is a single line of argument you are correct about the requirements ...

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Hi, All of the formatting and word count issues will not be a problem - the word count is for guidance. On the piece of work that is a single line of argument you are correct about the requirements of AO1. However, for AO3 there should be a wider historical debate and a range of interpretations discussed, although again these do not need to be polar opposite views. If you feel that the quality of the work for AO1 is such that it deserves a relatively high mark and meets the requirements of the mark scheme then this is fine. Regards, Asher, OCR

Thanks, this is very helpful.  But I'm a bit worried about the word count issue.  I have pupils who left to themselves are quite capable of writing 6000+ words.  Presumably what you mean is that it has to be around 4000 words, and that while another four or five hundred words is OK, doing something significantly longer is not.  Is that right?

 

Tim

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Hi,

I now have a pile of coursework to mark, and most of my students have not followed some aspects of the advice on presentation - such as not dating their visits to websites, or using different fonts etc.  I am hoping that all this is not really a problem.

Also should there be a word total at the bottom (presumably not including footnotes in that total)?  And if they go beyond the 4000 words should we simply stop reading and ignore the last section, or not?

Thanks.

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by tgoodwin, 11:16, 15th April 2017

Hi,

I now have a pile of coursework to mark, and most of my students have not followed some aspects of the advice on presentation - such as not dating their visits to websites, or using different ...

Read more
Read less

Hi,

I now have a pile of coursework to mark, and most of my students have not followed some aspects of the advice on presentation - such as not dating their visits to websites, or using different fonts etc.  I am hoping that all this is not really a problem.

Also should there be a word total at the bottom (presumably not including footnotes in that total)?  And if they go beyond the 4000 words should we simply stop reading and ignore the last section, or not?

Thanks.

Another question about marking.  I have a piece of coursework that is basically a single line of argument, with very little contradictory statements.  As it stands it is a pretty convincing piece of writing, and as I read the mark scheme on AO1, there is no absolute requirement to show two clear sides to the question, so I could give a relatively high mark in AO1.  Is this right?

lcohe
lcohe
Posts: 4

Are there any centres close to Oldham in Lanashire that are doing coursework on the Mid Tudor Crisis? If so, could you possibly email me at lcohe@blue-coat.org

EHN1978
EHN1978
Posts: 6

Great, that helps. Thank you! 

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

We have said 10-15 references to primary and secondary sources overall (in total) but it will depend on the topic being studied as to the balance. I think fewer than about five mentions of historians' views (not necessarily five separate historians or separate/differing views) across the 3-4000 words would be difficult to justify top levels for AO3.

Regards, Asher, OCR 

EHN1978
EHN1978
Posts: 6

Hi All,

 

I am wondering how many historians teachers are recommending that students reference in their coursework? Asher, what do you recommend?

Thank you,

Erin 

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi, not strict at all, these are just suggestions but they're not compulsory.

Regards, Asher, OCR

Lsmith10
Lsmith10
Posts: 3

Just a quick question, how strict do we need to be on the suggestion in the booklet regarding the length of double spaced paragraphs?

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Tom, Yes that's fine. Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Thanks Asher.  Another query.  One of my pupils is writing her coursework on the rise of Islam in the seventh century.  Given the lack of primary source material, I have assumed that using any source from the seventh century - or even possibly the eighth, could be considered as primary.  I hope that's OK.

 

Tim

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi Tim - yes to both. Regards, Asher, OCR

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi,

Yes that would be a broadly acceptable definition in that case.

Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Asher Goodenough, 15:21, 2nd February 2017

Hi,

Yes that would be a broadly acceptable definition in that case.

Regards, Asher, OCR

Thanks for that.  Another point I'd like to ask.  One of my pupils is referring to some pictures as part of her primary sources, and wants to know if she can include them in the coursework, perhaps as appendices.  Along similar lines, if there is a document that is really important to a coursework essay, can the document be included as an appendix without the word count being included?

 

Thanks again,

 

Tim

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Hi,

I am just having a discussion about the exact nature of contemporary and secondary sources.  My understanding is that a secondary source is actually commentary on events done some time after them, thus, for example, a BBC journalist describing the Second Intifada is a contemporary source, but the same journalist writing an article or book some years later would be a secondary source.  Is this right?

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi all - guidance on AO2 can be found here http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/297815-unit-y100-guide.pdf on pages 8 and 13, and the exemplar essay within the guide shows some ways of doing this, identified by 'PS' in the marking annotations. Where primary sources have been evaluated it says 'PS EVAL'.

Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Hi,  I'm stilll wondering about the question above - does it matter if there's an imbalance between AO2 and AO3 given that some periods have little in the way of contemporary sources?  Secondly, when we are told that 10-15 sources need to be evaluated, I'm assuming that this can be done fairly briefly, perhaps even in just a sentence or so - though using own knowledge/provenance as relevant.  If evaluation of sources needs to be longer than that, then surely the argument will be in danger of getting lost amidst the source evaluation, and as I understand it the argument is the heart of the requirement.

 

Tim

Lsmith10
Lsmith10
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally posted by tgoodwin, 15:52, 21st November 2016

Hi,  I'm stilll wondering about the question above - does it matter if there's an imbalance between AO2 and AO3 given that some periods have little in the way of contemporary sources?  ...

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Hi,  I'm stilll wondering about the question above - does it matter if there's an imbalance between AO2 and AO3 given that some periods have little in the way of contemporary sources?  Secondly, when we are told that 10-15 sources need to be evaluated, I'm assuming that this can be done fairly briefly, perhaps even in just a sentence or so - though using own knowledge/provenance as relevant.  If evaluation of sources needs to be longer than that, then surely the argument will be in danger of getting lost amidst the source evaluation, and as I understand it the argument is the heart of the requirement.

 

Tim

As far as I can make out from the mark-scheme and the booklets OCR have put together for teaching the topic you don't evaluate the primary sources in terms of provenance but use them to support or challenge the points being raised by the historians. They are used to help the students explain why historians have certain views about things and to help form their own opinions on their chosen question. That's what I've gathered but I'm possibly completely wrong. We have restricted our students to a specific topic which means they should all have access to both types of sources to prevent the problem of them not being able to access them. Hope this helps a little. I'm a little bit at a loss myself with this.

Lucy

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Lsmith10, 19:49, 21st November 2016
As far as I can make out from the mark-scheme and the booklets OCR have put together for teaching the topic you don't evaluate the primary sources in terms of provenance but use them to support or ...
Read more
Read less
As far as I can make out from the mark-scheme and the booklets OCR have put together for teaching the topic you don't evaluate the primary sources in terms of provenance but use them to support or challenge the points being raised by the historians. They are used to help the students explain why historians have certain views about things and to help form their own opinions on their chosen question. That's what I've gathered but I'm possibly completely wrong. We have restricted our students to a specific topic which means they should all have access to both types of sources to prevent the problem of them not being able to access them. Hope this helps a little. I'm a little bit at a loss myself with this. Lucy

That's very interesting.  Thanks.  I was under the impression that some degree of evaluation of primary sources was required, but to be truthful I'm not sure where I got that idea.  I really think this needs clearing up.

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi - yes this is the only forum for coursework - it depends on how many people choose to respond and how helpful they are I suppose! However I am always here if I can be of help with anything. Regards, Asher, OCR

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Asher Goodenough, 12:18, 28th September 2016

Hi - yes this is the only forum for coursework - it depends on how many people choose to respond and how helpful they are I suppose! However I am always here if I can be of help with anything. Regards, Asher, OCR

Thanks - I am accumulating a variety of requests and questions.  Most important, I notice that A02 is about contemporary sources and AO3 is about historians' views.  Now clearly some topics have a great deal more of the second than the first - for example I have one pupil doing the Decline of the Roman Empire, and a second doing the Rise of Islam in the 7th century.  In both those cases there is liable to be much more for AO3 than for AO2.  Does it matter if there is a significant imbalance between the two?

Tim

tgoodwin
tgoodwin
Posts: 32

Thanks, that's helpful.  Having come from AQA, I'm a bit worried about OCR coursework - especially in terms of the source analysis and evaluation - and I also have a group who have all decided to do wildly different topics, nothing to do with the other modules they have studied, which is pleasing in one way, but also a bit alarming.  I am assuming that the only forum for discussion of coursework is this one... Is that right?

Asher Goodenough
Asher G ...
Posts: 206

Hi the Guide to Unit Y100 is here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/297815-unit-y100-guide.pdf This includes general advice and guidance, an exemplar essay, and some pre-approved questions. You can submit your proposed  titles using this form here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-type/as-a-level-gce-related/as-a-level-gce-history-a-h105-h505-from-2015-related/text-and-task-proposal-form/ - the deadline for this is 31 January 2017. Students might find the Independent Study guide here: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/268462-independent-study-guide-.pdf useful. You can also email us at history@ocr.org.uk when you have further queries and we're more than happy to help. Regards, Asher, OCR