Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gr 10 June exams

June exam paper

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Setting exam papers

One of the interesting consequences of the CAPS document is that every school has to do the same work in every term in a particular subject and grade. This means that every school can now very easily swop/buy/get quality papers, knowing that the work covered in every paper would correlate with the work which was meant to be taught, or can set their own exam papers.

I do not believe a 'single' person can set a quality paper, covering all the required content, on a meaningful theme, at the correct cognitive levels.

These thoughts came to me after perceiving the dreadful stress levels of teachers, listening to subject advisors discussing the exam requirements in their districts and the job of moderation of exam papers, and looking at the wonderful CAT papers set by Study Opportunities. In the end smart teachers must do what they have to do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Creating a survey/questionnaire

I am working with a group of students creating a survey. It is amazing how they have opinion questions where the respondents have to write text. How is the text meant to be analysed? All opinions should have responses in the form of a rating scale which one selects. If they have a scale the results can be presented in a valid graph. (But then again 80% of these students could not even create a graph when I first met them.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Setting exam papers

Setting exam papers is a challenge, especially when time is short. 

Here are some suggestions:

Firstly do not tell your learners how you are setting/getting your papers as it is actually not their business.

Set your paper on work you have done, not work you should have done.

Get reputable old exam papers from, for example, Study Opportunities, the Department of Education, etc. Take questions out of a mix of them and then adapt the theme to one common theme. If learners have seen and worked through old exam papers, some of which you have chosen in your mix, well so be it. They learned by doing the old papers which is not wrong.

Create a teacher group and set the papers together in an afternoon, all together. Keep the names of the participants in the group private so that if one teacher's learners write before another, there can be no leakages. Decide on a topic before the meeting and who will be creating the questions using particular applications and which features. Bring samples of the pre developed questions to the group meeting for putting the paper together.

Create a teacher group and plan who is going to set a particular paper during the course of the year, and divide the work load up. If one of the group does not fulfil his/her obligation, never share with them ever again, nothing!

Buy a new paper from a reputable source such as Study Opportunities if they set them that year.

Start your year with an idea or theme for an exam paper and develop it during the year. I have created some great papers when I have had time to develop them.

If you get a paper from a source, personalise it with your own header/footer and title page.

When your paper is ready, do it yourself a number of times ironing out hiccups so that when the learners get it, it is problem free.

Mark the work yourself before the time, to check your memo.

When working on a 'funny' network, do an old paper with your learners in the laboratory where they are going to work, just checking that all the required features are functioning.

There is more to life than setting exam papers. Do it smartly and save time so that you can have a life!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Access quiz on creating and formatting a report

I used this quiz when teaching formatting and selecting fields in Access reports. The students had to work in pairs doing the quiz until they achieved 100%.  Try it online or download, unzip and use on the network. Have fun. Let me know how it goes.