BPW – 2016

Attended a very successful Best Practice Workshop where the focus was on evaluating examples of student work for all the Digital ‘implement’ standards. Below are the key points…

  • Evidence of testing can be naturally occurring
  • For level 3 databases, a schematic clearly showing the intended database design is absolutely required (I’m a bit worried that ‘my’ material from this year is missing this evidence for at least some of the students which means that they apparently have not met the standard).
  • It is important to provide brief (but detailed) evidence to moderators stating how M / E work has fulfilled the ‘independence’, ‘efficiency’ and ‘accuracy’ requirements
  • The image manipulation skills at level 1 (AS 91073) are very basic. This might change when the standard is reviewed – currently the standard does not specify any techniques at level 1 so moderators have been working backwards from level 2
  • I’m probably doing something right as the moderator taking the workshop encouraged me to apply to become a moderator at some point in the future

In preparation for the workshop I spent a significant amount of time working through the materials supplied before the workshop. This was useful as it meant that was not overwhelmed during the various sessions and was able to, for the most part, match the moderators grades for the work that was supplied.

One thing that does worry me a bit is that I might be expecting too much from my students. Much of the work that we saw was ‘bottom of the range’ A grades. In the case of programming, M / E grades have been upheld where testing is much ‘lighter’ than what I’ve been expecting from my students. For example, for M – I’ve been looking for four boundaries – if students only give 2 and the rest of the work is OK – this should be sufficient for a holistic M.

One thing that was both a surprise (and a bit of a disappointment) is that 90% of database work is still being done using Access (rather than php / mysql). The moderator appeared to agree with me when I said that this is not an ideal state of affairs as students going on in database design would be better served by being able to use open source software where the outcome is a website / database solution. One issue with the php / mysql approach is that it is much harder than the Access route. The reason that I will continue to teach web / sql (rather than access) is that my students would probably find the access material boring and I firmly believe that teaching web / sql will give them an advantage in the long run.