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Great nz geo video. Thanks geo now

Hi - i'm looking for ideas / resources for a new "Issues 1.6' topic for 2017. Any great ideas / resources out there?

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Reminder--we'd love to see NZ teachers for the #uwcgeochat on Twitter tomorrow 

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Join us for a discussion via Twitter: #uwcgeochat, Sept. 21st at 2pm.
Please see the questions below, or DM @FriedEnglish101 for more information. All Geo/Humanities teachers are welcome.

Anyone tried using a google form quiz to test geographic skills?

It has become clear that many teachers are still feeling very confused over the new format of both Level 2 and Level 3 Geography external assessments with both being reduced to only one question. I therefore thought it could be useful to add my own thoughts to the mix here and hopefully allay any fears that are out there.
In both cases the change of format is in the student’s interest. This allows a much more holistic approach to be applied as well as a more fair method of assessing.
While only one question is now used this is set out in in different parts (a), (b) and even (c). These parts may all relate to one part of the Achievement Standard or incorporate several bullet points. The advantage of this is that the parts no longer have to be of equal length or complexity. Hence one part may be a simple diagram question while another could be an essay. Under the old system each question was designed to take the same amount of time to complete it and with 3 total questions this therefore contributed to a lengthy exam. This system addresses this thus allows the exam to be much shorter so it can be more easily answered in the time frame suggested (1 hour).
In the same way not all questions now have to include one of the key geographic concepts. Incorporating these within a diagram was seen as problematic and hence this is now avoided. Key concepts as required for excellence can be applied where they best fit within one or two sections of the paper only.
The coverage of the standard in the paper becomes more of a lottery. It is perfectly acceptable for assessment to be ONLY on one bullet point of the standard. Assessment assesses students overall understanding of the title of the standard. Again this helps to reduce the content and hence size of the paper. The reality is that it is more likely to cover 2 or 3 bullet points but this opens it up to a lot more options.
The geography assessments in recent years have become very predictable and it has been remarked by assessors that some rote learning is happening. By opening the options up as previously described this is avoided and hence equates to a much fairer exam.
The intention is that all 3 parts are marked by one person who then applies a holistic approach to the candidate’s ability. The candidate may be excellent at explaining themselves in an essay format but not so good at showing this in diagrammatic form. This system allows expertise to be recognised so that a judgment is made about their overall answers. For an excellence candidate having more time to answer questions in depth with less time constraint can only be seen as a good thing.
Many of the same principles apply at Level 3. In the past having 2 questions to choose from meant that:
1. Answers were more predictable. There are only so many questions that can be asked.
2. Complexity of questions – each question had to be of equal weight. Again this caused issues as some questions are much easier to answer than others. Trying to apply 2 questions of equal complexity cuts down options rather than enhances them.
Again exams are written with the student’s interest at heart. Fears that a question is more suited to one setting or process compared to another is unfounded as writers take a lot of care to ensure all are covered. Questions will always be generic in nature and open enough to allow students to show what they know. Surely this is a good thing.
Change is often hard to accept. Teachers need to remember that examiners and markers are teachers themselves and have a lot of experience behind them to be asked to fulfil these roles. If teachers still have fears as to their students being disadvantaged I urge them to get on a marking panel and see for themselves. This is the best PD that can be done and applications for this year are now open.
While all of this are my own thoughts I do hope it helps dispel the uncertainty that is out there. Have faith in the system!
Jane Evans
Past Geography Facilitator and examiner.

Hi . Does anyone know how the level 3 NCEA geo paper will look like??? Nothing on the website yet.cheers Aman

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