Hints and Tips - 5 minute read
Matt Dilley, OCR Subject Advisor
So far we have seen the need for contextual writing and hopefully seen how contextual teaching and learning can be incorporated into our classrooms. The final and possibly most important stage in the process is getting students to write coherently and contextually, as well as assessing their work accurately.
For some students the ability to write contextually is a natural and normal process, for others it seems like an entirely foreign language. Teachers need to offer many opportunities for students to write and be assessed in a contextual way.
A good starting point is to use past exam paper questions and use past candidate answers with examiners commentary added in.
I have included a link to answers from the 2019 Business Studies A Level exam available on Interchange (to access the answers an interchange account is required, with the help of your exams officer).
Scroll down to question 9 to see two entirely different answers with one scoring 3 marks and the other scoring 9.
Firstly students will need to have read the source material on Hotel Chocolat - click on June 2019 – past papers – H423-02 resource booklet. You could set this as pre reading or as a starter task. Then set about getting them started with one or more of these five ideas:
As you can see there are many practical ways to use this resource, and I’m sure there are many more which are used in classes every day. Share your ideas in the comment below, they could really help to support your fellow teachers.
The final section is to help support you in assessing student work correctly, in order to this you will need to understand the marks scheme (June 2019 – mark schemes – H431-02).
One part of the mark scheme which isn’t always used is found on page 5. Level descriptors can support you in identifying which mark band learners work should be placed in. To be in the strong category for knowledge, understanding and application, contextualising answers is vital.
Page 12 contains the mark scheme for the question previously mentioned, the words strong, good and limited are referred to in the document. These relate back to the level descriptors I previously wrote about.
Applying a best fit model will support you in identifying which mark band each piece of work falls into. It’s worth noting that there is a maximum mark of 2 for any answer that is not contextualised.
On the right-hand side of the mark scheme there are three contextualisation ideas which could be included in student answers, remember this is for guidance and any relevant contextualisation could be used in an answer.
This completes the series and I hope that you have enjoyed reading my posts and can appreciate how important contextualisation in business studies and economics is. I also hope that there are some ideas that you can use in your classroom too.
Please comment below or get in touch with us if there is anything you feel you can add on this topic, or if you used or adapted any of the ideas shared let us know how they worked for you.
As always, we are here to support you and your students. If you have questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your tweets @OCR_BusEcon where I share resources and articles.
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Matt Dilley - Subject Advisor
Matt joined OCR in April 2020 as part of the Business and Economics advisory team. He has a degree in Accountancy with a focus on Financial Accounting. His work experience includes commercial banking and 12 years as a teacher of Business Studies and Economics where he was a faculty lead. Outside of work Matt is a keen cyclist and supports the mighty Aston Villa.