Matt Dilley, Business and Economics Subject Advisor
Here at OCR we’ve had lots of queries from centres in recent weeks about marking coursework, or non-exam assessment (NEA). For our Cambridge Technical in Business (2012 and 2016), this means all units where a piece of coursework has been written by students.
There have been questions about how to apply the mark scheme. This isn’t surprising as it hasn’t been assessed for two years, so a larger number of teachers than normal will be submitting marks for moderation for the first time. We’ve also had questions about administrative requirements, and most particularly about whether any allowances should be made when marking for the abnormal and difficult circumstances many students have had to contend with while completing their assignments.
As the JCQ guidance on NEA marking says:
“When you come to assess your students’ NEA, you should mark all NEA using the published mark schemes, as you did before the pandemic disruption. If you have more than one person marking your NEA, you must carry out standardisation activities as usual in an exam year, to ensure all your markers are marking to the same standard and using the relevant mark scheme.
You must not try to account for disruption your learners have experienced by marking more leniently than you would normally. Teachers should not be making holistic and speculative judgements about overall performance or potential. Your marking should be based solely on the completed work in accordance with the published mark scheme. Exam boards will moderate all NEA in the usual way this year.”
Cambridge Technical subjects have been supported using the following measures:
At OCR we have taken into consideration the adaptations that are allowable, and we will therefore award units taken during 2021/22 broadly as in a normal exam year.
In the light of the recent JCQ announcement, and the queries we’ve been receiving from you, we thought it would be helpful to provide a quick summary of the support available to ensure that you are marking to the correct standard.
There are several resources that will help you have confidence in your application of the grading criteria for Cambridge Technicals in Business:
General information on NEA administration is available on our website.
For Cambridge Technical in Business specifically, please remember to have completed the following to ensure you are ready for moderation.
Avoiding malpractice is still important: remember that this year you aren’t providing any additional support or marking more leniently. The package of student support means that the reduction in assessment (2016 qualification) and the overall proportion of grades awarded will take into consideration the circumstances students have faced.
We hope that your students enjoy the NEA elements of the Cambridge Technicals. There is a wide variety of units which should have something interesting for everyone. As we move forward into next year, do remember to keep an eye on our subject updates: you can sign up for these using the link below.
Remember that for students who certificate after the 2021/22 academic year there is still the possibility of a reduced assessment. This must be for optional units that would have been taken during the 2021/22 academic year. Any units planned for the 2022/23 academic year need to go ahead as planned.
There are student-facing resources on our website which you may wish to use with students to support them in achieving the best grade they can. For example, the command verb definitions may support them to produce evidence targeted at the right assessment criteria, and the progress tracker may allow them to see what they have achieved and what they need to aim for in future assessments.
If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_ICT. You can also sign up to receive email updates about resources and support.
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.