Computer programming exams may be taken using pen and paper because of concerns about the number of school computers that do not work. Tes reports.
The exam regulator Ofqual today launched a consultation on a proposal that GCSE computer science is assessed entirely by exams in the future.
It follows evidence of malpractice in a non-exam assessment that was designed to test candidates’ programming skills, which was due to form 20 per cent of their overall grade.
It said: “The alternatives would place an unjustifiable and unsustainable burden on teachers, and could be vulnerable to malpractice.”
The consultation adds: “Granting exam boards greater discretion over the form of assessment they offer will enable them to take into account the varying IT resources within schools and colleges.
“The exam boards might take different approaches, catering for different levels of resource within centres.”
The consultation says exam boards would be able to decide whether, in their exams, they “deliver the assessments on paper or on-screen – and if on-screen, whether online”.
They could also decide whether to set a single task-based assessment, and whether to use pre-release materials to “give students advance notice of the context to a task/problem that will be set in the examination and/or allow students before the exams to work on a program/code about which they are then examined”.
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