Removal of OPTEMS
In order to help increase security, and also allow more time for centres to process and submit their centre assessed marks, from Summer 2017 we will only be allowing centres to submit those marks online; via Edexcel Online or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
This will be in keeping with other Awarding Organisations, and will offer the following advantages:
- you will be able to submit marks right up to the deadline
- a reduction in the amount of paper being sent through the system, and stored in centres
- it will eliminate the risk of OPTEMS being lost or damaged in the post
- Edexcel Online will display the latest allocated moderator details, capturing any late changes
If your teaching staff usually complete their own OPTEMS forms, please see the guide below on how you can give senior teachers or Heads of Department the relevant access to Edexcel Online to complete their own electronic submissions.
The only exception to this change will be for Entry Level Certificate (Academic) which will continue to have marks submitted via OPTEMS, as these qualifications are not on Edexcel Online.
Controlled Assessment (CA) is a form of internal assessment where the control levels for each stage of the assessment process (task setting, task taking and task marking) have been defined by Ofqual. These control levels must be applied by all GCSE Awarding Bodies. The control levels which must be applied to GCSE ICT are as follows:
- Task Setting: High
- Task Taking: Medium
- Task Marking: Medium.
Contextualisation of Units 2 and 3
A high level of control for task setting is required by the Ofqual Controlled Assessment criteria. This means that AQA must set the tasks for Units 2 and 3. However, centres are permitted to contextualise one or more tasks if an element of a task needs to be changed to meet the availability of, and access to, an individual centre's resources.
Unit 2 – Controlled Assessment and Marking Criteria
Unit 2 – Task Setting
The Assignment is set by AQA. It will consist of a Candidate Booklet providing the description of a situation where the appropriate use of ICT will solve one or more tasks identified to candidates. Candidates are each required to produce a report that will demonstrate their ability to identify requirements, and make appropriate use of ICT in providing solutions which they will analyse, design, implement, test, produce a report on and evaluate (self evaluate and evaluate other's use of ICT).
In September each year, centres will be sent a Candidate Booklet (45202/CB), Data Files and confidential Teachers' Notes (45202/TN) using the e-AQA secure server. Depending upon the nature of the Assignment, in addition to the Candidate Booklet, centres will have access to a podcast (or other medium) to download from e-AQA. The podcast (or other medium) will supplement the Candidate Booklet. The Teachers' Notes will provide guidance on the conduct and marking of the tasks in the Assignment, and general solutions.
The Assignment will be available for examination once a year in June beginning in 2011 and will change each year thereafter. It is therefore the responsibility of the centre to ensure that the correct Assignment is used when preparing candidates.
Unit 2 – Task Taking
Important information about task taking in Controlled Assessment is given in the confidential Teachers' Notes. Teachers must read these Notes before beginning Unit 2. New Teachers' Notes will be published each year to match the new Assignment.
Unit 2 – Task Marking
The marking criteria for Unit 2 are in the PDF version of this specification. This information with clarifications is given in the Teachers' Notes. Further important information about Controlled Assessment task marking is in the Teachers' Notes. Teachers' Online Standardising for Unit 2 will be available each year via the e-AQA secure server.
If you have queries about the Assignment, you are encouraged to contact us using Ask AQA for Teachers on the AQA Website. Each centre will also be assigned a Controlled Assessment Adviser who will be available to assist centres with any centres-pecific matters relating to Unit 2. Contact details of Advisers will be provided when you inform us that you are to use the specification.