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ICT KS3 SATS Tests Thread, Monitor time "wasted" in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; The amount of time wasted last year on this fiasco annoyed me greatly. I could have marked the tests several ...
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    Monitor time "wasted"

    The amount of time wasted last year on this fiasco annoyed me greatly. I could have marked the tests several times over AND given a reason for the various levels. In order to feedback to QCA some firm figures I have started to monitor technician/teaching staff time trying to get the system to work. 12 man hours so far and counting.

    If we all do this someone might realise how stupid the idea was/is.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    I won't even begin to try explaining the wasted time we spent on this last year! The upshot of it was that we got 12 kids through both tests successfully! I believe that their grades were pretty bad too.

    If you want more info give me a call.

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    One thing that came out of an edexcel seminar I went on today regarding their on screen testing is the requirements of invigilating and room layout so that even if you have a 30 workstation ict room you are only likely to be able to have 16 students sitting the test because of the layout requirements.

    That number in any 1 go seems to be more reasonable to me than the large numbers some centres did with the KS3 testing.

    Ben

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    arr difference is aim of ks3 that students will get different test questions so in theroy chances of being next to someone with same set gets very slim..

    Russ

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    @plexer: The other thing about the Edexcel testing is that the software isn't resource hungry.

    The reason that you require the spacing of students is that it is simple questions (akin to a 'normal' exam) as opposed to the dynamic nature of the ICT testing.

    The Edexcel software was also very easy to set up (no requirement for multiple authorisations IIRC) and the technician time required is minimal too - simply clicking a couple of buttons to schedule the tests and upload data.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    Think got to remember some of this naa fault in respect rm are following project requirements of naa.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    @russdev: Agreed, it's not all RM's fault... the specification was massive and very ambitious.

    I also believe that the project may have been planned poorly, with RM thinking in terms of Windows networks (like their own) and then trying to adapt the software to suit others. This was never going to work and the resource requirements are laughable.

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    I agree with Ric_. They haven't really given schools using non-Windows networks or Terminal Services much chance to get things right before 2008. Lots of software is capable of working on windows, linux and terminal services - had the software been implemented differently perhaps all schools could have had a fair go at it right from the start.

    Also, I think that if a more independant company had got the contract they may have strived more to get it right on all platforms instead of using it as a lever to push their own systems.

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    I tend to agree more with Russ on this one ...

    Yes, I think the way they have dealt with non-windows workstation systems has been ridiculous, but on the windows side of things I think they have not been too bad ... as long as you followed advice.

    Considering that they only really get one chance a year to do a proper test it is not surprising that they are still having issues ... but I feel that the issues now are no longer technical but based around how the students are tested and how they are prepared.

    That is going to be the biggest failing and that is somewhere that majority of companies (OSS or otherwise) would struggle with ... and I think that even someone like Ian Lynch would find it difficult to disagree with that.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    The Edexcel software was also very easy to set up (no requirement for multiple authorisations IIRC) and the technician time required is minimal too - simply clicking a couple of buttons to schedule the tests and upload data.
    WE do like the Edexcel software but it isn't perfect. We have found that we have had to apply Flash 7 back on to stations as it will not run with Flash 9 at all. THis was fun to find out the morning of a test. Also the software seems to have been abandoned. Looking at the site there is nothing for the last year and contacting them gets a very uninterested response.

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    I posted on another thread these thoughts but out of interest is there the possibility of this pilot not being successful and we carry on as we are?
    I think our school is gambling on this and we are not making any attempt to be involved despite my concerns.
    Everyone says that it is statutory from 2007/08 but we do not have the hardware or network infrastructure on site so what do you reckon will happen. Will the school be penalised? Will a magic wand be waved and we get a new network install?
    We have not taken part in any trials and will not be taking part this April, do you reckon there is another option that our SMT have been told about.
    As a member of the support staff I would not have any input to planning – teachers know everything!!

    Interesting reading though, cheers

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    PatBoland: It will be going ahead, and in the future it won't just be ICT tests, it will branch out to support on-screen testing for other subject areas too.

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    In regards to people disliking the interface, RM wanted to make a system similar to windows, but microsoft would like a large chunck of licensing money if that happened, so they had to go down a route of making it look like an open source system.

    Straight from the mouth of a bod from the naa.

    Chris

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    Re: Monitor time "wasted"

    In regards to people disliking the interface, RM wanted to make a system similar to windows, but microsoft would like a large chunck of licensing money if that happened, so they had to go down a route of making it look like an open source system.
    They'd only have to pay if they licensed the office 2007 interface, and I AFAIK the 'style' of interface was chosen because it is a generic interface and students are not to be tested on how well they can use a particular application from one vendor. I suspect this was enforced by QCA, rather than a decision by RM.

    RM are not adverse to forcing schools to buy microsoft (from them).
    The only option for OpenSource schools to run KS3 is to buy Windows Server, an AD domain controller, Terminal service CALS, Windows CALS and Citrix licensing so they can run KS3 on terminal server on their linux clients- This is RM's idea of 'cross platform'

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