Each unit at AS and A2 is assessed with a 'home' essay and a 'timed' essay. The former completed outside of lesson time with full use of notes and the latter in timed conditions and no notes.
Below you can see the results compared to their AS performance and A2 target:
Some initial observations:
- Most students performed in keeping with their previous achievements.
- Student 1 finds the subject hard, but enjoys it. Her result was in keeping with previous essays.
- Student 2 has failed to submit a 'home' essay yet despite many requests, her 'timed' essay was a direct reflection of this. In conversation, she admitted her failure to do this has cost her.
- Student 3 was disappointed with her final grade, but said she had not done enough revision as she understood everything (as shown in her 'home' essay).
- Student 4 achieved an A. *update*
- Student 5 has been very ill, yet has been working at home and achieved her target.
- Student 6 outperformed a sub-standard 'home' essay.
- Student 7 finds the subject hard and struggles with 'timed' essays.
- Student 8 admitted submitting a very sub-standard 'home' essay and showed her true capability with the 'timed' essay.
- Student 9 performed very well on both essays, she is an able and enthusiastic student.
- Student 10 finds the subject hard, her ALPS is optimistically high and as such her result is about on target for this stage of the course.
- Student 11 was disappointed with her 'home' essay and as such worked hard for the 'timed' essay.
- Student 12 consistently performs well, and these two essays back up her hard work.
- Student 13 is performing at the expected level.
- Student 14 has underperformed at the start of A2 after outperforming all targets for AS.
- This is their first A2 essay which demands more than EdExcel. I will compare this result to their next unit results in a later blog post.
- Students deadline for the 'home' essay was the end of the year in July... only a few managed this!
- Students who submitted in September possibly didn't put suitable time and effort as they were under pressure.
It seems on these results that by completing this particular unit independently, there has not been a significant deterioration or lowing of students results. However, there is no noticeable improvement either! I'm currently unconvinced as to whether this is a better way for them to learn, however it proves that independently students can achieve similar results to when they are taught more conventionally.
The most important thing for me is that due to the particular set of circumstances (explained in the earlier post <here>), the time was utilised effectively enabling me to be further ahead with the A2 syllabus than I would otherwise be. It means I am not neglecting a particular unit, nor allowing learning to be substandard.
I will be blogging again on the student view of this unit; their thoughts and reactions to studying in this way.
- If students can learn this way but only get similar results, is it desirable or not when I am available to teach?
- Is this something which should only happen in specific circumstances?
- Would all units be as easy as this to be self taught? (NB this is one of the more straight forward at A2)
- Did this only work at A2 due to the 'Foundations' of the AS?
- How will their next unit results compare? (To be revisited and blogged about in the future!)
- Was this an unfair comparison due to timing? (Summer term, summer holidays etc)
Update - read what the students said <here>.