University of Edinburgh

Special Assessment Arrangements

Any Questions

Question 2: Thinking about the listening component of the literacy unit - I am working with profoundly and severely hearing impaired pupils who are not signing and watching a clip on the screen. The listening part from a clip is really difficult.

Question 2: Thinking about the listening component of the literacy unit - I am working with profoundly and severely hearing impaired pupils who are not signing and watching a clip on the screen. The listening part from a clip is really difficult. [Shouldn't use a clip.] Yes I know, but that was actually from the SQA

Patricia Macdonald: What we've produced for all of the units are assessment support packs. We've produced as exemplification in National 3 for all the units in all our courses National 3, 4, 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher. You can go onto the SQA secure website, you can download an exemplification of the standards. You do not have to use them, you can produce your own. If you are doing something that is quite different you would need to have that prior-verified by the SQA which means you need to let the SQA see it and SQA will say "Yes, that's the same standard, we're happy with that."

For minor adjustments, so for example if you're downloading one of the Word (document format) Assessment Support packs, if you want to change the font, layout, style, colour, size, you can do that. You don't have to contact SQA, you have the freedom to do that. If you are make adaptations - so maybe in that example you are saying instead of this clip we'll do it as a live performance. You might think, there's no change so you wouldn't need to have it prior-verified. But you might be doing something quite different and you might want to say well is that still meeting the standard because the standards are all explicitly outlined within the specifications.

[Questioner: Can they have it subtitled?]

No, because it wouldn't be a listening exercise.

[I know but looking at this clip, there is no way you could do that as a performance.]

Can the candidates lipread?

[Yes but a lot of the action there was no person, narration was in the background]

We are producing supplementary guidance on the assessment support packs at National 3 and 4 in English and in Literacy. We've been working with the Glasgow Dyslexia Support Service so we now have available (it will be available to you in August [2013]) additional guidance on delivering these units to candidates who have difficulty with reading and writing. We intend to look at the issues for candidates who have other types of communication difficulties and we will provide supplementary guidance. I would say to anyone who delivers the literacy unit or indeed the English unit because literacy at National 3 and 4 is a mandatory unit within there and many teachers will be looking at combined assessment, they'll be looking at what they're doing in English and hopefully gathering the evidence for the literacy unit. You might have to say to teachers in English departments, that won't work for my student. If we're assessing literacy we're going to have to develop a different task which allows the candidates still to meet the outcome.

You have in your pack the outcome for listening. So if we just look at Literacy (National 3 and 4) in your pack: Outcome 2 "Listen to and understand straightforward spoken communication by: Selecting and using relevant information; Explaining aspects including audience and purpose; and Commenting on effectiveness." Now that's the outcome, within the assessment standards within the specification, it will also give a bit more detail so it says: "Responses to listening on at least one occasion." It may be in the class while that's being done, the teacher uses the exemplification from SQA, the support pack, and the class all watch the video clip and are assessed in listening. You might have to say my student can't access that but they are capable of listening in a live situation. You're looking at what it is saying, "Responses to listening on at least one occasion." So you can set that up, you can look at how to do it. The person that's assessing, it might be the English teacher who is the assessor with your support, would say yes this candidate has met the standard but we're not using the video clip because that's just not appropriate. It wouldn't be appropriate for blind candidates either, because of the visual content in the clip.

So for your candidates it's about "There are the standards, we're not going to use the SQA exemplification or we're going to tweak it or we're going to do something different." This is the sort of thing, in your workshop task, we want you to think about so you can feedback to us the issues. Then we can say how can we work with you in producing more detailed guidance that will help you in your school that we can publish which will help any hearing impaired candidate doing the literacy unit, it's available. Because we will have to think about the guidance, can we provide supplementary guidance to support the students but the student still has to listen.

[So if we could act as a voiceover that would be acceptable?]

Yes, if that suited. And if the candidate uses BSL again you're going to have to interpret the voiceover.

next question