Queries raised regarding use of SOLAR February 2019
Queries raised regarding use of SOLAR February 2019 How to access marking schemes in SOLAR Can marking schemes be accessed prior to student sitting exam?
Yes each Centre should have test student accounts (check with your SQA co-ordinator). A dummy test can be set up, tutor can then go in and access the test as a marker which then provides access to the marking schemes for each question. These marking schemes can be downloaded as a word document and printed in hard copy if the
Centre chooses to do so. Are there paper copies of the exemplars which are available on SOLAR? Paper copies are not provided by SOLAR (3 fixed and 1 dynamic). Each fixed assessment closely resembles the
previous paper versions from the old framework. Happy to use Paper 1 SOLAR but would like to use paper version for Paper 2. Centres can choose what combination of Paper 1 and 2 they select.
How does a Centre access incorrect student responses in Paper 1? Centres requested this facility to be disabled so that students did not receive their results immediately prior to sitting Paper 2. How can we ensure students do not access the internet during exam?
Ask your IT staff to install appropriate software (Secure Client) on each pc. As a Centre our Learning Resources Team provided us with a generic guest login (which changes every week). Staff clicked on the secure client icon on the desktop and entered this password, this took us to the SOLAR screen where the unique keycode would be entered by
the student. Technical queries relating to setting up candidates with additional time. Your Centres SOLAR co-ordinator can show you how to set this up. There is also a helpful guide and supporting videos on SOLAR webpages. https://www.sqasolar.org.uk/mini/34038.html
There is also guidance on our HN Admin & IT website for Graded Unit 1 and DTfA. Concerns that Paper 2 is slow Please feed this back to SOLAR and also check with your IT staff. Students were at a disadvantage as
no paper copies were available for use. Internal assessment allows for Centres to develop their own assessments if they believe this would be the preferred option. Paper ASPs have been developed to support a transition where Centres can move to SOLAR when more comfortable with these issues. Paper resources are not being maintained going forward.
SOLAR content will be updated for next session. There are also formative assessments available for Paper 1 and Paper 2 on SOLAR which helps prepare the student. Dynamically generated papers are unfair as different questions are given to different candidates.
Dynamically generated assessments are recognised as valid and used widely (e.g. Driving test theory and other awarding bodies). Standardisation is ensuring assessment is at the correct level and assessment decisions are reliable, this does not rely on every student completing the same questions. There is nothing to indicate to
candidate they have answered a multiple choice or multiple response question. Multiple response questions are not identified to align assessment at SCQF Level 7. This was also not the case in the previous paper versions.
Why do other Graded units signpost the multiple response questions? Equal spread of A, B and C grades suggests Admin & IT assessment performs well for the SCQF level. When SOLAR GU1 is to be reviewed we can consider whether current MC/MR model is still appropriate.
There are some questions where I disagree with the answers. Please contact SOLAR who will rectify if a technical error. If a matter for interpretation then they will refer to QD for clarification. Difficulty carrying out Internal Verification. No clear distinction for
first marker and IV. Please feed this back to SOLAR. Internal Verification should be carried out prior to the student script being submitted. Suggestion is to use the general comment box and marker and IV use their initials next to the comments. Post-its can also be used. (Comments cannot be accessed or viewed once the student script is
submitted as marked). How are scripts selected for Central Verification in SOLAR? Centres will no longer be required to send a selection of candidate scripts. The External Verifier will carry out the selection process on the day of Central Verification.
A few tips prior to students sitting exam: Have extra machines installed with secure client. On the day we had one machine which would not load the software properly. Alert IT that you may need their help on the day. Have someone if possible on standby until all students have started the exam.
Have a member of staff ready to generate extra keycodes if required. We had one student who entered her keycode and received a message saying it had already been used. This however had not been the case. Are there any plans to have a formative assessment on SOLAR for
DTfA? Priority is reviewing the summative assessment, although some additional content could potentially be used to create a formative resource. Happy using SOLAR for Paper 1 DTfA but would prefer not to use the portfolio for Paper 2.
The practical aspect of the assessment is vital to its validity. New ASPs have been produced that reduce the assessment volume and allows Centres to choose which platform they wish to upload the evidence to. Can we use SOLAR for Paper 1 and one of the new ASPs for Paper 2?
No. Paper 2 in the new ASPs is the theory questions. The practical aspect of the assessment is vital to its validity. www.sqa.org.uk I 0303 333 0330
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