VCAA Wants to Know What You Think

That title may be a trifle strong. But at least VCAA is giving you the option of saying what you think.

VCAA has just launched a questionnaire on the mathematics Study Design, specifically on whether there is a need for review (hat tip, John.) The link is here, and the questionnaire can also be found down the stairs at the bottom of each subject webpage, in the fine print. Behind the door with the sign, “Beware of the leopard”.

We have no idea how VCAA will treat the questionnaire results but, post-Bennett, there is at least some mood for, or at least acquiescence to, change. Indeed, the existence of this questionnaire seems to be an indication of this, seemingly flagging the possibility of an SD review before that scheduled in 2027. So, if you have thoughts then you should word your thoughts. If you don’t have thoughts, or anyway, our posts on the Study Design and its stupor support materials are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

You have until June 21. Get to work.

13 Replies to “VCAA Wants to Know What You Think”

  1. Done.

    The format of the questions was odd – especially the way the format changed in the last few.

    Oh well…

    If the idea of going to a single exam is a serious one, let us all hope it is non-CAS.

    1. Thanks, RF. I’ve had no time to look, and just wanted to get the post up quickly. These surveys are usually clunky, but did you feel you were able to express your view on the aspects that matter to you?

      1. Mostly. There were plenty of places to comment. I did wonder how much of it would be read by a human and how much would be scanned by an AI machine for key words. So I chose my words carefully.

  2. Unsure whether or not they’re keen to receive student feedback, but as they’ve given me an option I’ll gladly offer my thoughts- Thanks for posting about this, interesting that it doesn’t seem to have been announced to loudly.

    1. Thanks, Tom. I see no reason why students shouldn’t respond, even if that was not intended. I’m not sure how VCAA announces thing generally. One would thing there’d be a VCAA bulletin or something, but I really don’t know.

      1. The bulletin is the standard method and it gets sent via email to the school’s VCE “representative”.

        I think they can be accessed by anyone though on the website.

        Most of them are quite irrelevant to the majority of teachers!

          1. It was a line in the bulletin with a clickable link, so I do hope so.

            The main problem (and this is always a fine balancing act) is that answering the survey took me a bloody long time (around 75 minutes) and I suspect a lot of people who start will get sick of the repetition and not finish.

            What this means for the answers they do give is anyone’s guess.

            1. Only 75 minutes?
              It took me over 3 hours, spent over a couple of days. I’d almost lost the will to live by the end. Yes, the repetition was boring and a real disincentive to finish.

              A lot of the time I used giving my opinion on how the Study Design could be improved (over a series of questions) and what to do with CAS technology, as well as feedback on the SAC system.

              I hope that many teachers respond, even if only to give their opinion on pseudocode. The VCAA have the chance to right some serious wrongs if they are serious about amending the Study Design in order to improve it. (After all, why should students and teachers have to wait until the 5 year cycle is finished before VCAA fix all the problems left by a previous Manager?)

              One thing that really irks me is that these surveys never give you the option of being sent your response, so there’s no way of verifying or confirming that you responded and what you said in your response.

              I have the same irk when feedback on exams is asked for (I stopped giving feedback via the on-line questionnaire shortly after being told by VCAA that no-one had submitted feedback on their questionnaire that the 2016 Maths Methods Exam 2 Question 3(h)(ii) was defective. I know for a fact that at least one person did – me!!)

              1. Ah, see I cheated a bit there and did a copy-and-paste for Methods and Specialist answers:

                Get rid of CAS, get rid of SACs, get rid of pseudocode, set one GOOD exam paper (2 to 3 hours, around 10 questions, none of them multiple choice) and actually test the content described in the study design or change the study design to describe what is actually going to be assessed. If you are going to test statistics, have someone set the paper that actually knows what the topic is about so the questions are actually meaningful and not “here’s a bunch of formulas, use them!”.

                The format for the questionnaire changing towards the end was a bit confusing, too. Almost as though the thing had multiple authors…

                1. Re: Specialist Maths statistics.

                  I suggested get rid of confidence intervals and hypothesis testing and add improper integrals, cumulative distribution function (cdf) and moment generating function.

                  (Don’t ask, don’t get).

                  1. Could the whole feedback be simply “Return to the pre-1981 curriculum and assessment methods (ie the old 100% exam split into Pure and Applied)” – seems to me that would at least improve and simplify the curriculum and reduce teacher workload.

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