Eduqas Research Methods Paper A Level

 Eduqas Research Methods Paper A Level
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 05:04 PM
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OK, I''ll put my neck on the line and be told I am a silly whatsit but did anyone else feel the (usually) good WJEC/Eduqas board were disingenuous with this paper?

Question 1 in section A "Explain  one strength of conducting research online" - it was not on the specification so why is it on the paper?

From looking at the ticks by the questions, the students answered it well enough but why have Eduqas put this question there when it was not on the spec to teach it? I have checked the spec it is NOT there.

I have always thought quite highly of WJEC ( in England Eduqas) because of their clarity of questions and they do what they say on the tin.

Another thing that got to me is how they geared all the study question on this to Kholberg and no Milgram at all......

The heavy emphasis on personal investigations - when they have no way of knowing if the students even did an investigation..... not me, but I have heard a few stories of how some one has done these "hypothetically" and just taught the factors involved  by rote.  

I had one hell of a headache with these as my school isnt big and we simply do not have the facilities to do all their investigations. Food choices are limited in the school by what the kitchen put on a meal of the day. Its that or salad 

Similarly this year with the IQ question...... but thats another story - has anyone really thought through  the ethics and issues of conducting IQ tests with school participants ( sixth form and teachers)?  I am uncomfortable with this  but dare not raise it in the facebook group.

 Finally, the emphasis on questions on the exam paper for personal investigations  seems disproportionate - or can someone enlighten me , with a decent debate, not a  superior " well I thought it was OK" answer? I am sure mine didnt do badly, I just am not keen on what Eduqas have panned out ( and it doesnt really look like the SAMS either)



Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 05:49 PM
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Oh, and that Kohlberg question - describe the sample used ( apparently it was on the AS paper as well, but those of us who dont do AS will not have seen it......

Two issues
a) it gives an unfair advantage to those who sit AS and A Level in their schools as they would have seen the question several weeks ago and prepped the kids accordingly - no such luck for those of us who dont do the AS AND of course the exam board didnt release the paper for general consumption.

b) there was no sample given in the Kohlberg study. Now that may well be ( is?) the answer but how many kids will be thrown into a tis because they thought they should have an answer to a question that really doesnt have one, or rather has a negative one? That is likely to imp[act their confidence for the rest of the paper.

I dont think it was fair, clear and what it says on the tin.

Rant over.

Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 @ 01:36 PM
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Hi.

I've not examined the paper in much detail yet, but online research is on the spec. It's under location of research (in the lab, field, online). I was hoping for more Milgram, but luck of the draw I guess. I am interested to see the marking criteria for the sample question, I wonder if it wants more. about the participants as opposed to the technique.

Roll on paper 3!

Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 @ 01:57 PM
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I don't think a question being on an AS paper gives any advantage, as I think most people would assume (wrongly in this case) that it wouldn't also be on the A level paper. The emphasis on questions on the exam paper for personal investigations also seems reasonable, after all research is what psychology should be all about.

The feasibility of the suggested investigations is a completely separate issue, but an important one, which should be taken up with the subject officer if it is an issue for you personally.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 11:53 AM
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I agree that the imbalance of assessment on Milgram and Kohlberg over the past two years has been frustrating - I would expect and prefer if they were assessed on both studies on each paper.

Research online is on the specification so I thought the demands of the question were fair in that case.

I also agree with some of some of the points you make about the personal investigations - centres could get away with not actually conducting either in theory although I think it's definitely more beneficial for the students in many repects to have a go at carrying out their own investigations when possible.

On the whole I thought the paper was better than Component 2 last year at least.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 11:57 AM
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Sorry, only just scrolled and seen your second post Holly.

Kohlberg's sample is detailed in the cat textbook and in his original study document.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 01:10 PM
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Deb,
I will break this into two points if I may - I am not trying to be argumentative, although I realise I can come across that way because of a certain passion I have for things:

"The emphasis on questions on the exam paper for personal investigations also seems reasonable, after all research is what psychology should be all about."

I am not sure I entirely agree with this. As a psychologist I would say Psychology is about many things , research may be part of that, but I would ask if such research is necessary at A level. Or that it should be so prescribed - but that has to be a matter of opinion. My st5udents do many mini research projects to get data. Not sure this is needed.

"The feasibility of the suggested investigations is a completely separate issue, but an important one, which should be taken up with the subject officer if it is an issue for you personally."

I had this last year when I asked about the research on reaction times and age - which also made me uncomfortable.

The answer came back here ( from you and others ) that it was not an issue and no one other than myself minded giving kids their age.
I saw it as socially sensitive research and slightly unethical or at the least a privacy issue. These are 18 year old students ( in fact one of mine was barely 16 - we have vertical accelerated classes for a few "gifted" pupils, I get one every five years or so) . I personally I did not wish to give the students my age. But I was alone, and I seemed to be being told in not so many words here, not to be so daft. So I bit it, thought I might be over sensitive and let it go.

In the end I gave the students a false age - I took off 10 years. That was wrong of me. No one refused to give an age when asked but I cannot be sure how many may have done the same as me. I announced that the investigation was taking place in staff briefing and therefore warned staff they would be asked for their ages! Of course youngsters of 16 - 18 are not going to worry but as research ( generally if it is worth anything - otherwise what are you doing? Process? You dont need full blown pieces like this to do that with) dictates you need a wider sample that 16 - 18 year olds.

The food choice gender one was probably more a matter of the school I work in.I had fewer issues with that other than the limited food choices available .

This year though I find myself once again asking about socially sensitive research. IQ testing is by definition socially sensitive. I question whether 18 year olds should be let loose with a Ravenbrook ( which I have been given by the exam board as it happens - I wrote to them) at all.

When you use such things you have to know what you are doing - at least that was how I was taught it at university.
The BPS guidelines themselves make reference to IQ testing and ethical issues arising.

There could be ways around this but , one way or another someone can get hurt - by finding out that they are personally less intelligent than they hoped or thought which does have an impact on self esteem. Even if you use a toy on - line test, it could lead to the same problems. Self esteem in anyone is easily damaged and no amount of reassuring through explaining IQ tests are not valid is useful. Lets face it, many people are still living with the issues from results of a simple mass IQ test called the 11+ . The problem hasn't gone away ( research shows this) and many of the people concerned have lived with it for a lifetime now.

Now in this instance I am refusing to participate and have already told my students this. My reasons ( unspecified to students and others) are that my IQ has already been measured by MENSA and I have no intention of revealing in any way. It is embarrassing. Of course if I did the IQ test and screwed it, I would be even m ore humiliated!

We could argue that we do not give the results, but then, where does that leave us on debriefing?

Of course, it might be possible to do it via secondary source data, but that does not appear to be in the brief. Then there would be issues - where do I find a source of IQ data I can correlate with another factor? I could use school tests, but then I would need permissions.......

And then, deep down I worry. What happens if a pupil goes home and mum or dad takes exception to IQ tests being used and I get the complaint made about me being unprofessional? WJEC wont protect me - nor anyone else it seems.

Maybe I am over thinking it, but it seems wrong - but it is there and has to be done to complete this exercise.

Clearly no one else is bothered . Maybe you are all cleverer than me and have worked out how to do this and its OK?
Do tell.

That leaves aside any logistic issues and resources issues of getting things like tests - I got an IQ test from the board, but what about other tests? I don't have any. You cant just rock up and buy them! Not the real thing anyway. Thats for a reason - they are psychological tools used by professionals. Otherwise I am left with using the "Womans Own" magazine version. ( where do I get that is also an issue as it happens) .

I have also met the issue of suitable rooms for the perception/cognitive set experiment this year. I don't have a room. I am getting round that one, but its a faff.

Someone else has told me they did their investigations "hypothetically". The students went through in class how they would /could do the investigation and designed an experiment in imagination where they had all the resources available! I asked what they did for data and analysis. She said she made it up and presented it to the class as " data gathered from a previous experiment " and they selected a stat and did the work. She has not allowed this to be widely known though. Should I do that? Its ethical but it is deception and surely defeats the objective of personal investigations ( if there is one). After all the exam board assumes we all get the students to run these investigations and have no way of checking as they say in the specification.

Coursework has been removed from A levels - although it seems to remain in places. Personal investigations seems a bit of a fudge to try and meet that idea that psychology is about research without coursework. We havent had it on WJEC since about 2010. Why bring it back? It worked fine as a RM exam paper with novel scenarios ( as indeed it did with AEB and OCR back in the 1990's)

If the exam board set them, gave me the resources and the instructions and we all set up exactly the same experiment/ investigation I could see something controlled and measured and "examined" but it isnt. We would all be on an even playing field too as far as such a field is available. This just disadvantages some. Is that the purpose of an A level?

I am struggling to make it OK and remain honest and true to being what I am, at the end of the day, a Psychologist. . But no one else has a problem? Clearly the exam board will just tell me to bog off to another exam board. I like WJEC/Eduqas. But so many issues with these personal investigations.








Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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"On the whole I thought the paper was better than Component 2 last year at least."

Funnily, I thought that paper last year was OK.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 01:28 PM
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I suppose it just comes down to personal preference of topics.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 02:03 PM
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I've not examined the paper in much detail yet, but online research is on the spec. It's under location of research (in the lab, field, online).

I screwed up on that one. I didnt see it.

Maybe I should pack in altogether then. I will be for the high jump when results come out.

I still think the Kohlberg question was badly worded - although my students say they were OK answering it.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 02:06 PM
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centres could get away with not actually conducting either in theory although I think it's definitely more beneficial for the students in many repects to have a go at carrying out their own investigations when possible.

As I read the specification, the exam board expects that students will conduct these investigations.
So hypothetically doesnt cut it - otherwise I would do that! If I get told differently , I am likely to cut it and do it by producing data and analyse.

I dont have any tests for the students to select a suitable other factor from. Resources, resources as I said.

Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 02:17 PM
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If I am honest, I would say I was not comfortable with some of the questions, especially the emphasis on personal investigations ( as I have said ) the wording of Kohlberg - and had I known it was on the ruddy AS, believe me I would have made sure I double checked it and got my students familiar with that answer.

But mainly, it was not like the SAMS. Last year the AS it seems stuck close to SAMS. But I do not teach AS. I dont get AS papers. This was the first time A level was set and I did expect it to bear some resemblance to the SAMS ( as the AS had done last year).