Games, Animation and VFX FAQs
Latest update 11 May 2020
In our last update, we told you that we had informed Ofqual that we believed the Level 3 GAFVX qualifications should be in the category for progression to higher education and that we felt calculated grade was appropriate. We have since been advised by the regulators that Tech Levels have now been categorised into the Mixed-Use qualifications instead of the progression qualifications as initially understood. It is still anticipated that the outcome will be calculated grades.
We are still expecting the following to happen:
- we will likely use centre assessed results, taken before colleges were shut down, combined with other relevant information, to determine the most appropriate calculated result
- centres will most likely be asked to submit expected results for each assessment component, based on a range of evidence (yet to be agreed), but may include a learner’s results from previous years as well as from formative assessment etc
- right of appeal: Learners who do not feel their result reflects their ability should be able to complete an assessment at the next available opportunity
All centres were sent an update during the W/C 4 May 2020 outlining the plans for moderating and verifying achievement for the summer assessment period. Included with this was a RAG rating of potential evidence guidance document which should be used to identify the evidence your centre will have available in June to be moderated. These can also be found on our website here: COVID-19 FAQs.
All external moderation will be co-ordinated centrally through AIM and not directly with EV’s. This will be taking place in June; therefore, you should have your calculated grades for all learners/assignments available by the end of May ready to be submitted. (We are waiting for an update to the eRACs to accommodate the calculated grade option, as soon as it is completed, we will provide guidance to show how to upload the eRAC).
During April, we asked you to provide some additional information including whether learners have submitted any of the centre assessed assessments already, and whether they sat any mock exams. We have had completed responses to the evidence survey from all but three centres. This identified that for most centres there was significant amounts of learner evidence available and we will be able to use interim and final EV and IV documentation to support this. At present, it has not yet been confirmed what the minimum level of evidence will be required to provide a calculated grade, we will update this as soon as we have further guidance from the regulators.
We have also updated the FAQs below.
What we will do to support you
We are in weekly contact with Ofqual, our peer awarding organisations and other groups. As soon as we have more detail we will pass it on.
We have started holding drop-in clinics using GoToMeeting to keep you informed and allow you to get answers to your questions. More detail about these will follow. We held our first clinic on 4 May 2020 and plan to hold these on a weekly basis, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the next planned clinic.
LEARNERS CONTINUING TO WORK FROM HOME
Q: Should students be continuing to work from home?
A: We appreciate that not all learners will have access to equipment or software to be able to continue with working at home and it is vital that learners in this situation are not disadvantaged.
It is good practice for your learners to be continuing with their studies in some form, this will help them build their portfolio for future employers or progression. For first years moving onto second year, using this time to build their skills is vitally important to ensure they achieve their full potential when completing the second year assessments which build on the skills learnt in year one.
Any evidence learners complete at home cannot be used as evidence of a grade achieved however it can be used to inform your assessment judgement and reinforce your decisions.
We will only be accepting learner evidence that was completed before closures on 20 March 2020 for moderation
Q: What if all my students do not have access to computers/software?
A: There is a scheme through the government which enables laptops to be provided for learners, some centres have had success in using this to source laptops which have a sufficient specification for their studies in Games, Animation and VFX. NextGen are also looking into whether there are any resources available. Centres should also look at using remote desktop apps to access centre based software.
Q: What type of evidence do you need aside from mock results?
A: All assessments will be being moderated at the same time therefore the exam evidence will need to be included with your assignment evidence.
Evidence that could be provided to predict the grades achieved for learners could be mock exams papers, mock exam results, standardisation records from the mock exam results, in-class assessments, your tracking data for your learners over the year, internal verification/standardisation records, IQA observations/quality focussed reports, teacher references of the learner, attendance records. You should look to build a case of evidence that shows how the learner has been progressing and achieving over the course of the programme.
Where a learner has not completed a mock but the rest of the cohort has, it is hoped that there is other evidence to show their progression compared to peers, for instance, in class tracking and feedback which would identify they are comparable to other learners of the same grade.
Where none of the cohort have completed a mock exam, you should be looking to build evidence by looking at in-class assessments and completed tasks, it would be advisable to ensure these have been through an internal verification process.
Where there is not sufficient evidence for a cohort or individual, we may have to refuse to award a grade therefore we would in the first instance, identify as much as possible that you may have available. We will then review this and highlight the areas we feel would be best to submit for moderation.
Q: We did mocks, but some students didn't do well, what opportunities are there for a retake in September?
A: Government guidance is that there will be opportunities for all to do resits in the next academic year and the planned dates for these can be found here: AIM Qualifications Exam Dates
Q: What date do you think should we be aiming to submit calculated grades?
A: Please have the calculated grades available for the end of May 2020, we will be looking for you to be submitting the evidence for moderation during June, any evidence submitted after this date will not be available for UCAS activity.
Q: Will first year students do both exams in the second year?
A: It looks like it will be calculated grades for first year students too but with an opportunity to do resits in the next academic year. More information is available on the government website.
Q: Is there a cookie cutter AIM grade calculator sheet available?
A: We will circulate this and upload to the AIM Portal.
Q: Will there still be an EV for this year?
A: All evidence will be moderated and verified by the EV team at AIM. This will be managed centrally and not through your allocated EV, step by step instructions will be provided regarding what you will need to do for this.
At present, you should be reviewing your evidence available and establishing how much falls into the Green column of your RAG rated evidence (see email sent to centres W/C 4 May 2020) and you will be asked to provide this alongside the calculated grade for all non-examined evidence and examined evidence at the end of May (this is waiting for a software update on the eRACs, as soon as it is available we will let you know).
Q: The Level 3 esports, Level 4 Diploma in Work Principles and Practice of Games Design and Production and the Level 2 Skills for the Creative Industries - Games Design are all only coursework based, how will they be impacted?
A: At this point, we are unable to confirm how the results for non-examined assessment will be generated. We are working with regulators to establish what evidence will be best suited to generate the results which will accurately reflect learner performance throughout their course of study. We will be contacting the quality contact at any centres with registrations on these programmes with further detail as soon as we have it.
Q: Will learner portfolios be used as evidence?
A: Learner generated evidence that was completed before centre closures on 20 March 2020 can be used as evidence towards both examined and non-examined assessment. This should have been subjected to the usual quality assurance activity (IQA, standardisation etc). Depending on the evidence generated, you may find it does support your calculated grades and this would be good practice to map it as additional evidence for the examined assessment.
Any learner evidence completed after 20 March 2020 cannot be used as evidence of achievement but can be used to inform your overall decision.
LONG TERM IMPACT ON LEARNERS
Q: How can we mitigate the impact for first years on their second year achievement?
A: NextGen are working with their centres and are looking to provide guidance, resources and programmes for learners to assist with gap identification and short projects to develop these skills. Centres should consider how they will be delivering in the new academic year and where they feel there are skill gaps.
Q: If we are delivering remotely in the next academic year, how can we authenticate the evidence learners produce at that time?
A: Look at video recording, reflective notes and professional discussions with learners.
REASONABLE ADJUSTMENT AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATION
Q: Do we need to do apply a reasonable adjustment or special consideration?
A: The process of applying calculated grades or adapting assessments are effectively AIM applying a reasonable adjustment/special consideration to the programme. At present, we do not envisage you needing to complete any reasonable adjustment or special consideration application for learners who are only requiring the calculated grade due to closures. If you have any learners who have additional extenuating circumstances that also need accommodating you should contact your named contacts at AIM for further information (your CEA or Centre Lead would be best placed to discuss this with).