I am delighted to say that in the last five minutes I submitted my final script to the IBO and I must confess to being happy and relieved; just the examiners report to do.
As I intimated in my last email, I actually enjoyed marking online. Apart from the unexpected power cuts that interrupted my marking on successive Wednesday mornings (I live in Toronto, Canada) it all went rather smoothly.
When you submit your scripts, there is on occasion, a pause as the system picks up on the unknown seeded script you have sent and compares scores. On one occasion I was out significantly and the pre-marked seeded script appeared in front of me. I was asked to look through it and amend any subsequent marking I was about to send of. Sweat hit my brow as anxiety hit me at the thought I had not come up to scratch; its a strange sensation. As the conscientious marker I felt I was doing a good job and now I was feeling embarrassed that an automated response was telling me I was not.
However, I looked through the script and was in fact grateful for the guidance. I think it would be most useful if I could see more pre-marked scripts to attune my interpretation of the mark scheme. I obviously disagreed with some points given and that does in part demonstrate the difficulty sometimes in marking biology papers. There is a degree of interpretation as the student obviously does not use the exact same vocabulary as the mark scheme. On other occasions I had simply messed up.
So, with no scores to input twice for verification, no scripts to take to the school office for posting to Cardiff and also safe in the knowledge that the number of clerical errors is pretty much zero, I can get back to my other life and my class reports due at the end of the week.
Next blog will be a review of my take on the strengths and weaknesses of students writing examinations.