Implementation workshop
VCE Environmental Science 2013−2016
August 2012
Purpose
The aims of this session include:
• to provide specific information regarding changes to
curriculum and assessment for VCE Environmental
Science 2013−2016 as a result of a move to a single
end-of-year examination of two hours duration
• to gather feedback/questions/comments regarding
implementation in order to produce a set of FAQs to
support delivery of the revised study design for VCE
Environmental Science from 2013.
Online publication of VCE Study Designs
• From 2013, all VCE study designs, advice for
teachers, resources and assessment
handbooks will be available in an online format
only (i.e. no hard copies)
• Online publications will include a
publication/update date
• Teachers will be advised of major updates
through the VCAA Bulletin VCE, VET and VCAL
Summary of changes
A number of key knowledge points across Units 3 and 4
have been edited and expanded for clarity, and three
Outcome statements have been modified. These changes
have been published in the VCAA Bulletin VCE, VCAL and
VET Supplement 1, No. 97, July 2012.
Reminder: teachers may subscribe to the VCAA Bulletin Online – refer
to VCAA home page.
Teaching and learning resources
• Changes to the study design have been made with the
intention that teachers may continue to use existing
teaching and learning resources
• The Summary of changes for VCE Environmental
Science on the VCAA website should assist teachers to
identify study content and sections in current texts which
may no longer be applicable to the accredited 2013–
2016 course
• Teachers should note that some publishers are
producing revised materials. It is a school/teacher-based
decision as to whether new resources are purchased
and/or utilised
Overview of changes
Curriculum changes:
• Changes to Unit 3 Outcomes 2 and 3, and Unit 4 Outcome 2
• Minor editing and/or deletion of some key knowledge for clarity
and scope
Assessment changes:
• Single end-of-year examination of two hours duration
• Examination:SAC = 50:50 weighting (change from 66:34)
• SAC tasks and mark allocations have changed
• Some content assessed though School-assessed Coursework
only (specific details related to a threatened animal, a pollutant
and an environmental science project) and not in end-of-year
examination
Unit 4 Key Knowledge: removal of content
A key knowledge point, and its associated key skill, have
been deleted in Unit 4.
Unit 4, Area of Study 2 key knowledge:
• assessment of the impact of ecotourism on the
environment and the strategies required to manage
ecotourism
Unit 4, Area of Study 2 key skill:
• analyse the impact of ecotourism
Changed Unit 3 Outcome
Current Unit 3 Outcome 2:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to
describe the characteristics of biodiversity, and evaluate
strategies to reduce the effects of threatening processes on
one selected endangered animal
Revised Unit 3 Outcome 2:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to
describe the characteristics of biodiversity, evaluate
strategies to reduce the effects of threatening processes on
biodiversity, and apply this knowledge to one selected
threatened animal
Changed Unit 3 Outcome 3
Current Unit 3 Outcome 3:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to
explain how scientific data is applied to the assessment
of environmental risk in ensuring biodiversity
Revised Unit 3 Outcome 3:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to
explain how scientific data is used in the evaluation of
biodiversity and is applied to the development of
management strategies to ensure biodiversity
Unit 4 Outcome 2 change
Current Unit 4 Outcome 2:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to use
the principles of ecologically sustainable development and
environmental management to evaluate a selected
environmental science project
Revised Unit 4 Outcome 2:
On completion of this unit the student should be able to use
the principles of ecologically sustainable development and
environmental management to evaluate environmental
science projects, including a focus on one selected
environmental science project
FAQs
A set of Frequently Asked Questions will
be published on the VCE Environmental
Science study page of the VCAA website
to support implementation of the revised
study design 2013−2016
School-assessed Coursework
• contributes 50 per cent to the study score
- Unit 3 SAC: 25 per cent
- Unit 4 SAC: 25 per cent
• should form part of the teaching and learning
program, both in terms of formative (including
diagnostic) and summative assessment
Student-selected SACs
• Specific details related to three student-selected
assessment tasks are examined by School-assessed
Coursework only:
- threatened animal
- pollutant
- environmental science project
• The student-selected fossil fuel and non-fossil fuel
energy resources are assessed through both a SAC and
the end-of-year examination
Advice for Teachers
• The Advice for Teachers has been updated
to include relevant employability skills derived
from the Employability Skills Framework
against specified assessment tasks for Units
1−4
Assessment Handbook
The Assessment Handbook for VCE
Environmental Science 2013−2016 will be
available from the VCE Environmental Science
study page prior to Term 1 2013.
Resources
• The list of resources will be updated annually by
the VCAA and will be available from the VCE
Environmental Science page
• Educators may submit suggested references for
inclusion on the resource list to the Curriculum
Manager for Science at the VCAA
Examination conditions
• 15 minutes reading time
• 120 minutes writing time
• Question and Answer book + Multiple Choice
answer sheet
• 50 per cent contribution to Study Score
Examination content
•
Questions will be based on the key knowledge and key skills
that underpin the outcomes in Unit 3 and Unit 4, with the
exception that specific details related to student-selected
threatened animal, pollutant and environmental science
project will be assessed through SACs
•
Students will be required to apply the knowledge and skills
of the environmental science areas undertaken in Unit 3 and
Unit 4
Examination content (continued)
•
There will be a balance of content across four Areas of
Study in Units 3 and 4 to reflect the weighting in the School-
assessed Coursework
•
Some questions may include content from more than one
Area of Study within a unit and/or content which crosses
both Units 3 and 4
Examination format and mark allocation
Two sections
• Section A
- 30 multiple choice questions
- one mark each
• Section B
- short answer questions
- 90 marks total
Examination will be out of 120 marks
Section A
TOTAL MARKS: 30
• multiple choice
• all questions compulsory
• some questions built around a short scenario
• questions will be answered on a Multiple Choice
answer sheet
Section B
TOTAL MARKS: 90
• short answer questions
• scenarios
• 1-5 or 6 mark questions maximum per question
Note: No essays but there could be extended responses
Approved examination materials
Approved:
• stationery: pens, pencils, highlighters, erasers,
sharpeners and rulers
• scientific calculator
Not approved:
• blank sheets of paper
• correction fluid
Examination advice
• The examination will follow the examination
specifications and will test a representative
sample of the key knowledge and key skills
• The number of marks provides a guide to the
complexity of the expected answer/s
Sample examination paper
•
Sample examination paper is composed largely of past
examination questions
• Solutions to past examination questions can be accessed
by referring to the relevant Assessment Reports available
on the VCAA website
• Some questions were specifically developed to illustrate
that questions can draw upon understanding of
concepts across Units 3 and 4
• Sample examination paper will be published on the VCAA
website in the VCE Environmental Science study pages
Contact
VCAA branch
Science Manager
Contact Details
Curriculum
Maria James
Tel: 9651 4655
Email:
[email protected]
Assessment
Claudia Cicuttini
Tel: 9225 2351
Email:
[email protected]
© Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2012
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VCE Environmental Science 2013−2016