Students lose marks for stealing ideas from internet
LEAVING Certificate Art and Construction Studies students are falling foul of examiners for copying designs rather than developing their own ideas.
The reviews of student performance in last year's exams were published by the State Examinations Commission.
As well as the written paper, the Art exam involves a number of practicals and most students opt for craftwork, like calligraphy, weaving, pottery, puppetry or a poster.
Prior to the practical, students are supposed to develop their design and at the end of the exam submit a sheet showing their research, including personal interpretations, photos and images.
But, the Chief Examiner's report notes concern that a lot of "identical and similarity imagery" was presented from the majority of schools.
"This was thought to result from the practice of candidates entering the subject titles in internet search engines and or downloading the first few concepts and ideas that emerge with little or no evidence of additional research on the part of the candidates," it states.
In some cases, students printed "large quantities of irrelevant printed imagery possibly found on the internet or in magazines".
Examiners praised candidates who manipulated source material and transformed images into visually exciting work as they showed an ability to express a personal concept.
There was also criticism of some answering in the written exam with evidence of candidates "memorising stock answers" and writing lengthy passages that did not answer any part of the question.
Among a significant number of Ordinary Level candidates, examiners found a poor understanding of basic art terminology with comments such as the "festival was visually memorable because it looked great".
The report highlighted a "formulaic approach" by a number of schools where all candidates doing the Still Life question – where a written passage is interpreted – chose the same passage and approach.
According to the report for Construction Studies, much of what was presented for assessment was not designed by candidates, but consisted of realisations of existing designs, sourced from books and magazines.
Teachers should encourage students to go beyond replicating an existing design that they have sourced elsewhere so that they can demonstrate higher order skills, and be credited for this, the report states.
The report also details that examiners found evidence that not all coursework was solely the student's work, or not completed in accordance with the regulations – with some students receiving no marks.