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Teacher training for practical student science assessments


  • E-learning
  • Mobile friendly, non-responsive
  • Story/scenario driven

Commissioned by the Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR) exam board, Walkgrove created four comprehensive bespoke e-learning modules for A Level science teachers about how to deliver a novel approach to practical science assessment.

The training need

Exams for Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology at A Level include an element to assess students’ practical skills, conducted locally by teachers in schools. A new assessment approach called Practical Endorsement had been created, which integrates into normal teaching and learning activities. The OCR needed to deliver training to at least one subject teacher per school in order to ensure a consistent quality of school-based Practical Endorsement and the correct application of assessment criteria. OCR had designed face-to-face training content but wanted this to be also available in an online format for schools who preferred this option.

The main target audience was lead science teachers who needed to understand the key administrative and assessment requirements for Practical Endorsement and to explain these to their colleagues. Training also needed to cover specific and detailed information about individual subject assessment objectives.

Our bespoke e-learning solution

Walkgrove created six clear and comprehensive custom e-learning modules to support lead science teachers in conducting OCR-compliant Practical Endorsements. Three generic modules are applicable to all subject teachers and introduce the assessment approach and cover record-keeping, while three other tailored modules focus on how to conduct practical assessments, as specific to each subject area. To create an enjoyable and flexible learning experience, teachers can complete the modules in any order and select only those relevant to them. Depending on their chosen learning path, they can take two and a half hours to cover all four subjects or just one hour if they only cover one science area.

To help teachers understand detailed Practical Endorsement criteria, learning screens use exploratory and discovery-based approaches to examine key documents and to demonstrate how to use basic computer software for maintaining accurate records. To support teachers in disseminating the information about Practical Endorsement to their wider staff team, regular knowledge checks are included in the format of frequently asked questions from colleagues. Professional, positive photography of science students from around the UK are also included to enhance learner enjoyment and illustrate the relevance of the content.