Sunday, June 14, 2009

How EST Essay is Marked

Peperiksaan Peperiksaan

Is EST a difficult paper? In my school last year (2008), out of 54 SPM candidates who took EST, all but one passed. One student managed to get 2A while 32 got credits (3B - 6C).

Read this newspaper article:

Taiping’s Chong Huey Ee of SMK (P) Treacher Methodist, who took 16 subjects, missed out on the possibility of being the country’s top scorer when she obtained 15 1As but got a 2A in English for Science and Technology.

“Although I am disappointed that I did not score straight 1As, I can be proud that I scored 1As for the subjects I studied on my own – Science, Geography, Commerce, Principles of Accounting, Economics and Tasawwur Islam,” she said.
- The Star, 14 March 2006

The newspaper article above is not an isolated 'tragedy' concerning EST. There are many other students with the same fate as Chong Huey Ee - scored 1As in all subjects except EST. A student can get 1A in English Language and English Literature, but may not be able to get 1A for EST.

Most students who are unable to get 1A are victims of the essay section of the paper. Here, read on and get familiar as to how the EST essay is marked and what you need to do to get an A in the subject.

A* - Excellent (29-30 marks)

  • All the criteria for Grade A are satisfied
  • Appropriate tone and terminology are used
  • A convincing piece of scientific writing

A - Excellent (24-28 marks)
  • Full realisation of the task set
  • All the content points given are utilised and elaborated
  • Viewpoints are effectively analysed and justified
  • Accurate use of language with a few first draft slips

B – Competent (19-23 marks)
  • Full realisation of the task set
  • All the content points given are utilised and elaborated
  • Viewpoints are reasonably well analysed and justified
  • Accurate use of language with some minor errors

C – Satisfactory (13-18 marks)
  • Partial achievement of the task set
  • Some of the content points given are utilised and elaborated
  • Viewpoints are satisfactorily analysed and justified
  • Some minor errors and gross errors in language

D - Modest (7-12 marks)
  • Unsatisfactory attempt at the task set
  • Some of the content points given are utilised and minimally elaborated
  • Viewpoints are unsatisfactory analysed and justified
  • Many gross errors in language

E – Weak (1-6 marks)
  • Insufficient attempt at the task set
  • Content points are merely mentioned
  • Viewpoints are neither analysed nor justified
  • Language is wrong

From this schema, candidates can easily score high marks (band A or B) by not making gross errors besides providing at least an elaboration for each point and adding some own information.

So, one final reminder before you step into the examination hall: double check your writing for grammatical and spelling errors before submitting it!

Is Twitter dominated by men?

Thanks to its meteoric rise and adoption by celebrities, Twitter has come to represent the latest bright spot in the world of social networking - but anyone thinking they'd heard it all before with Friendster, MySpace and Facebook might be surprised to hear that the service could be more different than they think.

According to a new study from Harvard Business School, Twitter may be bucking the trend set by previous networks by being dominated by men.


The study looks at a fairly large sample of Twitter accounts (more than 300,000 randomly chosen users, the researchers tell us) and comes up with some intriguing findings. The first is that 80% are actually part of the social network have followed somebody else, or are being followed (which means, on the flip side, that 20% of accounts have never actually been used – it turns out that is still a marked improvement on most social sites).

However, it's the questions of gender balance that are really mind boggling – with numbers indicating that Twitter is a much more masculine affair than other social networks, which are primarily driven by female users.

According to researchers Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski, they discovered, when examining a smaller subset of 40,000 users whose gender was determined, that:

- Men have, on average, more followers than women
- Men are almost twice as likely to follow other men than they are women
- Women are also more likely to follow men

That's despite 55% of users on Twitter being women.

Most social networks are driven, to some extent, by a honeypot effect – where women tend to post lots of material like photos and videos, and gather disproportionate numbers of male friends and fans as a result (at its extreme, this has developed into a string of female web "personalities" like, say, Justine Ezarik).

On typical social networks this means women lead the conversation, men simply tag along for the ride. But on Twitter, that's not the case. Why? Perhaps, say the researchers, Twitter's basic approach limits the honeypot temptations:

We wonder to what extent this pattern of results arises because men and women find the content produced by other men on Twitter more compelling than on a typical social network, and men find the content produced by women less compelling (because of a lack of photo sharing, detailed biographies, etc.)

You could also speculate that the lower-level informational transactions of Twitter - fast, short, to the point - are more traditionally masculine than the interactive, contextual sharing done on other networks.

Whatever the reasons are, seeing a different gender bias emerge means that - despite being lumped into the same bucket on many occasions - not all social networks are equal.

And while some may lament the fact that the next big thing online is male dominated, I'm quite happy to see a move away from the slightly voyeuristic nature of the honeypot web. I wonder what it would take to achieve a neutrally-gendered network?


3 Steps for 21st Century Learning

By Jackie Halaw

Transform your classroom
into a creative learning space.

Teach students the skills
of competition, cooperation and collaboration.

Introduce your students to their global peers
and provide the opportunity for them to collaborate.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."
Alvin Toffler

Google Docs and 21st Century Learning

How to Use Google Documents

Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form application offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

Google Docs serves as a collaborative tool for editing amongst users and non-users in real time. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users at the same time. In the case of spreadsheets, users can be notified of changes to any specified regions via e-mail.

Google Docs is amongst many cloud computing document-sharing services. The majority of document-sharing services require user fees, whereas Google Docs is free to Gmail users and non-users. It's popularity amongst businesses is growing due to enhanced sharing features and accessibility.
Google Docs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
3 June 2009

Google Docs is now getting more popular amongst educators and is being introduced to teachers by the Larut Matang and Selama District Education Office and UPSI's Anak Perak. Here is an introduction video on how to use Google Docs.