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Were students really expected to handwrite their GCSE coursework? watch

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    (Original post by Arran90)
    There was inertia and resistance amongst teachers to accepting printed out homework assignments in the 1980s and early 1990s. Before schools started teaching ICT it was not uncommon to find schools vehemently against using computers for word processing and office applications. It was only after 1995 when Windows 95 was released that computers with word processors became mainstream at home.



    It's meant to be thought provoking.
    It was much later than that.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    There was inertia and resistance amongst teachers to accepting printed out homework assignments in the 1980s and early 1990s. Before schools started teaching ICT it was not uncommon to find schools vehemently against using computers for word processing and office applications. It was only after 1995 when Windows 95 was released that computers with word processors became mainstream at home.



    It's meant to be thought provoking.
    Dont think there was resistance to have printed homework just people didnt do it, nor did they have the equipment.

    Home computers were BBC, Atari and Amiga, some had PC with Windows 3 and Word 2. Rich people had Apples. PCs became more mainstream because they were affordable.

    I dont believe teachers ever refused work that was typed. Why should they its easier to read. I dont believe they opposed using computers for
    wordprocessing as it was a big thing instead of typing.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Dont think there was resistance to have printed homework just people didnt do it, nor did they have the equipment.

    Home computers were BBC, Atari and Amiga, some had PC with Windows 3 and Word 2. Rich people had Apples. PCs became more mainstream because they were affordable.

    I dont believe teachers ever refused work that was typed. Why should they its easier to read. I dont believe they opposed using computers for
    wordprocessing as it was a big thing instead of typing.
    Your history of this isn't quite right.

    Starting with the Commodore PET and going through the Sinclair and BBC Micro models, you have a certain home market for computers to do "computing". That market was, like the market for telescopes and microscopes a home hobbyist educational market.

    At the same time from the early 1980s, you have the development of professional "word processors", equipment designed to run word processing software only. Wordstar and Wordperfect both date from around 1980. From the mid-1980s, these word-processors and commercial electric typewriters are merging. In 1987 my firm had one word processor operator and 10-12 secretaries working on electric typewriters.

    What Alan Sugar at Amstrad realises is that he can sell a computer to the home market and pretend it is a word processor. As such, he can sell an expensive product into the home with female support whilst previously the market was limited to "boys' toys". Virtually all word processor users were female and there was starting to be a generation of word processor operators, who whilst perhaps having learned to type on manual typewriters were now typing electronically and didn't have the technique to want to use a manual typewriter at home.

    I think there is opposition in schools to the use of electronics for homework and coursework and that opposition takes two forms. Firstly there is opposition to a perception of wealth amongst some pupils. We don't want want pupils flashing their wealth around and electronically produced documents are a part of this. Secondly, there is integrity. The work has to be the pupil's own work. We can't be sure it isn't parental work until the pupil writes it in his own handwriting.

    A factor in this, is that until some time in the 1990s, typing is a skill that is taught. Mum can type because she has been taught to type. If the child is producing something on a word-processor, then that is like the child doing the doggy-paddle rather than swimming. Swimming, is a technique that is taught properly and it means more than not drowning. The child hasn't been taught to type using the approved RSA methods.
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    I had to hand write a fair chunk of my coursework back in 06-08. Obviously we could have typed it but I think it was part of the syllabus that at least one piece had to be handwritten. I just used to write it on a computer and then copy it up by hand.
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    I had to handwrite all of my GCSE coursework in 07. I have 16000 words of assignments and a 16000 dissertation for my MA... imagine having to hand write THAT :laugh:
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    We were obliged to hand write at least 2 pieces of coursework. The rest could be typed.
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    Um...I finished my GCSEs last summer and all my coursework was handwritten (except for Geography - my teacher kept suggesting I use a computer for this subject because my handwriting was very slanty, but perfectly legible). Only a few did their coursework on the computer. People still write things, you know.
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    (Original post by Arran90)
    When the concept of coursework for GCSE subjects was thought up in the early 1980s it was the norm for secondary school students to handwrite their homework. Very few students had a printer at home at the time and there weren't all that many with a mechanical typewriter either. Therefore the officials behind GCSE coursework most likely assumed that it would be handwritten. A home computer boom took place in the 1980s but kids overwhelmingly owned computers for games, not schoolwork, and printing out homework was seen as eccentric at its best or unacceptable by the school at its worst.

    Fast forward to the 2000s and you would find almost every student producing their GCSE coursework assignments on a computer either at home or at school with only a small fraction choosing to handwrite it. With hindsight it could be argued that coursework and ICT went hand in glove with each other where students learned about Micro$oft Word in ICT then used it to produce coursework for other subjects. No longer was printing out schoolwork eccentric or unacceptable, it was being actively encouraged by the National Curriculum. I'm unsure whether the powers that be intended that ICT and coursework go hand in glove with each other or whether the ideology behind them was completely separate and parallel from each other.

    Coursework has now been axed from many GCSE subjects but in its wake is a question - were students really expected to handwrite their GCSE coursework?
    I finished GCSEs in 2016 and I completed most of my coursework (besides ICT) on paper.
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    (Original post by fashionablylait)
    I finished GCSEs in 2016 and I completed most of my coursework (besides ICT) on paper.
    You seem to be under the misapprehension that those who used computers did not also produce their coursework on paper in order to submit it. The discussion is not about the paper, but is about the means of getting the ink or laser toner onto it.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Your history of this isn't quite right.

    Starting with the Commodore PET and going through the Sinclair and BBC Micro models, you have a certain home market for computers to do "computing". That market was, like the market for telescopes and microscopes a home hobbyist educational market.

    At the same time from the early 1980s, you have the development of professional "word processors", equipment designed to run word processing software only. Wordstar and Wordperfect both date from around 1980. From the mid-1980s, these word-processors and commercial electric typewriters are merging. In 1987 my firm had one word processor operator and 10-12 secretaries working on electric typewriters.

    What Alan Sugar at Amstrad realises is that he can sell a computer to the home market and pretend it is a word processor. As such, he can sell an expensive product into the home with female support whilst previously the market was limited to "boys' toys". Virtually all word processor users were female and there was starting to be a generation of word processor operators, who whilst perhaps having learned to type on manual typewriters were now typing electronically and didn't have the technique to want to use a manual typewriter at home.

    I think there is opposition in schools to the use of electronics for homework and coursework and that opposition takes two forms. Firstly there is opposition to a perception of wealth amongst some pupils. We don't want want pupils flashing their wealth around and electronically produced documents are a part of this. Secondly, there is integrity. The work has to be the pupil's own work. We can't be sure it isn't parental work until the pupil writes it in his own handwriting.

    A factor in this, is that until some time in the 1990s, typing is a skill that is taught. Mum can type because she has been taught to type. If the child is producing something on a word-processor, then that is like the child doing the doggy-paddle rather than swimming. Swimming, is a technique that is taught properly and it means more than not drowning. The child hasn't been taught to type using the approved RSA methods.
    1. I was talking about home computers during a certain period and not home pcs from the beginning. So I believe it was right, just not complete because in the context of the post it was never intended to be.

    2. I have never encountered or seen opposition to typed work, but at the time it was unusual to non existent. There is a certain level of trust and common sense used by any teacher. Teachers arent stupid and they will be aware of the capabilities and style of any particular pupil.

    I disagree with the OP about their version of events. I dont get that there was a massive push of eager word processing students. The only time when things needed to be typed were formal submissions such as dissertations and some assessed work needed to be copied and formally read. I assume it was for ease of reading and marking .

    These days its just as much to do with being checked for plagiarism and convenience of electronic transmission. Not sure when the day will come when all students have to type exam scripts rather tham being handwritten.

    Imo it's still unclear what the point of the OP was? If the exam board say typed, then you comply.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think there is opposition in schools to the use of electronics for homework and coursework and that opposition takes two forms. Firstly there is opposition to a perception of wealth amongst some pupils. We don't want want pupils flashing their wealth around and electronically produced documents are a part of this. Secondly, there is integrity. The work has to be the pupil's own work. We can't be sure it isn't parental work until the pupil writes it in his own handwriting.
    I have received several personal accounts of teachers being difficult with printed out schoolwork. There is a general trend that the opposition is highest in primary school years and decreases through secondary school years. I haven't met anybody who was not allowed by their school to submit printed out GCSE coursework unless it was part of a controlled assessment.

    A friend produced his GCSE coursework back in the early 1990s at home on an Amstrad CPC 6128 with the Tasword word processor and only hand wrote that for science subjects which were assessed practicals. He had a dot matrix printer that could print in a cursive handwriting font but he didn't use this.

    I'm not sure about the part about flashing wealth around. I suspect it's more a cultural thing where teachers at the time were brought up on handwriting so were a bit wary of new technology that kids knew more about than they did.
 
 
 

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