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A2 Unit 4B The Process of Issue Evaluation (1). This demands the development of the range of geographical skills, knowledge and understanding identified in the Specification. Unit 4B allows candidates to extend the content of the specification within the specialised context of issue evaluation.

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A2 Unit 4B The Process of Issue Evaluation (1)

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a2 unit 4b the process of issue evaluation 1
A2 Unit 4BThe Process of Issue Evaluation (1)
  • This demands the development of the range of geographical skills, knowledge and understanding identified in the Specification.
  • Unit 4B allows candidates to extend the content of the specification within the specialised context of issue evaluation.
the process of issue evaluation 2
The process of Issue Evaluation (2)

To enable candidates to address issue evaluation they must:

· interpret a range of data and resources provided for them in an Advance Information Booklet (AIB)

·use techniques to present and analyse data from the AIB

·consider how additional information could be collected using fieldwork, internet research and other methods

·relate the data to the body of geographical knowledge and understanding developed through their AS and A2 studies

·where necessary, carry out further research into the issue or the area referred to in the AIB

the process of issue evaluation 3
The process of Issue Evaluation (3)

·be able to recognise and define an issue

· consider evidence from different points of view

· recognise shortcomings of the data and consider other possible sources through which those shortcomings could be remedied

· establish criteria for evaluation of the issue or for decision making

· evaluate a range of options concerning the management of an issue or of a decision

the process of issue evaluation 4
The process of Issue Evaluation (4)

· identify and analyse potential areas of conflict

·consider ways of resolving or reducing conflict

·recommend a way of managing the issue or make a decision – and justify their recommendation

·suggest the possible impact of action that could result from their recommendation

·review the process of issue evaluation.

scale and context
Scale and context

It is envisaged that, over time, a variety of scales will be

used from local to regional, to national, to international.

The context will also be varied from the UK, to other

countries, thus representing countries in various stages

of development. Where the context is drawn from those

areas of the AS or A2 specification which are optional,

material will be provided in the AIB in such a way as to

enable all candidates to be assessed to A Level


use of the aib
The Advance Information Booklet (AIB) is issued 8 weeks prior to the examination (in November for the January exam, April for the June exam).

Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the material, but not to learn it or do extensive research on it.

However – this does not mean that no work should be done!

Use of the AIB
what sort of preparation should be done
Read and re-read the booklet to become absolutely familiar with the content and layout – know what is there and where it is. Perhaps even produce a short summary of each page.

Look up the meaning of any unfamiliar words and phrases – ask a teacher for help!

Use an atlas/other sources to ensure a working knowledge of the geographical area under consideration.

List the concepts, theories, processes etc. which are referred to in the AIB – do you understand them all?

What sort of preparation should be done?
data manipulation
Students should also think about ways of manipulating data; looking at proportions, percentage changes etc. (has anything doubled/tripled/halved?)

However, they must beware of ‘data waffle’ – describing masses of data rather than actually utilising it.

The key as always is to look for trends, choose one or two pieces of data to illustrate the point (but not too many) and identify any anomalies that may be apparent.

Data Manipulation
use of os maps
Use of OS Maps
  • Ensure students have sharpened up their map skills – it is always surprising how many have forgotten how to give even a simple four figure grid reference.
  • Students should be encouraged to be specific in their use of maps and should be able to give both 4 and 6 figure grid references, measure distances accurately, estimate areas, use direction and refer to relevant place names and human/physical features. (But again, beware of doing too much…)
use of fieldwork
Use of fieldwork
  • Consider how fieldwork might be used to enhance and develop the data provided in the AIB.
  • Relate the collection and analysis that might be needed to fieldwork already done by the student in a similar context.
should we try to second guess the questions
Should we try to second-guess the questions?
  • Students (and their teachers!) will always try to do this, but there is an obvious pitfall. Candidates may then find it difficult to answer a ‘different’ set of questions in the examination.
  • However, it can be helpful to consider some of the questions/issues that might arise – perhaps working in small groups, brainstorming the topic, asking each other questions about the data/processes/location etc.
use of the internet i
Use of the Internet I
  • This can be very useful from the point of view of researching relevant material and getting a ‘feel’ for the topic and location.
  • In some cases, the AIB itself acknowledges various internet sites and these are well worth looking into.
  • However, candidates should be careful that they are not drawn into extensive research of complex sites which may have marginal relevance or may provide biased points of view.
use of the internet ii
Use of the Internet II
  • Students may even find a chat room with students from other schools/colleges talking about the AIB – and it can be quite good fun to join in!
the best answers
The Best Answers…
  • Demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the AIB
  • Make reference to different items within the AIB and bring them together in an interesting and relevant manner
  • Show good insight into any data provided and utilise it well
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of previous study
the poorest answers
The Poorest answers…
  • Are often brief and unstructured
  • Contain large amounts of material/data that is simply copied from the AIB or perhaps has only minor changes to the original wording.
  • Demonstrate little familiarity with the AIB and little evidence of geographical thinking.
coming to a decision
In the context of an issue evaluation exercise, candidates may or may not have to come to a decision, but will certainly have to undertake some evaluation.

Remember that there is not usually a ‘right answer’ – it is how well candidates can support their arguments that is the key factor.

NB: if candidates are asked to make a choice, it is essential that they explain why they have rejected other options rather than concentrating solely on the merits of their option.

Students should also be careful not to argue against something they have already supported in an earlier question.

Coming to a Decision
some final words of advice
Some final words of advice…
  • Read the whole question before answering any part. (Some students answer part (b) in (a), but only realise their mistake when they move on to part (b) and it is then too late to salvage a decent answer).
  • Answer the questions in order. There is a logical sequence to this paper and answers to an earlier section may provide the basis to a later section.
  • Empathise! Try to identify with the people/groups concerned.
and do watch the clock
There are roughly 2 minutes per mark…so, a part (a) worth 10 marks, should be completed in 20 minutes.

Students must look at the mark allocation and plan their time carefully – candidates gain most marks in the early part of each of their answers – it could be better to move on to the next bit!

…and DO watch the clock!