Level 2

Mathematics and Statistics clarifications

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91260: Apply network methods in solving problems

Updated December 2014. This document has been updated to address issues that have arisen from moderation.

Students need to be given the information for the network but not the network diagram.

Solving problems

The problem needs to provide sufficient scope for students to demonstrate and develop their own thinking. If there are parts to the problem, all of the parts need to contribute to the solution.

A task with a number of discrete questions based on skills is not appropriate for students to demonstrate evidence of the required levels of thinking. 

Students need to make their own decisions about what to do and how to solve problems. Where an assessment task has a series of instructions that lead students through a step or a sequence of steps towards the solution, it is likely the opportunity for students to demonstrate all levels of thinking will be compromised.

Expected evidence for Achieved

For Achieved, the requirements include selecting and using methods. To be used as evidence, a ‘method’ must be relevant to the solution of the problem. 

Students need to select the method for solving the problem, so an instruction like ‘Use a minimum spanning tree to find …’ is inappropriate.

Communicating solutions

At all grades there is a requirement relating to the communication of the solutions.

At Achieved, students need to identify the solution to the problem in context, for example, giving a correct shortest path and its length with appropriate units.

At Merit, the relational thinking needs to include evidence of using a systematic approach in solving the problem that has been presented. For example, for traversability the student would need to justify whether the network is traversable or not with specific evidence from the network.

At Excellence, the response needs to be clearly communicated with correct mathematical statements and students need to explain any decisions they make in the solution of the problem.

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