Level 3


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91576: Use critical path analysis in solving problems

Updated September 2015. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

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 sequence of steps towards the solution, it is likely that the opportunity for students to demonstrate all levels of thinking will be compromised.

Complexity of the problem

If students are investigating their own context, teachers need to check that the precedence table is sufficiently complex before letting them proceed. The TKI task ‘The new shopping mall’ indicates the level of complexity required.

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.

Communicating solutions

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

At Achieved, students need to indicate what the answer represents.

At Merit, students need to clearly indicate what they are finding, and their solutions need to be linked to the context.

At Excellence, students need to explain any decisions that they make in the solution of the problem.

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