OCR Creative iMedia specification change from Sep 2022

From September 2022, OCR will be introducing a new Creative iMedia specification. We’ve compiled a few details about the change below.

OCR Creative iMedia J817 (old)

OCR Creative iMedia J834 (new)

Ends – June 2023

Starts – September 2023

Total Number of modules to complete – 4

Total Number of modules to complete – 3

Number of mandatory modules – 2

Number of mandatory modules – 2

Number of option modules – 2

Number of option modules – 1

Number of coursework modules – 3

Number of coursework modules – 2

Coursework Grade weighting – 75% (25% each)

Coursework Grade weighting – 60% (30% each)

Number of exams – 1 – R081

Number of exams – 1

Exam Grade weighting – 25%

Exam Grade weighting – 40%

Revise for the R081 exam using our quizzes

Thoughts on the specification change

The good points about this change is that there are now only two bits of coursework to complete. The course has always felt like a rush for both teachers and students to try and get all the coursework fitted into the allotted time and more so due to the issues and disruption caused by Coronavirus. Just doing 2 bits of coursework allows students to look more in depth and spend more time ensuring that those 2 pieces of coursework are correct.

The obvious advantage of only having 2 pieces of coursework however is that there is less exposure to different parts of the creative industries. Depending on the school, teachers could choose completely different sectors of creative industries for example website production and games design but now will only be able to choose one. Unfortunately, this will narrow what students will be exposed to and some may miss out the opportunity to sample an avenue that they might really enjoy and go into later in life.

The introduction of only 2 pieces of coursework for the new specification now also places a larger emphasis on doing well in the exam since the exam is worth a whopping 40% of the final grade compared to just 25% in previous years. This will unfortunately prove a disadvantage to those who don’t do well in exams and who might have wanted to take the subject due to the larger amount of coursework.

While teachers might appreciate the extra time that students get for the coursework, this might not work in the favour of every student. Those that consistently drag their feet in producing work may find that they have more to do in the final weeks of the coursework than what they would have had under the old syllabus and some may find the extra time drags on a bit to the point where they lose interest in what it is they are doing. Teachers will really need to judge their use of time on the coursework wisely to prevent student fatigue.

The exam module has also been expanded significantly in terms of the content that could potentially be included. While this deeper knowledge of the subject is welcome so that students understand a little more, the worry is what will be included when the exams finally come around as there aren’t that many more marks for the exam compared to the old specification but it does require knowing a lot more. It will be interesting to see how many marks these new sections of the syllabus actually end up making up.

As more information is released from OCR about the new exams, you can be sure that we will be building up a bank of resources to help make revision for the new exam really easy. We’re also in the process of making the resources to help teach the content for the exam as well. Stay tuned and sign up for the newsletter so that you can know when this is completed!

Another disadvantage for teachers is that new schemes of work will have to be created for this new syllabus. This puts a lot of pressure on them and will increase workload for lots of teachers. While a lot of the theory will remain the same, teachers will still need to go through and ensure that the new content is covered in their schemes of work and re-write their plans for the running of the course. Our aim is to try and create a basic scheme of work for the new syllabus before September 2022 so that teachers can use this as a base to teach students the new specification. More details of this will be released on the website and will also be sent in a newsletter to our subscribers when sections are ready and built.

While it is ‘wait and see’ (like so many things in education) I’m looking forward to what the new specification will bring and how it will work out ‘in the classroom’. Stay tuned to our newsletter and site for more information.

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