Non-exam assessment (NEA)The NEA element requires students to:
- apply their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework of media studies to
create a media product using one of the following forms:
- music video
- online, social and participatory media
- video games
- communicate meaning to an intended audience.
To complete the NEA, students must independently create a cross-media production in response to a brief set by AQA. AQA will release six briefs on 1 March in the year preceding the exam via Secure Key Materials. These briefs will change annually. The briefs will be linked to the A-level Media Studies CSPs. AQA will specify the media form and the intended audience for the media products. The media products that are devised and realised by the student must communicate meaning to a specified audience, draw on what they know and understand about the theoretical framework of media studies and demonstrate understanding of the digitally convergent nature of media products.
Three of the briefs will comprise one of the products from the AS level NEA and an extra product. There will also be three new briefs. Students should not begin their NEA until the second year of the course and they have considered all of the briefs. If students begin the NEA in the first year before they have seen the full A level brief, they are likely to self-penalise as they will miss opportunities to consider how the two products are interrelated and exploit opportunities for digital convergence.
The Marking criteria detail what students will be expected to demonstrate and provide evidence of when completing the NEA task. Additional task-specific content will be issued with each of the briefs. Please refer to Non-exam assessment administration for more information about the instructions for conducting the NEA.
The Statement of Intent
Students must complete a Statement of Intent that outlines how they have applied their knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework to their media product. This must be submitted to AQA with the media product.
This Statement of Intent should be a maximum of 500 words long and it should be submitted to the teacher no later than 1 April in the year of assessment. The template for the Statement of Intent will be supplied by AQA in the NEA Student Booklet along with the briefs.
Size and duration of products
Each brief will specify the required length, amount or duration of the media product that must be created.
Unassessed participantsStudents must complete an individual cross-media production. Students may, however, use unassessed participants to:
- appear in their media products
- operate equipment under the direction of the assessed student.
All unassessed participants involved in the products must be listed on the Candidate Record Form (CRF). Assessed students can only be credited for work they have undertaken themselves or has been completed under their direction. Students and teachers will be required to sign the CRF to confirm that this is the case.
Credit can only be given for contributions made by unassessed participants under the clear direction of the assessed student. Details of what each of the unassessed participants contributed to the product and how the assessed student directed that contribution should be listed on the Candidate Record Form.
Time spent on NEA
There is no limit to the amount of time that students can spend on their NEA but we recommend they spend around 30 hours on the physical creation of their products. It should be noted that excessive time spent on this component in the classroom could be detrimental to the overall attainment of the students. Teachers should strike a balance between the completion of the NEA and preparation for the examined components. Additionally, demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the theoretical framework is key to success in the NEA so time spent teaching the framework will inform the development of the NEA products.
Use of non-original material
With the exception of musical performances, students should not use any non-original material in their media products. All images, footage and text is to be created by the student. If a student does use any non-original images, footage or text, they should be aware that their marks will be limited by the marking criteria (see Guidance on applying the marking criteria). They must acknowledge any non-original material on the Candidate Record Form.
Students do not have to write and record their own musical performances, either to use as part of a soundtrack or in a music video. Musical tracks that they use should be acknowledged on the Candidate Record Form.
Websites and video games
For briefs where website or video game creation is required, students do not need to be able to code. Students can use website design apps, online templates and game design software. Students are responsible for the design of the website or game and the content (such as language, images, audio-visual material) must be created by the student. Students must acknowledge any software or templates which have been used on the appropriate Candidate Record Form.
Guidance on applying the marking criteria
Level of response marking instructions are broken down into levels, each of which has a descriptor. The descriptor for the level shows the average performance for the level.
Before you apply the mark scheme to a student’s media product, review the product and annotate it and/or make notes on it to show the qualities that are being looked for. You can then apply the marking criteria.
Start at the lowest level of the marking criteria and use it as a ladder to see whether the product meets the descriptor for that level. The descriptor for the level indicates the different qualities that might be seen in the student’s product for that level. If it meets the lowest level then go to the next one and decide if it meets this level, and so on, until you have a match between the level descriptor and the product.
You can compare your student’s product with the standardisation examples to determine if it is the same standard, better or worse.
When assigning a level you should look at the overall quality of the product. If the product covers different aspects of different levels of the mark scheme you should use a best fit approach for defining the level and then use the variability of the product to help decide the mark within the level, ie if the product is predominantly level 3 with a small amount of level 4 material it would be placed in level 3 but be awarded a mark near the top of the level because of the level 4 content.You should mark the cross-media production using a holistic approach. The following list offers some guidance about how to apply the criteria across the two products:
- Level 5: Both products within the cross-media brief are completed to an equal standard.
- Level 4: Both products within the cross-media brief are be completed to a generally equal standard, although one product may be slightly better than the other.
- Level 3: Both products within the cross-media brief are be completed, but one product may be better than the other.
- Level 2: Both products within the cross-media brief are attempted, but one product may be significantly better than the other.
- Level 1: Only one of the cross-media products may be attempted.
If a student submits a Statement of Intent with no accompanying media products then this should be awarded a mark of zero.
If a student creates an audio-visual product that is longer than the stipulated duration then you should only mark the work that falls within the time limit.
If a student creates a print or online product that exceeds the stipulated length or amount then you should mark all of the pages and only give credit for the best pages up to the number of pages stipulated in the brief.
If a product is shorter than the stipulated size or duration then no penalty is to be applied as the work is likely to be self-penalising – particularly in relation to the Effectiveness and engagement with industry and audience section.
If a student has used any non-original images, footage or text or has failed to clearly demonstrate how they directed the activity of any unassessed participants in the media product then they should not be awarded marks above Level 2 in the Effectiveness and engagement with industry and audience section of the marking criteria.
Statement of intent
Students will be expected to complete and submit a statement of intent which includes their interpretation of the brief, the research they have done, how that research has informed their ideas and the strength of the ideas they have developed.
The statement of intent should be submitted to the teacher in April before the submission of the final product. It should then be submitted to the moderator along with the students' final products.
|0||Nothing worthy of credit.|
In this section students will be rewarded for the degree of expertise they demonstrate in using media language within the chosen media form.
|0||Nothing worthy of credit.|
In this section students will be rewarded for the degree of expertise they demonstrate in creating and using appropriate representations within the chosen media form.
|0||Nothing worthy of credit.|
Effectiveness and engagement with industry and audience
In this section students will be rewarded for how well their media product communicates meanings, reflect the industry specified in the brief, whether or not they have met the requirements stipulated in the brief and the extent to which they have exploited the potential for digital convergence. Teachers/assessors are to use their professional judgement rather than looking for evidence of testing the product on a live audience.
For marks towards the top of the band these must be, at least, recognisable media products.
|0||Nothing worthy of credit.|