Classroom-Based Assessment in Sustainability

There is one Classroom-Based Assessment which is the culmination of work undertaken in this short course to be completed in either 2nd or 3rd year. It is important to note that work completed in year one of Junior Cycle cannot be included for reporting in the JCPA.

Time for Classroom-Based Assessment

Classroom-Based Assessment is included within the time allocated for short courses, which is approximately 100 hours. It is envisaged that the student led action that the Classroom-Based Assessment reflects on will take place over approximately 20 hours of class time. At the end of a student led action, in either 2nd or 3rd year, students should be given time to reflect on the process of their action and select evidence that demonstrates their learning. This reflection and evidence makes up the Classroom Based Assessment. The reflection and selection of evidence for the CBA will take place over 1-2 hours of class time. Whilst the timing of Classroom Based Assessment in short courses may vary from school to school, Classroom-Based assessment for reporting purposes in the JCPA cannot be conducted in first year.

Steps in completing the Classroom-Based Assessment

Step 1: Students themselves select key a piece or pieces of evidence, either that they have submitted at one of the checkpoints during 2nd or 3rd year or a new piece of evidence which they would like to be assessed on.

Step 2: Students use this piece of work to help them talk about what they have learned during the short course in a self-recorded video/audio/animation or face-to-face reflection with their teacher. Alternatively, the reflection could be a written or digital questionnaire. Teachers provide feedback to students during this reflection process. Students can also be encouraged to use the features of quality to assess their own work, identify the descriptor that they feel reflects their learning and use teacher feedback to improve their work.

Step 3: The piece of work and reflection will be assessed by the teacher using the Features of Quality to identify the descriptor that best fits the evidence of learning provided by the student. The teacher makes a record of this provisional summative judgement prior to the SLAR. These provisional descriptors are not discussed with students.

Step 4:  Learning and Assessment Review meeting (SLAR meeting) The teacher then takes a sample of student submissions with provisional descriptors to the SLAR meeting. Shared understanding of standards within junior cycle short courses will arise through professional discussion in these Learning and Assessment Review meetings. Teachers gather examples of student work and compare their judgements with other colleagues. Over time, this process will help develop a greater understanding of standards and ensure consistency of judgement about student performance.

When there is a single teacher of a short course in a school, where feasible, the teacher will participate in a Learning and Assessment Review meeting with another school, digitally or face-to-face. The potential of ICT to support such meetings will be explored. The minimum number of teachers is two, however more than two is desired. In each school, it is preferable that a second teacher work through this process so that the short course can continue if initial teachers delivering the course leave/are out of the school for a time.

Further details on managing and participating in Learning and Assessment Review meeting can be accessed at http://juniorcycle.ie/Assessment .

Step 5: Following the Learning and Assessment Review each individual teacher re-considers their judgement of their student’s work, based on the outcomes of the meeting, and where necessary makes the appropriate adjustments to the level of achievement awarded to the work.

Step 6: Teachers give the descriptors along with other feedback to students. Further information on the use of feedback can be found at http://juniorcycle.ie/Assessment.

Step 7: The Descriptors awarded are used in reporting progress and achievement to parents and students as part of the school’s reporting procedures and through the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). Final descriptors are entered into ‘ppod’ by the school principal or administration staff.

Querying a result

Queries in relation to the descriptors awarded for the Classroom-Based Assessment, where they arise, will be dealt with by the school.

Classroom-Based Assessment: Advice for students

Work together to choose an aim and action that you feel can make a difference to a local and/or global issue that you all care about.

Keep a record of your group discussions and meetings, research, sources of information, your actions and your personal reflections and learning along the way.  Consider a range of methods to record and share your action with others.

Use your creativity in deciding how to communicate your sustainability action project with your school community, local community and/or the wider world.