The Assessment Research and Development programme was established by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to support knowledge of, engagement with and critical reflection on educational assessment theory and practice. In this initial phase, a particular focus was placed on proposals relevant to the junior cycle of post-primary education, but proposals associated with assessment in early childhood, primary or senior cycle education in Ireland were also considered.
The 2015 initiative is now finished. The completed research projects were showcased at an event on 29th September 2016. The final reports from the research projects are available.
Bernie Judge, Fiona Kearney and Eadaoin Hayes. Hansfield Educate Together School
An Action Research Project was conducted in a green-field, urban school to develop the concept of Integrated Learning and how it could be used to mediate learning at Junior Cycle. It invited the views of students, parents and staff. It resulted in the staff’s deepening understanding and practice, particularly in relation to Integrated Learning. It is the story of the journey through the process from collaborative pre-planning, implementation and critical reflection and evaluation.
Feargal Flanagan, NUI Maynooth
The overview of this topic was to explore how Ireland was affected by events before and during WW1. With a major emphasis on the exploration and analysis of primary documents being a key part of this syllabus it was decided to revise these topics with the use of key primary documents. This would help the development of collaborative skills by facilitating group work with the hope of fostering a greater ethos of collaborative learning and skill development.
Geraldine Dillon, Clongowes Wood College
This research explores the use in the Irish language learning classroom of both the Common European Framework of Reference and the European Language Portfolio, referred to respectively as CEFR and ELP.
The CEFR and ELP were used in order to engage First Year students in a process of self-assessment of their competence and progress in the learning of Irish. The research was interested in the practical considerations in adapting the CEFR and ELP for use in this particular context but, more importantly, it considered the students' experience with the processes involved and the impacts, if any, on their learning of Irish.
Marianne Checkley, iScoil, Warrenmount Dublin 8.
This research centred on designing content that allows teachers to adapt activities to the interest of learners while maintaining the integrity of assessment briefs.
The aim of the research was to further develop the PBL approach and expand assessment opportunities. Specifically, we want to design PBL briefs that allow our learners develop their Key Skills according to the Junior Cycle criteria within a framework of PBL. The project involved:
Joanne Ford, St. Josephs, Lucan.
There are two strands to the research study:
Kevin Donohoe, NUI Maynooth
Guided by the Junior Cycle Key Skills and relevant Statements of Learning, this research explores the development and assessment of key skills as student learn using a wide variety of online and primary documents, both visual and audio-visual.
The aim of the research was to:
Clare Ryan, St. Leo’s College, Carlow.
This research focused on a number of key areas:
Marie Darmody, St. Patricks College.
The purpose of this research is to elicit baseline data about post-primary teachers’ conceptions of assessment in the Republic of Ireland.
Post-primary education in Ireland is in the midst of much curriculum and assessment change and teachers are at the coalface of this change. With the introduction of new forms of classroom assessment teachers will have an increased role in the assessment process. However, teachers’beliefs provide a lens for the translation of policy into practice and so when considering the implementation of assessment reform, one needs to know what teachers believe about the nature and purpose of assessment.
Adopting a non-experimental cross-sectional design, this study surveys a large sample of post-primary teachers in Ireland using the abridged version of Brown’s (2006) Teachers’ Conceptions of Assessment Inventory (TCoA-IIIA).
Michael McNamara, NUI Maynooth.
The aim of this study is to explore the impact of standardised assessment in Irish primary schools through the lens of international experience, as well as noting current trends in this regard. In order to ensure a comprehensive examination of this topic, four levels of impact are being strategically addressed:
Niamh Burke, NUI Maynooth.
A cross-national comparative study exploring formative assessment implementation in Ireland and Scotland.Research objectives:Explore the cultural and contextual factors that have an effect on assessment systems at the macro, meso and micro levels, including policy and curriculum, school contextual factors and individual classroom culture.Examine formative assessment practice during science lessons and explore what strategies are prevalent, who is involved in assessment processes and how FA is implemented throughout lessons.Explore the challenges and possibilities for policy learning and practice in relation to second level education across Scotland and Ireland within current national policy contexts.
Katie Gilligan, Institute of education, University College London.
The primary aim of this study is to explore associations between spatial skills and mathematics through development, in children aged 5-10 years. It also aims to provide a snapshot of performance patterns of Spatial and Maths tasks through development.
Ruth Chadwick, Dublin City University
A commonality between the Scottish CfE and the revised Irish junior cycle specification for science is the use of a socio-scientific research task as formal assessment; the Irish Science in Society Investigation and the Scottish National 5 Assignment.This research set out to:Examine how the overall aims and marking criteria of the National 5 Assignment match with PISA 2015 competencies and knowledge types of scientific literacy.Investigate the development and assessment of the PISA competencies and knowledge of scientific literacy through observations of teachers’ and students’everyday practice carrying out the National 5 Assignment.Investigate assessment of scientific literacy in the CfE National 5 course, through the socio-scientific research task, the Assignment. This will be done through examination of student work for which competencies are being demonstrated and at what level these are demonstrated.Investigate teachers’ views of the PISA competencies and knowledge of scientific literacy being developed and assessed and compare to those evidenced in student work.Investigate students’ views of the PISA competencies and knowledge of scientific literacy being developed and assessed and compare to those evidenced in student work.