Improve your assessment: Assessing Climate change and environmental and social responsibility

For both the Senior Phase and FET Phase the assessment programme consists of a written task in Term 1, exams in Term 2 and 4 and a project in Term 3.

Nature of the Life Orientation formal tasks

Senior Phase

Design and making involves the production of the actual product using creative processes to achieve a certain competency. Making is the end product of a design. Learners will be required to design, make and write a descriptive paragraph(s) on the task. Learners are required to show an understanding of knowledge gained and application of knowledge and skills.

The assignment will allow for a more holistic assessment of knowledge, skills and values and their application in different contexts. The assignment is less open-ended than the project in that it does not require of learners to collect, analyse and/or evaluate data and information that will result in the synthesising of the findings. It however, will be a problem-solving and/or decision-making and application of knowledge exercise with clear guidelines regarding a specified length.

A case study will involve a detailed description of a specific situation or phenomenon. The description can either be real or hypothetical and can be taken from a book, newspaper, magazine, video or the radio. Case studies will assess whether a learner can apply knowledge, skills and values to an unfamiliar context.

Tests usually consist of a range of questions. Learners are required to respond within a specified time. Questions are useful to assess knowledge recall and test understanding and comprehension. If questions are correctly phrased, they can also test application of knowledge. Since they are generally easy to mark reliably this is a good way to conduct summative assessment, can also be a very useful formative tool.

The project will be any piece of work in which knowledge, skills and values which lead towards competence in the specific or integrated content, are demonstrated. The task will involve collecting, analysing and/or evaluating data and information that will result in the synthesising of the findings into a written product that may be reported, modelled or performed by the learners. Learners will collect data/ resources/information outside of contact time to perform the task. The completion of the project will be facilitated by the teacher in class time to ensure the authenticity of the product.

Project:

Ask the learners to explain their positions on climate change, and to undertake a survey about climate change perception. Do their family members and friends think about climate change, does it worry them? If so, why? Encourage learners to explore their own views on climate change and its causes. Introduce learners to the notion of the ‘climate change sceptic’ – one who does not believe or denies that climate change is occurring.

Ask them to write up their survey methods and results, and to do a brief presentation to the class on their findings. Guiding questions could include:

  • Does everyone share your teacher’s concern about ‘global warming’?
  • If not, why not?
  • What proportion of the people you surveyed believe that the global climate is chang­ing, and what proportion could you describe as ‘sceptics’?
  • Is it OK to disagree with a textbook?

The assessment for this can be either for marks assigned for a written and or class presen­tation or marks given for a take home project.

Rating scale:

CRITERIA
1. Accuracy of information
2. Clarity of ideas and arguments
3. Originality of ideas
4. Presentation of information
5. Relevance to climate change

FET Phase

Learners are presented with a longer source from a particular book/newspaper/magazine, etc. that requires in-depth reading. Learners should digest the information and then respond to application questions based on informed decision-making and problem-solving. They may be expected to interpret quotations from the source, to analyse comments and possibly make suggestions.

The assignment allows a more holistic assessment of knowledge, skills and values and their application in different contexts. The task requires reading and writing on the part of the learner. The assignment is less open-ended than the project in that it does not require learners to conduct an investigation in the form of interviews and observations that should be collated into evidence. It however, will be a problem-solving and/or decision-making, critical and creative
thinking, making suggestions and application of knowledge exercise with clear guidelines of a specified length. The assignment will be in the form of an essay with sub-headings relating to the criteria of the task. All resources and information required to deliver the task, will be provided in class.

Reports are generally the written evidence of a survey, analysis or investigation. This should be shorter than a project and is specific to the topic. Often it includes a range of sub-topics, such as interviews, investigation, consulting with an expert, summarising and comments/suggestions.

The learners will be required to deliver an oral presentation and present written evidence of the oral presentation on a specific topic or investigation. All criteria used to assess the presentation, should be discussed with the learners prior to the commencement of the presentation. The text should be divided into paragraphs/sections/slides (if the presentation is computer-based). Posters, pictures, photographs, diagrams and/or graphs may be included as visual aids.

The learner will be expected to compile a portfolio of evidence based on the research/investigation on a specific topic to depict, sell, demonstrate or advertise the topic. This portfolio will contain all the evidence on the topic that the learner could gather. This should include reports, presentations, photographs, pictures, graphs, sketches, diagrams, etc.
An example of a portfolio of evidence: Evidence of the degradation of the environment or Evidence of climate change in our environment.

The project will be a piece of work in which knowledge, skills and values which lead towards competence in the specific or integrated content, are demonstrated. The project requires extended reading and writing on the part of the learner. The project will involve thorough investigation into and sourcing information on a selected topic in the curriculum. This could take the form of an interview, observation and making suggestions to improve upon the topic. The objective for the project should be clear and thorough planning should take place, e.g. preparing the questions for an interview. This is followed by the research, and finally the data/ information has to be collated into evidence. The evidence will be in the form of an essay with sub-headings relating to the criteria of the task.

• Community project to address a climate change and environmental issues relating to climate change
• Investigation of environmental community project such as food gardens and their impact on the overall well-being of the youth and the community.

Share one of forms of your assessment that you’ve used in the past to assess the Environmental and Social Responsibility in your classroom. To upload your exemplar, just click on upload below, choose your document and click on “upload”. How would you change the assignment to align your assessment practices with ESD and engaging with climate change?