National Report for Ireland on Field Trials of Assessment of Transversal Skills in STEM

National Report for Ireland on Field Trials of Assessment of Transversal Skills in STEM

The purpose of National Report for Ireland on Field Trials of Assessment of Transversal Skills in STEM is twofold: to document the implementation of the ATS STEM programme in Ireland and to relay the findings from the analysis of the qualitative data collected. This report is organised as follows: Chapter 1 provides information on the Irish educational system and the participating schools in this study. Details of the STEM projects are also presented. Chapter 2 is concerned with methodology. Information on the data collected and analysed from the two case studies schools is discussed. Chapter 3 provides the results. Detailed information on the digital tools used is first presented, followed by the results, which are organised around the six dimensions associated with formative assessment achievements; “Integrate STEM content”, “Reflect STEM learning design principles”, “Facilitate feedback”, “Facilitate peer-assessment”, “Facilitate self-assessment”, and “Help to Elicit evidence of learning”. Finally, Chapter 4 documents the conclusion of the data analysis and offers recommendations and proposals for future implementation of STEM and digital assessment projects in schools.

Key takeaways

  • In the Irish context, the workshops by teacher mentors were crucial to understand the ATS STEM framework and application
  • Networking events with teachers from partner countries were valuable and connecting teachers with other teacher teams will help realise solutions that have wider impact
  • The diverse picture of the levels of technology across and even within countries and regional schools is a practical issue when developing scalable and replicable European approaches and is borne out by this evaluation at micro-level i.e. teachers and students have varying access to tools and technologies both in school and at home
  • Selecting tools that are multifunctional, and that consider both teachers and students’ perspectives is recommended, as they reduce training, and facilitate the integration of many digital assessment strategies
  • The interdisciplinary element is easier at the primary level, than secondary level. At second level, the ATS STEM framework can be used and incorporated into Irish Students CBA’s as demonstrated in Case Study School 2
  • At policy level, there is a need for structured support scaffolding digital assessment practices across Ireland. Thus awareness and consideration of the key challenges surrounding implementation of STEM projects and digital assessment in schools is vital to effective policy development
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