2 Contents Page 3 Short courses and Learning Programmes Page 4 Introduction to junior cycle Page 5 Rationale Page 6 Aim Page 7 Links Page 10 Expectations for students 11 Strand 1: The work of a forensic scientist 12 Strand 2: Scene of the crime/evidence collection 13 Strand 3: Scientific laboratory testing / solving the crime 14 Strand 4: Concluding the inquiry Page 15 Assessment and certification Page 18 Appendix 1: Level Indicators for of the NFQ
3 3 Short courses and Learning Programmes In the new junior cycle, students taking this short course should be following a personalised Level 2 Learning Programme (L2LP) alongside other curriculum components (from and possibly one or two from Level 3). The L2LPs are planned around a number of Priority Learning Units which focus on developing the personal, social and practical skills of students. In addition to the Priority Learning Units, students can study short courses with learning outcomes aligned with the level indicators for of the National Framework of Qualifications (Appendix 1). is an example of a short course developed by the NCCA. The target group of students for whom L2LPs and Short Courses have been developed are typically students presenting with significant learning needs. Formal assessment by an educational psychologist will have placed these students in the low mild to high moderate categories of learning disability and they will have had a personalised learning plan while in primary school. In this context, the L2LPs and short courses are designed for students who would benefit from opportunities to improve learning and skills in areas such as basic literacy and numeracy, language and communication, mobility and leisure skills, motor co-ordination, and social and personal development. The L2LPs also offer the chance for students to improve the length of time they can concentrate on activities, along with their capacity to generalise and transfer knowledge and skills across situations and to process information from more than one sensory channel.
4 4 Introduction to junior cycle Junior cycle education places students at the centre of the educational experience, enabling them to actively participate in their communities and in society, and to be resourceful and confident learners in all aspects and stages of their lives. Junior cycle is inclusive of all students and contributes to equality of opportunity, participation and outcome for all. Junior cycle allows students to make a strong connection with learning by focusing on the quality of learning that takes place and by offering experiences that are engaging and enjoyable for them, and relevant to their lives. These experiences are of a high quality, contribute to the physical, mental and social wellbeing of students, and where possible, provide opportunities for them to develop their abilities and talents in the areas of creativity and enterprise. The student s junior cycle programme builds on their learning in primary school. It supports their further progress in learning. It helps students to develop the learning skills that can assist them in meeting the challenges of life beyond school.
5 5 Rationale This short course is designed to develop the student s science process skills at a basic level - observing, communicating, naming, labelling, sequencing, classifying and measuring, in addition to those of following procedures and problem solving. These skills are developed through a number of interactive, fun, role-play activities and inquiry-based science experiments in the context of solving a mystery crime. The student learns to work as part of a team, to take direction from others and to take on a role with responsibilities appropriate to their ability. Some students will have heard the term CSI and may have a basic familiarity with the world of forensic science from what they have learned through the TV programme or movies. This can act as a reference point to start from. Others will have participated in related experiments through the Discover Primary Science project during their primary school years and will bring this experience to the course. Activities such as learning about crime investigation methods and gadgets, collecting and studying evidence at a crime scene, will help improve the student s ability to apply logical thinking in different situations and find solutions to problems. Learning to think critically and work collaboratively are important life skills. Other skills for future life are developed through links with the community, creative projects, numeracy, communication and literacy.
6 6 Aim This short course aims to facilitate the development of basic science process skills and other key skills for life and learning such as working collaboratively, planning sequentially and thinking logically. The skills gained through a focus on basic science are ones that can be used by the student in many areas of his/her future life.
7 7 Links The tables on the following pages show how may be linked to central features of learning and teaching at junior cycle. Statements of Learning (SOL) Statement The student communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts in L1. SOL 1 The student observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions. SOL 18 The student uses technology and digital media tools to learn, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner. SOL 24 Examples of related learning in the course In each strand the student is asked to complete simple forms and follow verbal and/or non-verbal as well as written and/or pictorial instructions to carry out tasks. Items are identified and described, and gathered as evidence. Receiving information and summarising as well as deduction are important to Strand 3. Throughout the course, communicating as a member of a group is encouraged. In Strand 4 there is an opportunity to present in a role-play situation such as a trial or a TV/radio news programme. Individually and/or collaboratively the student is engaged in the collection and presentation of scientific evidence, measuring and weighing as well as quantifying and sequencing across all strands. Evidence is also gathered in order to reach valid conclusions. The student uses digital technology at the appropriate level to: look for information; record evidence (photographic evidence in Strands 1 and 2); produce a storyboard (Strand 3) and possibly design or contribute to the design of a digital presentation (Strand 4).
8 8 Priority Learning Units (PLUs) PLUs are the central curriculum components of Learning Programmes. Each PLU includes a number of elements which clarify the knowledge, skills and attitudes involved. The PLUs, elements and their associated learning outcomes are set out in Learning Programmes: Guidelines for Teachers. The PLUs and elements identified below are considered central to this short course. Priority Learning Unit PLU element Student learning activities Communicating and Literacy Communicating appropriately for a variety of purposes and demonstrating attentiveness as a listener In Strand 3, the student might role-play as a CSI detective interviewing other students as suspects or witnesses, to obtain evidence. Throughout the course the student reads and/or listens to obtain information. The student may also present findings to an audience in Strand 4 in a variety of forms. Numeracy Developing an awareness of weight and capacity In Strand 2, a number of experiments require the student to use a balance, measuring jugs and graduated cylinders, thus gaining an understanding of mass/weight and volume. Personal Care Knowing how to stay safe In Strand 2 the student identifies safety hazards that may occur in a lab and the precautions to take to avoid such hazards. Living in a Community Preparing for Work Developing good relationships Being able to set goals for learning Taking on roles within teams is important in science. In all strands, the student learns to communicate appropriately with different people, whether peers, teachers, members of the community or visiting speakers, and to participate cooperatively in group situations. The student has various targets to work towards e.g. completion of an experiment and identification of a substance in Strand 1. Throughout the course the student learns the importance of sequencing tasks in order to reach a goal and of revisiting tasks and working on them over a period of time.
9 9 Course overview Strand 1: The work of a forensic scientist Strand 2: Strand 3: Strand 4: Scene of the crime / evidence collection Scientific laboratory testing / solving the crime Concluding the inquiry The strands should be followed in the order in which they are presented. The course has been designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement. The learning outcomes of this course are aligned with the Level Indicators for of the National Framework of Qualifications (Appendix 1). Note that the nature and number of learning outcomes in the course reflects the approach of structuring and scaffolding learning for the particular target group of the student working on Learning Programmes. Getting started Before the student begins, some time is spent introducing and discussing the course to establish how it fits with and can enhance the student s personalised learning programme. Prior knowledge and interests can be established. The student s strengths, and areas needing improvement, are discussed in the context of the PLUs to establish personal development and learning goals. Considerable time will need to be given to developing the skills of observation and inference from evidence, before proceeding to a mock crime scene. Key vocabulary and concepts may need to be explicitly taught.
10 10 Expectations for students With the publication of the specification online, examples of student work will be used to illustrate the expectations for students in the short course. These annotated examples will relate directly to a learning outcome or groups of learning outcomes. In the case of short courses in new areas of learning, such as, some indicative examples of student work will be generated to guide teachers and students during the introductory years of the course.
11 11 Strand 1: The work of a forensic scientist Learning outcomes 1 Students learn about... The terminology and processes of forensic science The various types of physical evidence that can be found at a crime scene Forensic experiments 1 Learn to use the tools and methods of a crime scene investigator Working safely and precisely with science equipment Students should be able to 1.1. use the terms crime scene, evidence, suspect, scientist, detective, contamination and other relevant terms 1.2. make observations and inferences about a crime scene photograph (what s missing, broken, out of place) 1.3. identify the people involved in processing a crime scene 1.4. sequence the steps involved in processing a crime scene 1.5. identify from a list, potential sources of physical evidence; fingerprints, hair and fibres, impression evidence such as tyre tracks, footprints and teeth marks 1.6. communicate how evidence is left behind at a scene, e.g. contact, impression, force 1.7. demonstrate understanding of the various evidence collection techniques e.g. use fingerprinting techniques on peers, identify patterns of fingerprints, observe their fingerprints and classify their prints as arch, loop, or whorl 1.8. list materials required for the experiments 1.9. organise materials for a task follow verbal, written or pictorial instructions with a small number of steps work collaboratively with others identify substances through basic experiments, using a key provided use a microscope, where available, to conduct basic comparisons between samples record findings by talking/signing or writing or using ICT and sketching in a journal identify safety hazards that may occur in a lab and the precautions to take to avoid such hazards list ways in which a crime scene may be contaminated use a measuring jug and a graduated cylinder to measure a specific volume of liquid use weighing scales/balance to get a specific mass of a dry powder 1 Experiments might include white powder analysis; hair analysis; paper chromatography
12 12 Strand 2: Scene of the crime/ evidence collection Learning outcomes Students learn about... Students should be able to Finding evidence 2.1. identify sources of evidence at crime scenes 2.2. sequence steps for recording evidence at crime scenes (first, next, then ) 2.3. make observations at a mock crime scene and deduce what might yield evidence 2.4. identify, from a written or pictorial list, what laboratory tests can be performed on the physical evidence at the scene Processing and collecting evidence properly 2.5. follow a series of spoken/signed or pictorial instructions under supervision 2.6. with assistance, collect evidence such as fabric fibres and fingerprints/footprints without contamination 2.7. estimate and measure related objects 2.8. record findings (writing/drawing/using ICT/differentiated worksheets) 2.9. use basic functions on a digital camera, which may include uploading photos to a computer
13 13 Strand 3: Scientific laboratory testing / solving the crime Learning outcomes Students learn about... Gathering evidence from suspects Students should be able to 3.1. listen to obtain information 3.2. demonstrate good practice when collecting evidence, selecting and using appropriate measurement tools 3.3. with prompts, make decisions about which information from a witness interview is useful 3.4. identify the key questions to answer in helping to solve the crime, e.g. Who was here last? Who wrote this note? Applying their previous course laboratory activities to solve a crime Developing a theory/motive/ story related to the crime scene being investigated 3.5. repeat/carry out further laboratory tests to those in Strand 1 for comparisons 3.6. demonstrate understanding of cause and effect 3.7. identify simple patterns and classifications suggested by an exploration of evidence gathered 3.8. explain the basis for groupings using differences in materials 3.9. make rudimentary predictions about a possible suspect based on observations, information gathering and clues, or evidence they can measure using simple equipment create an uncomplicated storyboard/timeline which demonstrates their theory of what happened
14 14 Strand 4: Concluding the inquiry Learning outcomes Students learn about... Preparing to present evidence Students should be able to 4.1. identify the steps required to complete a task 4.2. put steps into a logical sequence or order 4.3. create a timeline tracing the procedures carried out 4.4. create a visual representation of the crime scene 4.5. contribute to the planning of a conclusion to the crime scene investigation which will reveal the solution to the crime Presenting the evidence as part of the forensic team 4.6. make an individual (or contribute to a team) presentation of the evidence in the concluding activity e.g. written report and/or oral presentation and or digital presentation to peers or an invited audience 4.7. express personal opinions, facts and feelings appropriately, e.g. expressing an opinion on the evidence to peers, participating in a formal interview with suspects Evaluating 4.8. communicate what worked best in terms of experiments conducted and investigative procedures followed 4.9. identify knowledge and skills developed and those they wish to improve link learning to other areas of the curriculum and their lives
15 15 Assessment and certification Ongoing assessment This short course supports a wide variety of approaches to assessment. Some learning outcomes lend themselves to once-off assessment, others to assessment on an ongoing basis, as students engage in different learning activities such as planning, organising, sequencing, discussing, explaining, predicting, investigating, conducting experiments and drawing conclusions. Emphasis is placed on ongoing assessment and repetition of tasks to show progression, due to the difficulty some students experience with information retention. provides students with an element of choice in what they will present for assessment and the format it will be presented in. It also provides opportunities for students to set goals, meet deadlines and take some responsibility for gathering evidence of learning for the portfolio of learning they generate as part of their Learning Programme (L2LP). Ongoing assessment can support the student on the learning journey and in preparing for assessment related to certification of the short course. The school has the option of having the student compile a hard-copy portfolio or an electronic portfolio for L2LPs. The portfolio provides evidence of development and progression throughout the course and is used for both formative and summative assessment purposes. Videos of the student carrying out tasks, being interviewed or making presentations can all potentially be included as evidence of learning. Other evidence of learning in the form of worksheets, reports, charts, drawings, mind maps, checklists of good practice, student self-assessment sheets, learning journals/diaries or photos may also be included. The creation of an artefact e.g. a detective kit is also possible. Assessment for certification Assessment for certification will be school-based. There are two assessment tasks involved: Exploring a Mock Crime Scene Task and a Science Experiment Task. They carry equal weighting and students must gain an Achieved grade on each of the assessment tasks for purposes of certification. The assessment tasks will be undertaken towards the end of the course, as the tasks involved cover all strands and a large number of the learning outcomes of the course. Work from first year is not included as part of assessment for certification. Exploring a Mock Crime Scene Task This task can be undertaken following completion of Strand 3. The student is presented with a mock crime scene (physically/orally/using sign language/visually/in written format). The student listens/reads/observes closely and identifies one or more pieces of physical evidence which could be tested to help solve the crime. A list of suspects may be drawn up based on evidence in the mock crime scene and they may be interviewed. The task requires the student to select the most appropriate measurement tools and /or technology to record and preserve evidence from the crime scene. Appropriate scientific practices are identified to examine one source of evidence. The student discusses or produces a basic plan, or uses pictures to represent the steps that need to be taken, to examine this source of evidence.
16 16 Science Experiment Task The forensic experiment identified in the Mock Crime Scene task is undertaken on the chosen evidence. The equipment necessary for the experiment should be identified. The student should demonstrate an awareness of safety hazards and the need to follow safe procedures when working in a laboratory. Some students may conduct the experiment, others may direct someone else, instructions being communicated orally if a disability precludes the student from undertaking the task. Another alternative is that the student may communicate through the correct selection of and sequencing of pictures illustrating the tools/steps of the scientific experiment. Rationale for the assessment tasks In this course, students develop their knowledge base and social, personal and practical skills in addressing the learning outcomes across the four strands. The assessment tasks are designed to enable the student to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learnt. As well as the learning outcomes for the strands, the assessment tasks draw on the literacy, numeracy and other skills set out in the Priority Learning Units (PLUs). In particular, the assessment tasks for this course assess learning outcomes related to development of basic scientific inquiry skills keen observation, correct sequencing of tasks and communication skills. The completed tasks should illustrate significant personal learning for the student. The learning outcomes assessed through the Exploring a Mock Crime Scene task will depend, to an extent, on the nature of the mock crime scene the student is presented with. Some that may be included are Strand 1 Strand 2 Strand 3 Strand 4 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7,1.10, 1.11, 1.14, , 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, , 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, , 4.2, 4.3 The main learning outcomes to be assessed through the Science Experiment task are Strand 1 Strand 2 Strand 3 Strand 4 1.1, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11,1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.17, , 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, , 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, , 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10 Features of quality Features of quality related to student work on both tasks are set out below. In general terms, these can be used by students and by teachers to support their discussions about and judgements of work on the assessment tasks. More specifically, the features of quality are the criteria that will be used by teachers to assess the student work. Grading will be on the basis of Achieved or Yet to be Achieved. All of the features of quality need to be completed successfully in order for the student to be awarded an Achieved grading.
17 17 Exploring a Mock Crime Scene task Achieved The sequence of steps involved in observing, collecting, recording and preserving evidence from a crime scene are demonstrated Evidence is collected using appropriate equipment Appropriate practices to examine one piece of evidence collected are named Information is conveyed using some relevant key terms and appropriate vocabulary Science Experiment task Achieved The work demonstrates a basic understanding of how to conduct a forensic experiment on a piece of physical evidence Appropriate methods are used to analyse physical evidence An understanding of how to conduct the chosen experiment is evident An awareness of the importance of safety procedures is demonstrated if appropriate Conclusions are drawn to solve the crime based on the results of the experiment Information is conveyed using appropriate keywords There is some evidence of sequential planning Rudimentary predictions and/or observations and/or emotional responses to the work (aspects enjoyed/found difficult/would do differently again) are made.
18 18 Appendix 1: Level Indicators for of the NFQ This short course has been developed in alignment with the Level Indicators for of the National Framework of Qualifications. An award at level 2 reflects basic learning with well supported direction. The range is narrow. Learning is developmental but may include knowledge, skill and competence related to particular fields of learning e.g. aspects of literacy and numeracy and within familiar contexts. NFQ Knowledge Breadth Knowledge Kind Know-how and skill Range Know-how and skill Selectivity Competence Context Competence Role Competence Learning to Learn Competence Insight Knowledge that is narrow in range Concrete in reference and basic in comprehension Demonstrate limited range of basic, practical skills, including the use of relevant tools Perform a sequence of tasks given clear direction Act in a limited range of predictable and structured contexts Act in a range of roles, under direction Learn to learn in a disciplined manner in a well-structured and supervised environment. Demonstrate awareness of independent role for self.
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