About JCQuest

The digital assessment solution is designed to support the new Junior Cycle curriculum. Assessment for Learning together with well-designed feedback has been proven to create a strong learning experience and improve results.

JCQuest Science is an ideal companion for all Junior Cycle Science texts, helping to support teaching to the revised curriculum.

Formative Assessment

Research shows that diagnostic assessment, providing feedback to students and utilising approaches that motivate and incentivise students create a strong learning experience. Carefully designed, formative feedback for all questions nudge the student towards the right answer, reinforcing basic knowledge while also helping the student develop conceptual understanding. Focus is put on skill development through the use of investigative questioning.

Supporting this with technology enables the teacher to focus their time, allowing them to identify at risk students or problematic topics earlier in the learning cycle. Teachers can also provide additional learning opportunities for the strongest students so that they can move even further forward. Data analytics provides insights and trend analysis on student progression and allows analysis of the most effective questioning and feedback techniques. Teacher Classroom Management and Dashboards track and evaluate student progress, assignment and homework completion.

What the Research Says

William and Black (1998) found that large scale performance gains could be achieved by integrating formative assessment practices. Later, Hattie (2009) found that formative assessment is one of the best methods to encourage student achievement. They defined formative assessment as the activities taken by teachers and/or students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. JCQuest uses tailored feedback to encourage student engagement and ‘nudge’ them towards better understanding of Science, which in turn will lead to further performance gains.

While the research clearly shows the benefits of formative assessment it also outlines that it can be difficult to develop, implement and evaluate such strategies. Our application of technology removes some of the barriers identified in the research associated with sustainable integration by teachers, including the teachers’ time to develop formative strategies, their knowledge of formative approaches and the time taken to collect and evaluate students’ results. This helps free up teachers’ time to focus on creating more powerful and meaningful learning experiences.