Today I had a question asking what role the learning outcomes play in the CAS programme at CDNIS compared with the significance of the hours. Below is my reply, which I hope highlights the importance of the learning outcomes, and the learning that occurs following meaningful reflections.
“At CDNIS it is up to the student to decide whether to count an activity as part of their CAS programme. If they feel it enables them to meet one of the eight learning outcomes then they can include it. Last year we recorded interviews between the student, CAS Coordinator, and some CAS Advisor’s where the student talked about their CAS programme and which activities helped them achieve the eight learning outcomes. I remember many of the students talking about the more meaningful activities, but certainly not all of them. I remember being surprised at some of the activities they chose to talk about. Particularly which ones were a new challenge to them, and which ones they persevered with. Everyone was different. It’s not really about the activities they do for CAS (although quality is good), or the time they spend on them, but rather the learning following their reflections on their involvement in the activities.
At the end of the two years the students need to complete 150 hours which equates to about 3.5 hours a week with a balance between the three categories. We make a note of the amount of time a student spends on CAS. We don’t count the hours, rather the student estimates how much time they committed to an activity. At the end of the two years they need to have spent the equivalent of one Standard Level IB course, 150 hours, on CAS. More important than the hours, it is the activity and the reflection on their learning that is important”.