CAS Activity Selection
AISD is rich in CAS activity options. The challenge at AISD is not having too few options but in having too much to do. CAS students should be very careful in their selection process so as not to become over burdened with activities. The rigors of the IB diploma compounded with the all your other activities and the demands of life in Dhaka should be carefully considered when you set up your CAS program.
Your activity choices should reflect your personal interests and should be fun. CAS provides a learning opportunity that is a counter balance to the demands of your academic program.
At AISD the focus of our programme will be on your balance of creativity, action and service, and on the quality of the projects you choose and your reflections on them. The majority of your CAS requirement should be achieved in your grade 11 year, with some activities ongoing into grade 12. This facilitates completion of course deadlines and exam preparation.
Your entire CAS program from start to finish must endure at least 18 months. Your time commitment in CAS should be roughly equivalent to a Standard Level IB course (approximately 150 hours). Plan on spending 3-5 hours per week on CAS.
The IB requires that you meet a minimum of 3 times with your CAS advior. The first meeting provides an opportunity to seek assistance designing your CAS program. Prior to this meeting you will receive a CAS orientation and be asked self assess your strength and weakness as they relate to CAS. During the intial meeting you will be guided through the activity selection process. As you continue you with CAS your progress will be monitored by your adviser and you will be able schedule additional meetings as needed. At the end of the first year (or the beginning of the second year) you will have a second meeting to review your progress. A third and final review meeting must be scheduled when you are ready to complete your CAS program.
For each activity you choose you must also choose an activity supervisor. Your supervisor will monitor and assist you with your activity. The supervisor will help you set goals for your activity and help you to achieve those goals. The supervisor will also evaluate whether you have successful completed an activity.
Please note that a supervisors may not be another student or a relative. They must be able to speak English. The must be able to be reached easily by phone and email. They must also be present during the activity and be able to verify your participation in the activity.
Keep in mind that while help is readily available, you are the one who is responsible for your CAS program. It is not the job of the advisor, supervisor or coordinator to push you through CAS. Managebac and the other tools you are given are designed to help you manage and record your progress effeciently and independently.
Guiding Questions for choosing CAS Activities
The following questions will help you determine whether an intended activity qualifies as CAS.
- Is the activity a new role for me?
- Will I be in an active or passive role?
- Is it a real task that I am going to undertake?
- Does it have real consequences for other people and for me?
- Do I have real goals that are specific and achievable.
- What do I hope to learn from getting involved?
- How can this activity benefit other people?
- What can I reflect on during this activity?
- Am I getting paid or receiving credit toward my other IB work?
You may choose activities for CAS beyond those which the school offers. Use the guiding questions to help you determine whether an activity is suitable for your programme. Remember that the CAS coordinator must approve all activities before they begin. In activities arranged by AISD, you will also be expected to demonstrate initiative in planning.
Distribution of Activities
A good CAS program will consist of a range of different activities. 8-10 activities over the course of the program is typical. The distribution of activities will vary student to student. The IB strongly suggest that no one area (C A or S) constitute more than 50% of your total program and that no single activity be more than 50% of your activities in one area. Typically, IB students find that Service makes up the largest portion of their program (35-45%). At AISD this is especially true because of our strong service learning ethos.
Long Term and Short Term
There is no longer any distinction made between long and short term CAS activities. Be thoughtful about how you organize and think about your program. An activity that only lasts for a few hours has the same reporting and process requirements as a activities that endure over a long period. This includes seeking approval, finding a supervisor, showing evidence of your participation, reflection etc.
Some activities can be thought of as single or multiple activities. Habitat For Humanity is one example. Some students log each build as separate activity while other prefer to think of HFH as a single activity. Both can work.
At least one of your activities must be a CAS Project. Projects are like any other activity except that they are self initiated by the student, they involve significant collaboration with others and they combine aspects of 2 or all 3 of the major catagories (Creativity, Action and Service).