Student Assessment Map

Assessment Map for Freshwater Environments

This page outlines a map of assessment through the unit, including skill based questions, short writing responses and extended writing responses, including essays.


Drainage Basin Hydrology and Geomorphology

The drainage basin as an open system with inputs (precipitation of varying type and intensity), outputs (evaporation and transpiration), flows (infiltration, throughflow, overland flow and base flow) and stores (including vegetation, soil, aquifers and the cryosphere)                                      Student fact sheet on the water budget, to cover variation in solar forcing linked to maps of the world during glacial periods and periods of higher sea levels.

River discharge and its relationship to stream flow, channel characteristics and hydraulic radius

River processes of erosion, transportation and deposition and spatial and temporal factors influencing their operation, including channel characteristics and seasonality

The formation of typical river landforms, including waterfalls, floodplains, meanders, levees and deltas

Students should make a glossary of river landforms over the 4 lessons. The glossary should include processes of transportation, erosion and deposition and all river landforms. The glossary should include a diagram, a located example, a description of characteristics and explanation of processes. the glossary can be in the form of a poster or flash cards.

Essay Question

"Landforms in the middle course of the river are generally formed more by deposition than erosion" To what extent do you agree with this statement (10)

Flooding and Mitigation


Hydrograph characteristics (lag time, peak discharge, base flow) and natural influences on hydrographs, including geology and seasonality

How urbanization, deforestation and channel modifications affect flood risk within a drainage basin, including its distribution, frequency and magnitude

Student Investigation into factors that cause floods - resourced and completed in class

Understanding River Regimes. Students should annotate the map to explain the factors that have influenced the changing regime shown in the graphs.

Attempts at flood prediction, including changes in weather forecasting and uncertainty in climate modelling

Flood mitigation, including structural measures (dams, afforestation, channel modification and levee strengthening) and planning (personal insurance and flood preparation, and flood warning technology)

  • Two contrasting detailed examples of flood mitigation of drainage basins

Cost Benefit Analysis - Student Investigation - Students should complete either independently or through guidance the tasks and activities in the site.

Essay Question

Examine the success of two or more examples of flood mitigation of drainage basins. (10)

Water Scarcity and Water Quality


Physical and economic water scarcity, and the factors that control these including the causes and impacts of droughts; the distinction between water quantity and water quality

Environmental consequences of agricultural activities on water quality, to include pollution (eutrophication) and irrigation (salinization)

  • Detailed examples to illustrate the role of different stakeholders

Growing human pressures on lakes and aquifers, including economic growth and population migration

Mind Map of environmental pressures of agriculture on freshwater, to include, different environmental problems, place examples and the role of different stakeholders, including conservationists, small-scale farmers and large-scale farmers

Student should continue their mind map to include aquifers and impacts on one lake developing economic growth and population migration

Internationally shared water resources as a source of conflict

  • Case study of one internationally shared water resource and the role of different stakeholders in attempting to find a resolution                                        

Essay Question

Discuss the conflicts and examine the efforts to resolve them for one internationally shared water resource. (10)

Water Management


The importance of strengthening participation of local communities to improve water management in different economic development contexts, including sustainable water use and efficiency, and ensuring access to clean, safe and affordable water

Increased dam building for multipurpose water schemes, and their costs and benefits

  • Case study of contemporary dam building expansion in one major drainage basin

6-Mark Question - Using examples place explain why water management is best started at the local scale (6)

Essay Question

Discuss the costs and benefits of dam expansion in one major drainage basin. (10)

The growing importance of integrated drainage basin management (IDBM) plans, and the costs and benefits they bring

  • Case study of one recent IDBM plan

Growing pressures on major wetlands and efforts to protect them, such as the Ramsar Convention

  • Case study of the future possibilities for one wetland area

Enquiry - Students compete an A3 noting sheet in pairs to assess the enquiry question on whether the Lower Mekong Basin is an example of IDBM.

Student Investigation - Investigation into future possibilities for the Kut Ting Wetland. This can be either an independent task or paired work                                     

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