Assessment for graduate teachers (afgt)

Element 1: Planning for learning and teaching

Student Details

Specialisation/s being taught by the PST: Arts, Media, Humanities, Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths

Dates of Professional Experience: 2018: 39 Days

Name of Mentor Teacher/s: Kate Kent Evans & Leanne Caira.

School Name: KIOSC – Knox Innovation, Opportunity & Sustainability Centre

Location (Education Region) and name of the traditional lands of Indigenous people: Eastern Suburbs. Traditional lands of the Wurrunjuri.

School sector: Government (state school)

Enrolment Numbers: an estimate there are commonly between 60-100 students using the facilities per day. KIOSC provides education to students from Primary, Secondary, VCE, VCAL, VET and TAFE.

Relevant characteristics of school/centre context: KIOSC is a specialist STEM school that provides students with access to advanced forms of technology and opportunities. It functions similar to that of an incursion/excursion centre.

Year level and class/group selected for the AfGT:

Years 7/8
*KIOSC Caters to over 2000+ students per year and on average only teach each student from the group of consortium schools two days per year. As such no history or context is known for each class that is taught.
*At KIOSC students do not undertake any summative assessment, as it is the responsibility of the visiting school to undertake assessments as a part of their normal classes.
* In the parts of the AfGT where responses cannot be created due to the nature of KIOSC, I will be referring to my 3rd year placement, a year 12 VCE Media class, and will be noted at the top.

Number of students in the class/group: Approx. 20 students per class. 24 Students is the max per class due to equipment availability.

Who are my students?

Students range from science academy students who are already highly engaged in the STEM activities, and conversely sports academy students the majority of whom are not engaged in education (AITSL 2018, 1.1 & 1.3). The sports academy students are commonly found to come from low socioeconomic families which reflects in the students’ commonly poor behaviours, thus engagement strategies and behaviour management strategies are put into effect when teaching to this demographic. When these students are scheduled I will attempt to recreate my lessons with a sports theme in order to appeal to their interests. Likewise, behaviour strategies such as moving problematic students are implemented (AITSL 2018, 1.2).

As an educator I need to design lessons that can be delivered and differentiated to all students which includes (AITSL 2018, 1.2, 1.2 & 1.3):

  • Creating content which is simple and accessible.

  • Creating content with extension activities or further/deeper explanations.

  • Creating content that can be undertaken by students with physical, learning, and intellectual disabilities.

A part of schools visiting KIOSC is that the students complete a self-assessment in the activities they had undertaken on an online form at the end of their visit. Visiting teachers will also be in contact with us before the students attend. Using the self-assessment data from the visiting school (AITSL 2018, 5.4) and information from visiting teacher, the KIOSC staff can prepare coursework suited to the attending students. In this scenario however, judgements are being made based on a cohort of students. The students will form different home groups as they progress, creating continuity of delivered programs more difficult. Therefore, KIOSC has set programs for each year level so that the programs are building upon the prior knowledge the students have attained previously at KIOSC. Additionally, KIOSC is starting to see students come through whom have had coding as part of their primary curriculum, which has had an accelerated effect on the learning undertaken, essentially allowing KIOSC to run the year 8 program to both year 7 and year 8 students.

how will i help the students to learn?

It is imperative to create authentic learning scenarios for students in order to connect them with real world situations (Lombardi 2007), which makes transitions from school and into the workplace less complicated. Additionally as identified by Skinner (cited in Nagel 2013, p. 80) is operant condition, in which students respond productively to an action, and effective and engaging learning occurs. At the core of each of KIOSC’s programs are connections to industry and future career pathways, with learning programs based around current or future technologies and careers.

In my intended teaching approach, I prefer to create lessons which structure students to engage, play and learn while problem solving or ‘problem posing education’ (Freire 1970), instead of students sitting and listening, known as the banking method, where students are often disconnected and disengaged. Students are highly engaged when they are attempting to solve a problem. But this engagement also requires the teacher to create exciting and relatable content.  Furthermore the concepts and challenges should be delivered with enthusiasm and passion for the subject matter while entertaining the students. For example when I teach RPA’s (Drones), I talk about my passions in aerial photography, set realistic challenges, and create the environment to play with RPA’s and overcome the challenge. Not all challenges should be immediately achievable. Some challenges need to be difficult enough that a group of students are challenged and engaged, but not disheartened. For example, my coding a Sphero ‘ambulance’ to get through a maze made of large Lego brings to the ’hospital’ scores very high on student self-evaluation, yet on average only two students will complete the activity.

Authentic learning, operant conditioning and problem posing education all assist in Neuroplasticity, the brains ability to adapt to its environment (Nagel 2013, p.120). The more the brain is required to adapt, the more grey matter is generated within the areas that are adapting.

how will i know that the studetns have learned?

 *Year 12 VCE Media Studies Class assessment used as example

As part of the final submission we pre-assessed the students work in accordance with the VCE curriculum rubrics and gave the students one week to make modifications and/or adjustments in order to improve their films, thus improving their results. We read through the rubrics descriptors several times to get a firm understanding, watched all the students submissions including their notes on intended adjustments. We matched the student’s videos to the appropriate rubrics and then compared results. The majority of the results either matched or were within one point of each other, indicating an accurate assessment of the students work (AITSL 2018, 5.1 & 5.3). Using our assessment we created notes for each student which was given with one week to make adjustments accordingly (AITSL 2018, 5.2). We even sent examples of students work to be cross marked by a media teacher at another school; in return we marked his students work, further ensuring the judgements on grading the student’s works were accurate without prejudice or favouritism (AITSL 2018, 5.1 & 5.3).

Element 2: Analysing teaching practice

Analysing my video segments:

During the RPA Flying segment students are required to identify and interpret the CASA (Civil Aviation and Safety Authority) laws to demonstrate they can fly an RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft, or the colloquial Drone) safely (AITSL 2018, 3.1 & 4.4). They then demonstrate that they understand by completing a test on an iPad using a QR code (visible in the top right corner of the segment; AITSL 2018, 2.6 & 3.4), which was introduced after evaluating the lesson delivered in previous weeks (AITSL 2018, 6.3).

When a student repeatedly disrupted a class (RPA Flying, 9:25), I then negotiated either moving to front of class or behaving appropriately for the remainder of the class (AITSL 2018, 4.3). In giving the student options for behaviour it communicates that you respect them and expect the same respect and attention in return (AITSL 2018, 4.4). In this case the student remained quiet and participated in classroom discussion thereafter (AITSL 2018, 3.3, 3.5, 4.2).

In order to maintain classroom safety when using potentially dangerous equipment such as aircraft indoors or the possibility of minor electrocution, both of which are entirely possible in the activities demonstrated, it is important to reinforce safety guidelines (RPA Flying; Little Bits, 9:00; AITSL 2018, 4.4), which was demonstrated in both cases.

In order to ascertain students prior knowledge, as this is the first time I have taught these particular students, I ask open questions (Little Bits, 0:25 & 7.52) in order to invite students to participate in the discussions and to assess for prior knowledge so that the remainder of the class can be built upon their prior knowledge (AITSL 2018, 3.1, 3.3, 3.5 & 4.2).

The little bits Automation lesson introduces students to future industries by connecting real world technologies and encouraging students to think about their future pathways (AITSL 2018, 3.1), and while the classroom task is simple in nature, the real learning intention is to encourage students to start thinking about what they could become in future.


Adjusting my teaching:

Element 3: Assessing For Impact of your teaching on student learning

what impact did my teaching have on student learning?

*Year 12 VCE Media Studies Class

The results of the graph were generated from data collected from a pre-assessment (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2017, p. 22) with feedback given a week before final year 12 VCE final film submission. Notably students 5 had a very poor performance due to illness. In his case results were determined through special consideration using earlier data and the General Admission Test (GAT). Notably students who performed well chose simple productions such as a music video and focused on quality work. Those with lower results tended to over complicate their productions. This data represents a weak year for the school that typically have a stronger cohort in media. Their year 11’s had 15 high performing students by comparison. The weakest category was production and post production (25 points totalled) indicating that students had difficulties using or understanding equipment and software. The students did however score higher within their intended audience criteria, suggesting lessons in target audiences were successful (36 points totalled).

media graph.jpg

E3 – (3)

Student 1 Analysis:

In the case of Student 1, given a week with constructive feedback improved his mark greatly. All feedback is either given with a sandwich positive-negative-positive technique or with criticism following praise. This technique is used in this particular student who is not achieving at the same rate as the remainder of the class, and is used as to not dishearten the student, particularly as the student is close their final submission.

Feedback to Student 1: 

Student 1 – Comedy

  • When the comedy timing feels right the jokes sit much better and are better received by viewer. Such as when the character throws bike heading into the school building. If cut to early, the effect of being agitated is not achieved. Whereas if left a little too long the comedy is lost and can make it feel more like a drama.

    • Show your film to someone and gauge their reaction, it may not align with your own. Sometimes the shots we love have to be cut differently in order to achieve your goal.

  • The majority of this film has been shot with quality lighting. Minimum two light setups illuminate characters effectively. Great Job for the most part.

  • When the lighting was bad, the shot really suffered in post productions. Large amounts of grain were introduced and effected how well each shot matched the next. If possible re-shoot scenes with quality lighting to improve film look continuity.

  • You have time to improve the film to a great standard, and we really like your ideas, you just need to execute them effectively in style.

  • Good Job! Keep pushing!

Student 2 Analysis:

Student 2 had a highly successful video due in part to the high quality video captured for her submission. However, footage was above the regular standard for the student. So feedback suggested making fine adjustments and modifications in order to match the high standard set. While it is acceptable for a student to direct and someone else film, it does need to be in moderation, thus the fine adjustments have been suggested. Our suspicions would turn out to be true; however, this did not affect the students’ outcome as she took on board criticism and executed an effective video.

Feedback to Student 2:

Student 2 – Music Video

  • Incredible footage! You have nailed your exposures and look. We very much enjoyed the movement within your clip which assists in catching the viewer’s eye constantly.

  • Proper titles with stylistic fonts should be used in this kind of video. At the moment you have basic titles.

    • To improve try using a nice font, make the title 3D, make it move with your shots.

  • Some basic colour grading tasks are still required to best match all the shots together fluently, but are very close straight out of camera which helps greatly.

  • Great Job, time to polish your video!

Student 3 Analysis:

Student 3 did not improve greatly based on her criticism, other than cut her film down below the time limit. The criticism addressed how she had potentially over extended herself, and solutions to solving these issues. The feedback included praise and encouragement, however not every student responds to criticism in a similar manner.

Feedback to Student 3:

Student 3 – Comedy Show

  • This Movie is very long. It is understandable considering your story and the amount of characters. You have done a great job in telling an effective story however.

    • You will need to work out ways to tighten your clip to an appropriate length (under 10 min), which requires shaving 1:30 off your production. So watch through again and discard anything which doesn’t contribute towards the story’s outcome.

  • When shooting night scenes during the day, do not lower the exposure on the camera. It just degrades the look of the footage. Instead, try blacking out the house windows and turning on the interior lighting. I’ve used black garbage bags and gaffer tape to do this successfully. If time you could potentially re-shoot the night time clips either at night or using the above technique.

  • Trial your movie, Have some people watch the film and record their laughter for an authentic laugh track, which could make the final touch on your film.

  • Nice Work, Almost there!

E3 – (4 & 5)

In all feedback given was process praise (Dweck, 2007) in which students are praised on effort rather than outcomes. However at a VCE level where direct results are given and students often compare one another this can be negated, such as the case for student 3. All criticisms and feedback including results were given when holding the standard of the films created by the students against the VCE Media Studies rubrics assessment (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2017, p. 11-16; AITSL 2018, 5.1 & 5.3) ensuring a consistent results. However the VCE curriculum is highly focused on summative assessments (Fergusson 2013) which has shown to increase stress levels of students (stress citation) and is less effective in learning outcomes, as it is focused on results and not student development. Conversely my preference is for a formative assessment approach as it allows the student to learn and develop while they are undertaking an assessment task. Furthermore the task and results can improve. In giving the students the feedback a week ahead, it reduces the finality of the VCE assessment task and allows students to learn amidst their work towards their final submission, which modified the summative task to make it more like that of a formative task.