Notes: Learning to Reflect

Notes for the course module "Learning to Reflect".

Date: Sunday, 3 February 2019, 7:20 PM

Introduction

Note

This is version 0.1 of a design for a course. It is a draft not intended for use. For more informaion, see "Learning Module for Teaching Students to a Write Job Application", Higher Education Whisperer, February 4, 2019. This material is by Tom Worthington, under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license, except where sources are quoted.

Overview

This module will enable students to develop capabilities expected of working professionals to identify their development needs, how they will acquire these and to reflect on what they have learned.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Determine their own learning needs and possible sources, to develop individual skills for a project and for their career development.

  2. Identify appropriate accreditation and qualification paths. 

  3. Manage the learning, and evaluate its effectiveness through through reflection.

Adapted from the skill "Learning and Development" (ETMG), Level 6, Skills Framework for the Information Age, Version 7, 2017.

Indicative Assessment

Three online quizzes, 10% (5% per quiz, with best two counted). Contributions to three discussion forums, 20% (10% per forum, with best two out of three counted). Three assignments, 70% (35% each, best two out of three counted). Peer feedback from students in the forums, and on assignments, will be taken into account in grading by the examiners.

For each quiz students will answer three to five questions, with multiple choice and short answers. The quizzes will be automatically marked by the system. Questions will be randomly selected from a question bank, with ordering of multiple choice answers randomized.

For each forum students will be asked to answer two or three set questions with a few sentences (the questions are listed in the notes at the end of each part). Students are then asked to reply to the post by another student. Students will then give ratings for the answer (0, 1, or 2). The Instructor will provide a mark for each student, taking into account the student ratings.

For each assignment students will be given a question and a marking rubric. After submitting their own answer, for the first two assignments, students will rate three others using the rubric, and provide feedback. The instructor will review the student feedback, making any changes needed. The examiner will then allocate 90% of the grade for the student's work and 10% for their feedback. For the last assignment students are not required to rate or provide feedback.

Overall mark calculation

Mark = best two quizzes + best two forums + best two assignments.

Course specific policies 

Late submission of assessment is not accepted.

Workload

Twenty hours of student learning time, consisting of participation in online forums and assessment activities. A one hour face-to-face workshop will be provided to assist with each assignment (three hours in total).

Prescribed Texts

An eBook is supplied with the course. In addition, from ANU Academic Skills:  Reflective writing, reflective essays, learning journals. From ANU Careers:, cover letters addressing selection criteria, resumes, and ANU Careers Guide (2018).

An expanded STAR-L approach is used: Situation, Task, Action, Result, and lessons Learnt. (Cockburn, Carver, Shirley, and Davies (p. 71, 2007). ANU also provides samples of cover letters, selection criteria, and resumes for students.

Course schedule

The course consists of three parts, one topic per part, with one quiz, forum, and assignment, for each:

  1. Plan the learning needed. In this part the student investigates what they need to learn for their project, and for long term career plans. Assignment task is to produce a first draft of their CV, and learning goals.

  2. Learn. The student learns about different ways of learning, and identifies appropriate accreditation and qualification paths for their future. Assignment task is to address a typical set of selection criteria.

  3. Report and reflect. The student reflects on what they have learned. Assignment task is to prepare an application cover letter, and revise the other parts prepared previously.

Communication platform

The ANU Wattle system is used for communication. Students and instructor will use Moodle Learning Management system tools:

  1. Dialogue for one-to-one communication.

  2. Forum for group communication and discussion.

  3. Quiz tool for quizzes.

  4. Workshop for assignments.

References

ANU Careers Guide: A practical guide to planning your career and maximising your employability, Version 7, ANU Careers (2018). URL http://www.anu.edu.au/files/resource/DSA173813%20Careers%20Guide%20v7%20WEB.pdf

Tina Cockburn; Tracey Carver; Melinda Shirley; Iyla Davies, Using E-Portfolio to Enable Equity Students toReflect on and Document Their Skill Development, 15 Waikato L. Rev. 64 (2007) URL https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/waik15&i=68

1. Plan the Learning Needed

In this first of three parts, you will investigate what you need to learn for your project, and long term for your career. You will then produce a first draft of your CV, and a set of learning goals. The aim is to prepare you to be a professional in your field on graduation, which includes the ability to take responsibility for your future professional development.

Learning Goals

In a group project you are undertaking one or more roles as a team member. This requires technical and professional skills. What skills will you need, which you do not already have? Where will you obtain these skills?

Co-curricular Programs

Part of being a professional is assessing if you have the skills needed for a job, and going about gaining skills needed. This is commonly called Lifelong learning. Development relevant to maintaining and expanding skills in a specific job or discipline is Professional Development.

The European Commission (EC) defines Lifelong learning as:

"... all general education, vocational education and training, non-formal learning and informal learning undertaken throughout life, resulting in an improvement in knowledge, skills and competences or participation in society within a personal, civic, cultural, social and/or employment-related perspective, including the provision of counselling and guidance services."

From Annex III - Glossary of terms, p. 324, Erasmus+ Programme Guide, European Commission, 2019.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS), uses a narrower range of topics for its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program.

"CPD hours should be balanced and tailored to your career path, taking into consideration competencies to date and future interests. Some examples include:

  • Formal study – completing subjects from ACS education programs, university, TAFE and other providers
  • Learning activities – undertaking structured training, short courses
  • ICT forums – attending ACS Branch Forums, Special Interest Groups, industry conferences
  • Self-directed learning – reading industry journals or blogs, reviewing online resources
  • Contribute to the ICT profession – volunteering with ACS working groups and Branch Executive Committees, presenting conference papers, academic research."
From: "Pathways to Certification", Australian Computer Society, 2016

As well as formal coursework, universities offer a range of co-curricular activities for students.

co-curricular [adjective, North American]:

  • (of an activity at a school or college) pursued in addition to the normal course of study."
From: Definition of co-curricular in English, English Oxford Living Dictionaries, Oxford University Press, 2019

Some co-curricular activities offered through ANU Student Experience are:

  1. ANU+ A program that formally recognises your experience and contribution achieved through volunteering.
  2. GULP: the Global Undergraduate Leaders Program.
  3. ANU Learning Communities: Five student led organisations for areas of common interest: creative arts, cultures, global challenges, history, and sustainability.
  4. Set4ANU Program: volunteer program to support new students, including mentoring.
  5. Student Research Conference: A student-led conference for Undergraduate, Honours and Masters by coursework ANU students from all disciplines.
  6. Undergraduate Research Journal: Publishes essays by ANU undergraduates. Students gain experience in the scholarly publication process of peer review and editing.

Universities offer programs for students to gain skills as entrepreneurs. ANU sponsors First Wednesday Connect, and InnovationACT.

Universities also offer free online courses. The ANU offers courses through the edX Consortium. Topics include technology management, and marketing.

STAR-L Approach to Learning

ANU's Student Experience and Career Development unit suggests using the STAR approach for responding to selection criteria. Cockburn, Carver, Shirley, and Davies (p. 71, 2007), discuss an expanded STAR-L approach used at Queensland University of Technology (QUT): Situation, Task, Action, Result, and lessons Learnt.

  1. "Situation - The situation is the context in which the experience occurred. ...
  2. Task - The task is what was actually required of you in the situation. ...
  3. Action - Action refers to the steps that you personally took in response to the task. ...
  4. Result - Result refers to the outcome of your actions. How did your actions contribute to the completion of the task? How did your actions affect the final outcome of the situation? ...
  5. Learnt - Learnt refers to the things you have learned from the experience. Highlight any skills or abilities that you have developed or improved as a result of the experience. ..."
From: Cockburn, Carver, Shirley, and Davies (p. 71, 2007)
You will be asked to apply STAR-L in developing your WPP.

CV

A curriculum vitae (CV), or résumé, is an overview of a person's experience and qualifications. In this part you will prepare a CV and later refine this in part three. See the Example CV in the appendices.
The CV should include:
  1. Name and contact details: Your name and contact details should be at the top of the resume. However, for the purposes of the assignment these, and any other identifying information, should be replaced by asterisks.
  2. Educational achievements: Degrees and other qualifications should be listed in reverse chronological order. For your current degree, list when you expect to complete it.
  3. Skills Summary: Select the skills most relevant to the position being applied for. Use sub-headings relevant to the position, such as communication, teamwork, initiative, problem solving, leadership, research, and analysis.
  4. Experience: Use sub-headings, such as Internship Experience, Professional Experience, Extracurricular activities, Achievements, Memberships. The experience should be relevant to the position applied for. Extracurricular activities can be particularly useful for evidence of skills, such as initiative, problem solving, and leadership.
  5. Referees: If the position asks for referees, choose ones relevant to the position. However, for the purposes of the assignment these, and any other identifying information, should be replaced by asterisks.

Now Read

  1. Identifying your skills, interests & values, ANU Careers, 2018
  2. Resumes, Types of resume, Resume structure, and Effective writing styles, ANU Careers, 2018

Quiz

Please complete online Quiz 1 now.

Questions

Please answer these questions online in Forum 1 now. Then discuss an rate your fellow student's answers.
  1. In terms of STAR-L: Situation: What are your roles in the team? Task: What skills and knowledge will you need you do not already have? Action: How will you acquire these skills and knowledge? Result: How will this help the project, and your career? Learnt: What will you be able to add to your CV as a result?

  2. ANU's Student Experience and Career Development unit list three types of resume. Which will you use? Provide a few sentences from your CV to show how it is used.

Assignment

Start work on Assignment 1 now. Bring your draft to Workshop 1, along with your forum posts and be prepared to discuss your work.

References

Tina Cockburn; Tracey Carver; Melinda Shirley; Melinda Davies, Using E-Portfolio to Enable Equity Students to Reflect on and Document Their Skill Development, 15 Waikato L. Rev. 64 (2007) URL https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/waik15&i=68

2. Learn

In this second of three parts, you will address typical the selection criteria for a position. Also you will review progress on achieving your learning goals.

Responding to Selection Criteria

In the second assignment you are required to prepare a statement addressing the selection criteria for a typical position (you will then refine this in the final assignment).

The ANU Careers define selection criteria as "... the qualifications, skills, personal attributes and performance standards needed to perform the duties listed on the duty statement/position description." For computing positions the selection criteria are usually explicitly listed. The may be divided into categories, such as essential and desirable. Your response to selection criteria may duplicate information provided in the CV.

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) examples of selection criteria:

  1. "demonstrated capacity to communicate effectively
  2. good organisational and administrative skills
  3. proven ability to work as part of a team
  4. well developed customer service skills
  5. proven ability to manage projects."
From "Fact sheet 5: Addressing selection criteria", Australian Public Service Commission, 2018.

An example of using STAR to the first of these criteria (communication):

"Situation – role as Research Support Officer at Department of XYZ

Task – needed to ensure that managers were kept informed of policies and procedures

Action or approach – initiated monthly newsletter, which was emailed to each manager. Took responsibility for writing the main articles. This involved obtaining ideas and input from other stakeholders to ensure that the articles reflected managers’ needs (in terms of content and language)

Result – led to improved lines of communication between managers and the Research Support Unit. Feedback was consistently excellent. Received divisional achievement award for newsletter quality."

From "Fact sheet 5: Addressing selection criteria", Australian Public Service Commission, 2018.

The APSC did not use the expanded STAR-L. Adding Learning to this might give, for example:

"Learning - While experienced in the preparation of newsletter content, needed to learn the use of the department's WIZZO social media tool. This required not only learning technical aspects, but group online working."

As included in the WPP:

"I possess strong written communication skills, which I have developed over the course of my career. ...

As Research Support Officer at the Department of XYZ, I needed to ensure that managers were kept informed of policies and procedures. To do this, I initiated a monthly newsletter, which was emailed to each manager. I took responsibility for writing the main articles in each publication. This involved obtaining ideas and input from other stakeholders to ensure that the articles reflected the needs of managers, both in terms of content and language. I received consistently excellent feedback in relation to this newsletter from these internal clients and my own manager. I received a divisional achievement award for the quality of this newsletter from management. Importantly, this initiative resulted in improved lines of communication between managers and the Research Support Unit."

From "Fact sheet 5: Addressing selection criteria", Australian Public Service Commission, 2018.

Communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills are the top three criteria assessed by Australian employers (as reported in the AAGE Employer Survey, p. 48, 2019).

ANU Careers categorize selection criteria into:

  1. General questions - example: "Outline your relevant postgraduate qualifications". Provide more details, and highlight what is most relevant from your CV.
  2. Behaviourally-based questions - example: "'Proven teamwork/leadership skills". Use an example from your experience to answer this question.

As discussed previously, ANU Careers use the STAR approach for responding to selection criteria. Cockburn, Carver, Shirley, and Davies (p. 71, 2007), discuss an expanded STAR-L approach used at Queensland University of Technology (QUT): Situation, Task, Action, Result, and lessons Learnt.

  1. "Situation - The situation is the context in which the experience occurred. ...
  2. Task - The task is what was actually required of you in the situation. ...
  3. Action - Action refers to the steps that you personally took in response to the task. ...
  4. Result - Result refers to the outcome of your actions. How did your actions contribute to the completion of the task? How did your actions affect the final outcome of the situation? ...
  5. Learnt - Learnt refers to the things you have learned from the experience. Highlight any skills or abilities that you have developed or improved as a result of the experience. ..."
From:  Cockburn, Carver, Shirley, and Davies (p. 71, 2007)
The expanded STAR-L, with  "Learnt" is used here,  as being aware of the skills and abilities you have developed is part of being a professional. In the assignment you will be required to document what you have learned from co-curricular activities.
ANU Careers provide help with selection criteria and examples.

Self-directed Learning

Previously in part one, you set learning goals and selected ways to achieve these. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, distinguish between self-directed/required, and informal/formal learning:

"Self-directed (autonomous) development in an informal environment
  • Keeping up to date on industry news and events by reading relevant publications
  • Taking a walking tour of an historical area (e.g., Gettysburg, PA)
Self-directed (autonomous) development in a formal environment
  • Taking an online course outside of the workplace to expand relevant knowledge base
  • Taking a photography class
Required (mandated) development in an informal environment
  • Receiving mentoring by a more experienced colleague to learn a job-required skill
  • Reviewing company policy related to job-specific topics
Required (mandated) development in a
formal environment
  • Participating in annual employment-wide training to adhere to human resources policies at work
  • First-aid training for school employees"
From "How people learn II: Learners, contexts, and cultures", p. 201, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018.
These different categories of learning may prove useful in deciding what you need at different times in your career.

Now Read

  1. Selection criteria, ANU Careers, 2018
  2. "Learning Activities and Environments", pp. 200 & 201, "How people learn II: Learners, contexts, and cultures", p. 201, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018.

Quiz

Please complete online Quiz 2 now.

Questions

Please answer these questions online in Forum 2 now. Then discuss and rate your fellow student's answers.
  1. Describe an example from you own experience in terms of STAR-L:  Situation, Task, Action, Result, and lessons Learnt.

  2. Report progress on achieving the learning goals you set previously. What have you started? What is going well? What has proved to not be appropriate and why? What categories of learning (self-directed/required, and informal/formal learning) did you attempt?

Assignment

Start work on Assignment 2 now. Bring your draft to Workshop 2, along with your forum posts and be prepared to discuss your work.

References

Tina Cockburn; Tracey Carver; Melinda Shirley; Iyla Davies, Using E-Portfolio to Enable Equity Students to Reflect on and Document Their Skill Development, 15 Waikato L. Rev. 64 (2007) URL https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/waik15&i=68

3. Report and reflect

In this third and last part, you will reflect on what you  have learned. The assignment task is to select a real position to prepare an application cover letter for, and revise the other parts prepared previously.

The cover letter introduces the applicant (you), explains why you want the position,  and your most relevant qualifications, skills and experience. The cover letter should be prepared last, but placed first, before the CV.

Reflective writing

Unlike the group work carried out for your project, the an application cover letter, responses to selection criteria and a CV are individual. This work needs to be reflective, it is about how you can fit the role being applied for, and how you have faced challenges and learned from them. Baruah, Ward and Jackson (2017), found that a final assessment in the form of an individual reflective essay was useful for students having undertaken a teamwork project. However, students of this course previously found reflective writing too abstract, so the task was changed to an application for a position, incorporating reflection.

Three reflective questions for any position are:

  1. "Can you do the job?
  2. Do you want to do the job?
  3. Do you fit into the culture?"
From: Cover Letters: Structure, ANU Careers, 2018

UTS use a model for teaching reflection, with four levels:
  1. "Recount – what happened?
  2. React – how did you feel about what happened?
  3. Analyse – why it happened, or why you reacted as you did?
  4. Improve – what did you learn from what happened? what will you change to improve things?"

In preparing your cover letter you may choose to highlight something you have learned during your studies. This may not be something planned, or part of the formal curriculum.

Cajander, Daniels,  Peters and McDermott (2014) describe four Levels of Reflection:

  1. Descriptive Writing: The student simply describes experience without significant attempts at analysis. Although essentially non-reflective, it can nevertheless serve as a foundation for later, more complex activity.
  2. Descriptive Reflection: The student attempts to provide reasons for their learning experiences based upon quasi-reflective personal judgements.
  3. Dialogic Reflection: The student enters into a personal discourse to explore possible reasons for observed outcomes.
  4. Critical Reflection: In this context, critical reflection was taken to be demonstrated by the elaboration of reasons for personal learning decisions and experiences which takes into account a mature understanding of the psychological and pedagogical factors affecting the learning process.

In your WPP you are expected to exhibit Critical Reflection.

Searching for Positions Available

Like other universities, the ANU lists current job opportunities. Commercial jobs search sites, such as Seek, have thousands of positions offered. You need to search for positions suited to your experience, qualifications and ambition.
For those interested in further study, or research, universities list both internal scholarships provided by the institution and those provided by  organizations. ANU has a Scholarships for Computer Science and Engineering students. An example is the Data61 Scholarship, in areas such as Analytics, Cyber-Physical Systems, Software and Computational Systems and Decision Sciences.
For those interested in setting up a business, start-up centres off programs, and grants. The Canberra Innovation Network, which has ANU as a founding member, lists programs and grants available to local entrepreneurs, including ANU students.
The Australian Government's Job Outlook website lists job titles, tasks and skills. Computing related jobs include Software and Applications Programmers, describing tasks, job titles, and specializations.

"Software and Applications Programmers design, develop, test, maintain and document program code in accordance with user requirements, and system and technical specifications.
A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience, or relevant vendor certification is usually needed. Around three quarters of workers have a university degree. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification.

Tasks

  • researching, consulting, analysing and evaluating system program needs
  • identifying technology limitations and deficiencies in existing systems and associated processes, procedures and methods
  • testing, debugging, diagnosing and correcting errors and faults in an applications programming language within established testing protocols, guidelines and quality standards to ensure programs and applications perform to specification
  • writing and maintaining program code to meet system requirements, system designs and technical specifications in accordance with quality accredited standards
  • writing, updating and maintaining technical program, end user documentation and operational procedures
  • providing advice, guidance and expertise in developing proposals and strategies for software design activities such as financial evaluation and costings for recommending software purchases and upgrades

Job Titles

  • Analyst Programmer (or Programmer Analyst)
  • Developer Programmer
  • Software Engineer, Architect, or Designer
  • Software Tester
  • Analyst Programmer (or Programmer Analyst)

    Analyses user needs, produces requirements documentation and system plans, and encodes, tests, debugs, maintains and documents programs and applications.

  • Developer Programmer (Applications Developer, ICT Developer, or ICT Programmer)

    Interprets specifications, technical designs and flow charts, builds, maintains and modifies the code for software applications, constructs technical specifications from a business functional model, and tests and writes technical documentation.

    Specialisations: Communications Programmer (Systems), Database Developer, Database Programmer (Systems), Network Programmer, Software Developer, Software Programmer

  • Software Engineer, Architect, or Designer

    Designs, develops, modifies, documents, tests, implements, installs and supports software applications and systems.

    Specialisations: Computer Applications Engineer, Database Designer, Systems Architect

  • Software Tester

    Specifies, develops and writes test plans and test scripts, produces test cases, carries out regression testing, and uses automated test software applications to test the behaviour, functionality and integrity of computer software, and documents the results of tests in defect reports and related documentation."

From Job Outlook, Australian Government, 2019. URL https://joboutlook.gov.au/Occupation.aspx?search=Career&code=2613

Now Read

  1. Reflective writing, ANU Careers, 2018

  2. Cover letters, Structure, Style and practicalities, ANU Careers, 2018

Quiz

Please complete online Quiz 3 now.

Questions

Please answer these questions online in Forum 3 now. Then discuss and rate your fellow student's answers.
  1. What position do you propose to apply for? Check to see if someone has already posted this position, and if so, choose another. Provide a brief summary, and hypertext link for your selection.
  2. Give examples of how your formal coursework, and co-curricular studies help you answer any, or all, of these questions: Can you do the job? Do you want to do the job? Do you fit into the culture?

Assignment

Start work on Assignment 3 now. Bring your draft to Workshop 3, along with your forum posts, and be prepared to discuss your work.

References

Baruah, B., Ward, T., & Jackson, N. (2017, July). Is reflective writing an effective peer assessment tool for students in Higher Education?. In Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training (ITHET), 2017 16th International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE. URL https://doi.org/10.1109/ITHET.2017.8067802

Cajander, Ã…., Daniels, M., Peters, A. K., & McDermott, R. (2014, October). Critical thinking, peer-writing, and the importance of feedback. In 2014 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) Proceedings (pp. 1-7). IEEE. URL https://doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2014.7044234

Appendixes

 

Assessment

Quizzes

Students answer three to five questions, with multiple choice and short answers. The quizzes are automatically marked by the system. Questions are randomly selected from a question bank, with ordering of multiple choice answers randomized.

Forums

Students are be asked to answer two or three set questions with a few sentences and then reply to another student (the questions are listed in the notes at the end of each part). Students then give ratings for the answer (0, 1, or 2). The instructor will provide a mark for each student, taking into account the student ratings.

Grading
Numerical Mark Standard
2 Greater than expectation: Work of good quality, displaying an understanding of the subject matter and a grasp of relevant skills that is above average: all questions answered and at least one reply to another student's posting on each topic.
1 At expectation: Work of satisfactory quality, which displays an adequate understanding of most of the subject matter and a sufficient grasp of relevant skills: most questions were answered, and at least one reply to another student's posting on each topic.
0 Limited contribution: Work which is incomplete or displays an inadequate understanding of the subject matter or an inadequate grasp of relevant skills. Few or no postings to the forums, or postings with content which not acceptable. In particular material which is not correctly referenced, or cited.





Assignments

The student prepares a Work Portfolio Package (WPP) in three stages. The WPP is an application for a position, built primarily around the student's recent learning experience. For the first two assignments a details of a position to apply for will be provided. For the final assignment the student will find a position to apply for, and revised their work from the previous two assignments to suit this. Before each assignment there is a set of notes, readings, a quiz, a forum, and a workshop to prepare the student.

Assignments

Assignment 1: Prepare a CV

Prepare a brief CV (2-pages), and a statement of learning goals (half page). The learning goals will be used in addressing selection criteria in the next assignment and the CV in the third assignment, as part of the complete Work Portfolio Package (WPP).

The CV and statement of learning goals are to be submitted as one PDF file. Replace your name, contact details, and any other identifying information in the submission with asterisks. After submitting this you will be allocated the assignments of three other students to review. 90% of your mark will be for the assignment submitted, and 10% for the quality of the reviews.

Feedback

For the first two assignments, after submitting you will be provided with three from other students to provide feedback on. This is to help you better understand how to write a WPP. Read each submission, rate the work using the rubric provided, and write brief comments (no more than 100 words in total). Do not include your name, or any other identification. Try to make positive comments, rather than just negative. Offer suggestions for improvement. Where there are numerous errors (such as in grammar), just point out the first, don't correct them all. This feedback will be taken into account by the examiner, along with the instructor's input, in determining a mark for the assignment.

Ten percent of your mark for the first two assignments will be for the quality of your feedback.

    Assignment 2: Address Selection Criteria

    The student learns about different ways of learning, and identifies appropriate accreditation and qualification paths for their future. Assignment task is to address a typical set of selection criteria.

    Task: Prepare a statement addressing the supplied selection criteria (typically 200-250 words per criterion).

    Selection Criteria

    1. Experience with project tools, such as github, bitbucket, cloudstor, Slack, Discord, Mattermost, coveralls, Chef, trello, zenhub, pivotal and jira.
    2. Experience programming in SLYN-HO (Some Language You Never Heard Of).
    3. Good interpersonal and liaison skills, including the initiative, drive and flexibility to achieve results and describe a time when you were faced with a task or problem.
    4. How did you go about understanding and defining the task or problem?
    5. What skills and techniques did you use to identify and analyse appropriate sources of data?
    6. How did you use this data, including underlying issues, to identify appropriate solutions.
    7. Capable of self-managing and directing your energy and effort productively and efficiently.
    8. Ability to work effectively both independently and in a small team, without direct supervision.
    Adapted from "Employer examples", ANU Careers, 2018. With project tools added from "TechLauncher Course Outline" ANU, 2018).

      Assignment 3: Prepare an Application Cover Letter

      The student reflects on what they have learned. Assignment task is to prepare an application cover letter, and revise the other parts prepared previously.

      Task: Select a real position to apply for. Prepare a cover letter (1-page), you can reuse content from the first two assignments for this. Revise the statement addressing the selection criteria (typically 200-250 words per criterion), and add 2-pages of Supplementary material (work product).

      Marking Rubric

      All three assignments use a marking rubric, with a seven point scale. There are four criteria corresponding to parts of the WPP: CV, Selection Criteria, Covering Letter, and Supporting Evidence, plus six professional approach criteria, applicable to all.

      Marking Rubric
      Overall Impression Low mid-point High
      Covering Letter: One page - look for contact details and qualifications; is it addressed and signed appropriately; have they said who they are and what they are applying for (job title, and where and when it was advertised); do they indicate they can do the job and will be a good fit for the company; are they showing passion for the job; are they proactive about getting to interview. Weak ☹
      -1 0 +1 ☺ Strong
      CV: Two pages - look for their name and contact details; qualifications; professional memberships (eg. ACS, EA); skills and attributes; awards and certifications; relevant work experience; other work experience (including volunteering); referees Weak ☹ï¸
      -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Strong
      Selection Criteria: Look for the use of a model for addressing selection criteria. eg. Situation/Action/Outcome (SAO) or Situation/Task/Actions/Results (STAR). That is, what have they written to demonstrate their ability to meet the criterion. Look for effective use of transferrable skills to address criterion. Ignored â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Strong Coverage
      Supporting Evidence: This is material that will not normally be included in a job application. However, it will help students prepare for questions that may come up during interview. We're not looking for code etc. here. Instead, we are looking for evidence of outcomes and results. None ☹ï¸
      -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Appropriate
      Professional Approach
      PA1 Evidence of decision-making: Selection criteria will usually include something around analytical skills and problem solving (which require effective decision making). Has the student addressed such criteria with evidence. Have they demonstrated an ability to learn from failure. Select N/A if there are no applicable selection criteria.
      No evidence ☹ï¸
      -1 0 +1 ☺ clear evidence
      PA2 Maturity of reflection: Demonstrated learning from mistakes or failure. Not blaming others. Describing what they learned not what they did. Transferring lessons from one situation to another
      Not reflective â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Transformational
      PA3 Professional tone: Professional language, no emails like "smartass@gmail.com", appropriate addressing (no, "Hi there ...") and signature blocks (no 'Thanks, ...) on covering letter, respectful but clear.
      Not acceptable â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Professional
      PA4 Evidence of life-long learning: It is unlikely that students will have the direct experience necessary to cover all selection criteria. So, look for demonstrated ability and interest in learning new things (perhaps based on transferable skills) - thus indicating a positive approach to life-long learning No evidence â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Clear evidence
      PA5 Acting on feedback: Look for selection criteria related to how people respond to others. Look for examples of how students have responded to feedback.
      Not clear â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Clear
      PA6 Professional attitude: This may be covered in selection criteria but is more likely to be addressed in the covering letter. Negative â˜¹ï¸ -1 0 +1 â˜ºï¸ Positive

      Rubric based on "Work Portfolio Package: Marking criteria", ANU Techlauncher, 2018.

      Submission method

      One PDF file is to be submitted for each assignment. The submission are to be anonymous, with the student's name, and any other identifiers replaced with asterisks. For the first two assignments students will be allocated three assignments to provide ratings and peer comments on. The final grade will be decided by the instructor, with 90% allocated for the work and 10% for the feedback. The last assignment does not require peer comments.


      Workshop Format

      A fifty minute workshop will be held for each of the three topics.

      Please note this is not a lecture, it is a hands-on, face-to-face, on campus activity. Read the notes, and readings for topic, complete the quiz, post your answers to the forum, and start work on the assignment, before attending.

      Bring along your answers to the forum questions, and your draft for the next assignment. Students sit in groups of four to six. First discuss a topic as a group then select a representative to relate findings (or ask questions) of the whole room.

      Be prepared to express your view of the quality of the work of your fellow students. This is a less formal assessment than the numerical scale used for the forums, or the marking rubric for the assignments. There are no marks awarded for the workshops.

      "What do you react or respond to as you read it?
      How does it come over?"

      Part 1, Announcements (10 minutes)

      General announcements while students set up the room.

      Part 2, General Questions (10 minutes)

      Students can ask for clarification on administrative, content and assessment questions. Groups first discuss the question and if they are not  sure of the answer it can be put to the whole room.

      Part 3, Forum Questions  (10 minutes)

      Discuss your answers to this week's forum questions.

      Part 4, Assignment Master Class (10 minutes)

      Bring along your draft assignment, ask for feedback from your group. Be prepared to put it up on the big screen for group feedback.

      Part 5, Wrap-up (10 Minutes)

      Any concluding remarks by students and instructors.


      Note: WiFi and electronic display screens will usually be available. However, students should bring an off-line copy of their answers to the discussion forums, and draft assignment, as a backup.

      Reference

      Sadler, D. R. (2013) 'Opening up feedback: Teaching learners to see'. In Merry, S., Price, M., Carless, D., & Taras, M. (Eds.) Reconceptualising Feedback in Higher Education: developing dialogue with students. (Ch. 5, 54-63). London: Routledge. URL http://www.innovativeconservatoire.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Sadler-%E2%80%93-Opening-up-feedback-Teaching-learners-to-see-%E2%80%93-Publication-2013.pdf

      Example CV

      Your name and contact details, along with any other identifying information should be replaced with asterisks:


      ****** ********
      ** ******* Rd
      ******** ACT 2611
      Tel: *** *** ***
      Email: ****@********

      Objective

      Driven and energetic, I am seeking to start my career in investment banking by using my strong communication and problem solving skills, and further developing my leadership skills in a graduate position with a leading multinational software developer.

      Education

      2010 – 2013 M.Comp., Australian National University. Distinction average, Expected completion 2014
      2008 – 2009 B. Comp., Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Distinction average.

      Skills summary

      Communication

      • Developed strong oral communication skills through my role as Community Volunteer with Oxfam Australia, presenting Oxfam at community groups and schools, tailoring my language to different audiences.
      • Extended my interpersonal skills through my retail experience and active involvement at networking events at the Technology Services Institute of Australasia (TSIA).
      • Further developed written communication skills in my work as a junior programmer with Smith & Partners.

      Teamwork

      • Strong team player, illustrated by my involvement with the Uni-Norths Rugby Canberra Owls, placing first in the local Rugby Sevens Tournament in 2011.
      • Further enhanced my team work skills through part-time sales roles at David Jones and WeFreeze ice-cream parlor, and group work at university.

      Initiative and Problem solving

      • Sought out and organised a study program in Beijing, China: I managed language difficulties.
      • Liaised with ANU and University of Tsinghua staff; organised finances and found accommodation; made travel arrangements; and engaged with extracurricular activities.
      • Proposed additions and alterations to a physical activity program for school aged kids in my role as volunteer Coach Assistant with Bluearth Foundation. Suggestions were included in the program and I received positive feedback from participants and activity leader.

      Leadership

      • Led, motivated and supported twenty adolescents as a Rugby League coach for under 14s at Weston Creek Rugby Club.

      Research and analysis

      • Prepared oral presentations and written documents in my role as junior programmer at Smith and Partners required strong research and analysis skills. Used electronic legal databases.

      Internship Experience

      Dec 2012 – Feb 2013 Intern, WeInvest, ACT
      • Contributed to a project for an app aimed at increasing participation of ‘young’ investors (under 30s)
      • Research and analysis of characteristics of ‘young’ investors client base
      • Programmed reports on financial market data for project’s target group
      • Attended a three-day business skill development workshop

      Professional Experience

      Mar 2012 – Junior Programmer, Smith & Partners, legal software developer, ACT
      • General programming
      • Drafting documentation
      • Testing
      Feb 2009 – Mar 2012 Retail Assistant, David Jones, ACT
      • Responding to customer inquiries and requests
      • Offering product information
      • Maintained and restocked inventory
      • Handling cash register

      Extracurricular activities

      2012 – Volunteer Coach Assistant with Bluearth Foundation
      • Discussed team strategy, attended team meetings

      Achievements

      2013 ANU Research School of Computer Science Merit Award
      Memberships
      2009 –
      • Technology Services Institute of Australasia (TSIA)

      Referees

      Mr ****, Senior Developer, Smith & Partners, ACT
      Tel: *** *** *** Email: ****@********
      Ms ****, App Team Leader, WeInvest pty. ltd.
      Tel: *** *** *** Email: ****@*******

      This example CV was adapted from "Sample resume (graduate)", ANU Careers, 2018.

      Example Addressing Selection Criteria

      Example addressing the selection criterion: " written communication skills":

      "I possess strong written communication skills, which I have developed over the course of my career. ...

      As Research Support Officer at the Department of XYZ, I needed to ensure that managers were kept informed of policies and procedures. To do this, I initiated a monthly newsletter, which was emailed to each manager. I took responsibility for writing the main articles in each publication. This involved obtaining ideas and input from other stakeholders to ensure that the articles reflected the needs of managers, both in terms of content and language. I received consistently excellent feedback in relation to this newsletter from these internal clients and my own manager. I received a divisional achievement award for the quality of this newsletter from management. Importantly, this initiative resulted in improved lines of communication between managers and the Research Support Unit."

      From "Fact sheet 5: Addressing selection criteria", Australian Public Service Commission, 2018. URL https://www.apsc.gov.au/fact-sheet-5-addressing-selection-criteria

      Instructor's Guide

      This learning module is designed for on-line learning supported by a instructor, with supplementary face-to-face workshops (blended learning). It uses a conventional Distance Education (DE) design and educational philosophy (Worthington, 2012).

      Background

      The ANU TechLauncher program has been well received by students, professional bodies, and organizations the students work with. However, some students have had difficulty completing the last assessment item for the course: the Work Portfolio Package (WPP). To address these difficulties small tasks are provided through the semester to build these student's skills and confidence. The final WPP produced is the same, but developed in stages.

      The Learning Management System is used to deliver most of the structured leaning. This is supplemented by a series of face-to-face hands on workshops.

      The learning is broken into three units, each with flipped classroom learning. The student will study material online individually, then complete an online quiz, and post to a discussion forum. The students then can take part in the face-to-face workshop. After the workshop they will complete a short assignment. Each unit builds on the previous, exploring an aspect of the WPP, until in the last assignment the students complete the WPP.

      To help keep students on task, there is progressive assessment in the units. To aid reflective learning, students will provide peer feedback on forums, and assignments. An instructor provides advice to the students. However, final grading of the student is undertaken by the examiner for the course.

      Before the Course Starts

      Before the date for commencement of the course, the instructor should check for any updates or corrections needed to the e-book of course notes and the course web page.

      The instructor should ensure their photo, name and link to a biography are displayed on the top of the course web page.

      The course notes contain hypertext links which need to be checked. The Internet Archive is a good place to look for on-line documents no longer available at their original location.

      The course notes, assignments and activities are are available to the students from the start of the course. The instructor needs to check the dates each activity, and issue reminders before each activity.

      When the Module Starts

      The instructor should post a welcome message to the Announcements Forum, to introduce themselves, outline the module (particularly the assessment) and invite students to introduce themselves in the chat room.

      Here is an example welcome message:

      Welcome to Learning to Reflect

      Welcome to Learning to Refect, I am your instructor for this module, Tom Worthington.

      You will find materials on the course web page. There is an e-book with a chapter for each of the three topics, a description of the assignments, and activates.

      For each topic you need to read notes, and the readings. There is a short quiz for each topic to help with understanding of the material (this does also count toward the assessment). Then answer two or three questions in an on-line forum (by replying to my posting of the question) and discuss them with your fellow students. Give each posting a rating. Feedback and a mark will be provided.

      Do not attempt to start the assignments now. The readings and activites are designed to give you the background for the assignments.

      Your first task, if you wish to do so (not for assessment), is to introduce yourself to your fellow students on-line in the chat-room.

      Forums

      You will see a separate forum posting with the first topic's questions (for assessment). You only need to write a couple of sentences in answer to each question.

      Assessment

      Proposed assessment is detailed in the assessment section of the e-book. All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes. Any comments on the assessment are welcome."

      First Topic

      For the first topic you will need to remind students that they need to answer questions in the forum. Students not used to on-line learning can tend to forget to do the work, this even applies to experienced adult learners.

      Posting Reminder

      Here is an example posting reminder message:

      Answers to Topic 1 Questions Due Wednesday

      This is a reminder that there are questions for you to answer by this Wednesday in the Topic 1 Discussion Forum.

      You first need to read the notes for Topic 1 in the eBook. There is a  Topic 1 Quiz to help with understanding of the material (this does count toward the assessment). Then answer the questions in an on-line forum (by replying to my posting of the question) and discuss them with your fellow students. Rate the answers from your fellow students. Feedback and a mark will then be provided.

      Each Topic

      For each topic the instructor needs to prime the discussion forum, provide group summary and feedback at the end, any individual feedback. It is important for the feedback to be accompanied by marks, so the students pay attention to it. Lastly remind the students of what is in the next topic.

      Start The Topic Discussion

      Start a thread of discussion for each question asked in the notes (listed at the end of each chapter in the e-book). Copy and paste the question from the e-book. There is no need to expand on it.

      Students can then reply to this post with their answers.

      Approaches to tutoring on-line vary. This module has been designed to have extensive scaffolding provided to the students, so that after asking the questions, it should not be necessary for instructors to participate in the discussions. instructors should only have to intervene if there is no discussion (rarely a problem), or if a student posts inappropriate or incorrect information (usually corrected by other students).

      If a student is not participating, or posting inappropriate material, it may be better to contact that student individual, than via the forum. Students may need suggestions as to what and how to post.

      Provide Individual Marks and Feedback

      The general feedback to the class should be sufficient in most cases. Students who are having difficult may benefit from a couple of lines of individual feedback.

      Use the grading system to examine forum ratings and quiz result for each student. You can have the students sorted from lowest to highest grade to identify those who need assistance. Examine some of the forum postings from low performing students, and adjust this in the grade book if necessary to arrive at your mark for the student. Find a posting to praise, before identifying deficiencies. Then examine the work of a sample of other students (about 5%).

      Here are some feedback sentences to use:

      Well done. Your post on ...

      Your initial responses to the questions were not made by the deadline. ...

      You answered the questions by did not post any replies to other students. ...

      You do not appear to have made any contributions to the forum. Do you need some assistance?

      You do not appear to have attempted the quiz. Do you need some assistance?

      The system indicates that you are a student in this module. There are forums which students are required to post contributions to. You do not appear to have made any contributions for the first two topics. These forums are designed to help with your study. Please let me know if I can be of assistance. You can contact me via the system, by e-mail, telephone, or book a time to visit my office.

      As mentioned previously, you do not appear to have made any contributions to forums. I have asked the Course Convenor to contact you to see if there is a problem with your enrollment in this course.

      Your posting about ___ (___ PM) appears to use text copied from ___ but without being marked as a quote. The ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre has on-line documents and courses to assist with this. Keep in mind that failure to cite sources can result in a reduced mark (down to zero) and disciplinary action under the ANU Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity.

      General Feedback

      Post feedback to the weekly forum for all students. This should tell the students where to find their individual feedback (if any), what the average mark was, some tips and introduce the following topic. You may also include some item of general interest, but keep the posting short (two to three hundred words). In the first topic the feedback is likely to be on administrative matters rather than the content.

      Here is an example weekly feedback message:

      General Feedback

      Your mark for the topic is now available in the grade-book. Some will also have a comment or suggestion on your forum postings.
      The average mark was 1 "At expectation". Three students were graded at 2 (greater than expectation). Four students made limited, or no, contributions and so their mark was zero.

      Please keep in mind that the reader may see your post out of context, so if you are replying to something briefly tell us what it is, not just "I agree". Also remember when you use words, or an idea, from someone else you are required to cite that source. This was covered in the Professional Communications courses which most students have done (further assistance is available from the ANU Academic Skills & Learning Centre).

      For Topic 2 ...

      You might like to attend ...."

      Assignments

      Assignments are important, but stressful, for students. Students can be reluctant to start, and so include a reminder in the feedback. Also it is useful to explicitly remind students that the weekly forum questions are designed to help with the assignments, and then can use the material they contributed in the forums, to prepare their assignment.
      The assignments include a marking rubric. Students first use this to provide feedback to their fellow student. The instructor then uses this to propose a mark for the examiner to approve.
      The assignment system will automatically allocate three students to provide feedback, and also calculate a quality mark for the students' feedback.
      The instructor should select a rating, and make one or two sentences of comment against each of the criteria in the rubric.
      It is generally not necessary, or useful, to make notations on the student's submission. Where the instructor needs to make a detailed notation, they should only make it on the first occurrence of the problem in the assignment. In particular instructors should not correct all of the grammatical errors in an assignment. Students who have difficulty with writing should be referred for specialist assistance, as it is not the role of the course instructor to teach this.
      Along with the individual assignment feedback to students a report should be posted to the course forum, with the average mark, a breakdown of marks and issues identified.

      Here is an example assignment feedback message:

      Results for Assignment 1

      The results for Assignment 1 have been released. The average mark was 62% (Credit):

      Results for Assignment 1

      Grade Number
      High Distinction 6
      Distinction 0
      Credit 2
      Pass 2
      Fail 3

       

      Some problem areas for the assignment were:

      1. Not Answering the question: ...
      2. No Detail: ...

      ps: As the topics and forum questions, are designed to prepare you for the assignments. You can use what you wrote in the forums as part of your assignment.