Notes: Learning to Reflect

Notes for "Learning to Reflect".

Course: COMP3500/3550/3710/4500/8715 - Learning to Reflect - Sem 2 2019
Book: Notes: Learning to Reflect
Printed by: Tom Worthington
Date: Thursday, 7 November 2019, 11:32 AM


This is version 2.1 of a design for a learning module. See latest version. For more information, see "Learning Module for Teaching Students to a Write Job Application". This material is by Tom Worthington, under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license, with quoted sources. Students of the ANU TechLauncher program (which includes the courses COMP3500, COMP3550, COMP3710, COMP4500, and COMP8715), should refer to the version provided by the university. A Moodle backup file including all course materials, and quiz questions, is available to instructors on request, from the author. Notes from a presentation about the design of this module, are also available:

Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students, Tom Worthington, 2018 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE). In Press. Preprint and Presentation notes available.



Video: Overview

These are the notes for the Work Portfolio Package (WPP) module of the ANU TechLauncher program, which includes the courses COMP3500, COMP3550, COMP3710, COMP4500, and COMP8715.

These notes contain content intended for instructors, as well as students, to be used in conjunction with online exercises, and face-to-face workshops. Students will be prompted by the ANU Wattle Learning Management System, as to which parts to read, and when to read them.

The WPP module is designed to help 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. You should discuss and plan your portfolio approach with your tutor, and with your peers. Where appropriate, we also encourage you to discuss your portfolio with your client. 

Learning Outcomes

The module focuses on the third evaluation theme of TechLauncher:

“Reflecting and showcasing your learning in the course”

And the last two learning outcomes:

4. “Communication. Effective transmission of decisions and solutions using appropriate media to professional and lay audiences.

5. Reflection. Demonstrate and reflect on leadership and creativity as an individual and within a multi-disciplinary team.”

From: TechLauncher Course Outline, ANU, 19 Jul 2019, URL:

Indicative Assessment

Two online quizzes, one percent per quiz. Contributions to two discussion forums, two per forum. Two assignments, of four percent and ten percent. Peer feedback from students in the forums, and the assignments, will be taken into account in finalisation of grades by your 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

one of a set of 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

review the ratings from students and recommend a mark to the examiner, who will make the final decision, for each student.

For each assignment students will be given a question and a marking rubric. After submitting their own answer, students will rate four others using the supplied rubric, and provide feedback.

The feedback for assignments is double-blind: students will not know who they are providing feedback to, nor who they received feedback from. The instructor will review the student feedback, making any changes needed. The examiner will then allocate eighty percent of the grade for the student's work and twenty percent for their feedback. The TurnItIn text matching tool will be used to help check the work submitted is original. Students can run thier work through the Turnitin Practice Site, which also provides more detail of the service.

Overall mark calculation

Mark: 2% quizzes + 4% forums + 14% assignments = 20% of course assessment.

Course specific policies 

Late submission of assessment is not accepted.


Four hours of student learning time, consisting of participation in online forums and assessment activities. A one hour face-to-face workshop is provided to assist with each assignment.

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). ANU also provides samples of cover letters, selection criteria, and resumes for students.

Course schedule

The WPP activities break down into two parts, one topic per part, with one quiz, forum, and assignment, for each:

  1. Learn. The student identifies skills they have, what they require, and how to acquire them. Assignment task is to address a typical set of selection criteria for a position.

  2. Report and reflect. The student deepen skills in oral and written communication. Assignment task is to prepare an application for a real position, revising the responses to selection criteria from the previous assignment.

Communication platform

ANU Wattle is used. Students and instructor will use the Moodle Learning Management system tools in Wattle:

  1. Dialogue for one-to-one communication.

  2. Forum for group communication and discussion.

  3. Quiz tool for quizzes.

  4. Workshop for assignments.

  5. TurnitIn to help check work is original.


ANU Careers Guide: A practical guide to planning your career and maximising your employability, Version 7, ANU Careers (2018). URL

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

1. Learn


Video: Learn

In this first of two parts, you will investigate what you need to learn for your project, and long term for your career. In scope here, are both technical skills and also professional and teamwork skills. The aim is to prepare you to be a professional in your field, which includes the ability to take charge and 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? How will you practice them, and how to your measure and communicate your degree of success in applying them?

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 Careers 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. "... The situation is the context in which the experience occurred. ...
  2. The task is what was actually required of you in the situation. ...
  3. Action refers to the steps that you personally took in response to the task. ...
  4. 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 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.

Responding to Selection Criteria

In the first 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).

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 "Applying for an APS job: cracking the code", 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 "Applying for an APS job: cracking the code", 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 Wizard social media tool. This required not only learning technical aspects, but group online working."

As included in the WPP:

"As Research Support Officer at the XYZ Bank, 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 the newsletter from these internal stakeholders and my own manager. I received a divisional achievement award for the quality of the newsletter. Importantly, this initiative resulted in improved lines of communication between managers and the Research Support Unit."

From "Applying for an APS job: cracking the code", 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".

As discussed previously, ANU Careers use the STAR approach for responding to selection criteria. ANU Careers can provide help with answering selection criteriaand examples of answers.

The expanded STAR-L, with "Learnt" added, is used here, as planning your own learning is part of being a professional. In the second assignment you will be required to document what you have learned from co-curricular activities.

Self-directed Learning

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 ...
Self-directed (autonomous) development in a formal environment
  • Taking an online course outside of the workplace to expand relevant knowledge base ...
Required (mandated) development in an informal environment
  • Receiving mentoring by a more experienced colleague to learn a job-required skill ...
Required (mandated) development in a
formal environment
  • Participating in annual employment-wide training to adhere to human resources policies at work..."
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.

Suggested Readings

  1. Identifying your skills, interests & values, ANU Careers, 2018
  2. Selection criteria, ANU Careers, 2018
  3. "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.


Complete online Quiz 1 now.


Answer one of questions in Forum 1 now. Then reply to an answer from a fellow student and rate three.
  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 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?


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


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

2. Report and reflect


Video: Reflect

In this second 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 responses to selection criteria prepared in assignment 1, and other parts.

Components of a Job Application

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. The cover letter provides a summary of claims to the position.

The cover letter should be followed by your statement addressing the selection criteria. If there are few criteria, this may be incorporated in the cover letter. This is followed by  the curriculum vitae (CV), also called a resume. The CV is an overview of a person's experience and qualifications (see "Resumes", from A​N​U Careers, for more details).

Supplementary material can be placed at the end of the application as evidence of work described in the application. This could be diagrams, samples of code, schematics of a prototype, user testing procedures, or other work. It is important that the work presented was created by you, not just a team you worked in.

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 engaged in this WPP activity 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.
Ribit (from CSIRO) matches students to projects. 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.


  • 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

Suggested Reading

  1. Reflective writing, ANU Careers, 2018

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

  3. Resumes, Types of resume, Resume structure, and Effective writing styles, ANU Careers, 2018


Please complete online Quiz 2 now.


Answer one of the questions in Forum 1 now. Then reply to an answer from a fellow student and rate three.

  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?


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


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

Cajander, Å., 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





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.


Students are be asked to answer one question from a set of two or three, 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 review the ratings from students and recommend a grade for each student to the examiner (who will make the final decision).

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.


The student prepares a Work Portfolio Package (WPP) in two stages. The WPP is an application for a position, built primarily around the student's recent learning experience. For the first assignments details of a position to apply for are be provided. For the second assignment the student must find a position to apply for, and revise their work from the previous assignment to suit this. Before each assignment there is a set of notes, readings, a quiz, a forum, and a workshop to prepare the student. The Instructor will help with the assignment submission process. The team at ANU Careers, can assist with general advice on preparing a WPP. Ask your tutor for advice and assistance with preparing the content of your assignment.

Assignment 1: Address Selection Criteria

Prepare a statement addressing the supplied selection criteria (typically 200-250 words per criterion). The submit 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 four other students to review. 80% of your mark will be for the assignment submitted, and 20% for the quality of the reviews.

Selection Criteria

  1. Experience with project tools, such as github, bitbucket, cloudstor, Slack, Discord, Mattermost, coveralls, Chef, trello, zenhub, pivotal and jira.
  2. 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.
  3. How did you go about understanding and defining the task or problem?
  4. 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).

Double-blind Peer Review

After submitting, each student will be allocated four assignments from other students to provide feedback on. This is to help better understand how to write a WPP. The student is to read each submission, rate the work using the rubric provided, and write brief comments (no more than 100 words in total).

The reviews are double-blind peer reviewed: that is the student does not know who wrote the submissions they review, or who reviewed theirs. So students should not include their name, student number, or any other identifiers, in their assignment, or in their reviews of assignments. Where a name would normall occour, asterisks can be used.

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. Twenty percent of your mark will be for the quality of your feedback.

Assignment 2: Prepare a Complete WPP

The student reflects on what they have learned. Assignment task is to prepare an application cover letter, and revise the other parts prepared previously. As with the first assignment, twenty percent of your mark will be for the quality of your feedback of other student's work.

Task: Select a real position to apply for. Prepare a cover letter (1-page), you can reuse content from your forum postings. Revise your CV, and the statement addressing the selection criteria prepared in the first assignment, for the position, 2-pages of Supplementary material (work product), and a copy of the advertisement you are responding to.

Marking Rubric

Both assignments use the same 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 ☹️
-1 0 +1 ☺️ 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 ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ 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 ☹️
-1 0 +1 ☺️ 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 ☹️
-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 ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ Transformational
PA3 Professional tone: Professional language, no emails like "", appropriate addressing (no, "Hi there ...") and signature blocks (no 'Thanks, ...) on covering letter, respectful but clear.
Not acceptable ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ 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 ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ 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 ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ Clear
PA6 Professional attitude: This may be covered in selection criteria but is more likely to be addressed in the covering letter. Negative ☹️ -1 0 +1 ☺️ Positive

Rubric based on "Work Portfolio Package: Marking criteria, ANU Techlauncher, 2019.

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. Students will be allocated four assignments to provide ratings and peer comments on.

Workshop Format

A fifty minute workshop will be held for each of the two 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 electronic or paper copy of their answers to the discussion forums, and draft assignment, as a backup.


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

Example Addressing Selection Criteria

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

"As Research Support Officer at the XYZ Bank, 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 the newsletter from these internal stakeholders and my own manager. I received a divisional achievement award for the quality of the newsletter. Importantly, this initiative resulted in improved lines of communication between managers and the Research Support Unit."

From "Applying for an APS job: cracking the code", Australian Public Service Commission, 2018. Australian Public Service Commission, 2018. URL

Instructor's Guide

This module is designed for blended learning. It is made up of online components supported by an instructor, with supplementary face-to-face workshops. Conventional Distance Education design techniques are used (Worthington, 2012).


The Australian National University 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). This module has been developed in response, to build the student's skills and confidence. It was first offered for students in the 8715 Computing Project course, first semester 2019. It was then revised for delivery to all TechLauncher students in Second semester, 2019.

The module is divided into two parts, the first for the middle of the semester, and the second toward the end. The final task is unchanged from previous years: to create a WPP, but the student develops their skills in stages. This is a scaffolded approach to education.

The Australian National University's Wattle Learning Management System is used to deliver most of the structured learning. This is supplemented by a series of face-to-face workshops.

The learning is broken into two parts, 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 take part in the face-to-face workshop, after the online study. After each workshop, the student completes an assignment.

Teaching Roles

This learning module is intended to be provided as part of a course. An Instructor oversees the delivery of this module, posting information to the class, and individual students. Students also have a Tutor for the course, who the instructor may refer students to, when they need extra help with the module materials. One or more facilitators run the face-to-face workshops.

Some of the tutors may also carry out instructor functions, assist with facilitation of workshops, and mark a sample of the student work to verify the peer assessment. In any case, the Instructor only recommends grades to the examiner of the course, who makes the final decision, for each student.

Dark Cockpit Approach to Online Instruction

The Instructor issues all students with regular bulletins via the Learning Management System (Wattle), and seeds the online discussion forums with questions. The students are then left to undertake the work. The instructor may issue “nudges” occasionally to the groups, or individual students, where there appears to be a problem. Apart from this, the Instructor and tutors do not take part in the online discussion. This dark cockpit philosophy (Jambon, Girard, & At-Ameur, p.43, 2001), reduces the distraction of constant messages from staff, only intervening where needed, and placing the onus on students to come to grips with the topic, individually and collectively.

To help keep students on task, there is progressive assessment. To aid reflective learning, students provide peer feedback on forums and assignments. The instructor assists students with the administrative aspects of the module, such as how to submit an assignment. Students having difficulty with the material will be referred to their tutor.

Steps to Prepare and Run the Module

The module has a series of scheduled activities. The Instructor, usually assisted by some of the tutors, needs to check the materials are ready for use by students, send reminders, and prepare for the workshops and assessment.

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 online documents no longer available at their original location.

The course notes, assignments and activities 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 Reflect, I am your instructor for this module, Tom Worthington. You can contact me via the Dialogue tool in Wattle.

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

For each topic, you need to read the notes. There is a short quiz for each topic, to help with your understanding of the material (this also counts towards your grade). Then answer two or three questions in an online 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 activities 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 online in the chat-room.


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.


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, the Instructor will need to remind students that they need to answer questions in the forum. Students not used to online 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 your understanding of the material (this does count toward the assessment). Then answer the questions in an online 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, plus any individual feedback. The feedback needs 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 online 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 the  instructor to participate in the forum discussions. The Instructor should only intervene if there is no discussion (which is rarely a problem), or if a student posts inappropriate or incorrect information (which is usually corrected by other students).

If a student is not participating, or posting inappropriate material, it may be better to contact that student directly, or refer the matter to their tutor, rather than respond via the forum. Some 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 difficulties may benefit from a few lines of individual feedback from the Instructor or their tutor.

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 online 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 forum for all students. This should tell the students where to find their feedback (if any), and what the average mark was. Provide some some tips, and lastly introduce the next 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 of a 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 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 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 assignment system will automatically allocate four students to provide feedback, and also calculate a quality mark for the students' grading.

The instructor will look over the peer feedback and decide which the tutors should mark, using the same rubric. This will be  a sample of the assignments, as well as those the peer assessment rated very high, or very low.

The instructor will then consider the student and tutor ratings, to propose a mark for the examiner to approve.

It is generally not necessary, or useful, to make detailed notations on the student's submissions. 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 first referred to their tutor, and then, if necessary, for specialist assistance.
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 12
Distinction 23
Credit 34
Pass 12
Fail 10


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.


Jambon, F., Girard, P., & Aït-Ameur, Y. (2001, May). Interactive System Safety and Usability enforced with the development process. In IFIP International Conference on Engineering for Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 39-55). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. URL

Worthington, T. (2012, July). A Green computing professional education course online: Designing and delivering a course in ICT sustainability using Internet and eBooks. In 2012 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE) (pp. 263-266). IEEE. URL