Notes: Learning to Reflect


This is version 4.0 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. Blended delivery option added for possible return to campus after COVID-19. Small workshop exercises added for 2% each in place of quizzes and forums. Assignment 1 dropped. Optional student log added. 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

A transcript and slides are also available.

These are the notes for the Work Portfolio Package (WPP) module of the ANU TechLauncher program, Semester 1, 2021. This 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 workshops. Students will be prompted by the 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 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

The Work Portfolio Package (WPP) assignment makes up 16% of your final grade, and two workshop exercises contribute 2% each, making a total of 20%.

The TurnItIn text matching tool can be used to help check the work submitted is original. Students can run their work through the Turnitin Practice Site, which provides more detail of the service.

Course specific policies

Late submission of assessment is not accepted.


Two workshops, each of two hours, are provided. Workshops are provided via the Internet in a video conference, when a face to face classroom is not available.

Prescribed Texts

This eBook is supplied with the course, in addition to materials from ANU Careers (2020).

Course schedule

The activities break down into two parts, with one workshop per topic:

  1. What skills do you have and need?

  2. How to get a job.

Communication platform

Students and instructors will use the Moodle Learning Management system and other tools in the ANU Wattle platform:

  1. Forum, for announcements from the instructor.

  2. Dialogue for one-to-one communication with the instructor.

  3. Wiki, for each student to keep an individual logbook of their work.

  4. Workshop for the first workshop exercises.

  5. Zoom for online real-time workshops.

  6. TurnitIn to help check work is original.


For the background to the development of this learning module, see Worthington (2019).


ANU Careers Guide: A practical guide to planning your career and maximising your employability, ANU Careers (2020). URL

Worthington, T. (2019, December). Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students. In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Education (TALE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE. URL

1. What skills do you have and need?


Video: Skills

A transcript and slides are also available.

In this first of two parts, you will investigate what skills you have and what 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. Student Research Conference (SRC)
  2. Learning communities
  3. ANU+ Volunteering

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.

STAR-L Approach to Learning

ANU Careers suggests using the STAR approach for responding to selection criteria in their ANU Careers Guide (ANU, 2020). 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.

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.
For those interested in setting up a business, start-up centres offer 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
In February 2021, the Digital Transformation Agency of the Australian Government released an experimental "APS Career Pathfinder" for information technology jobs.

Self-directed Learning

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

ANU Careers

Suggested Readings

  1. Steps to deciding on your career, ANU Careers Guide, Page 5
  2. Selection criteria, ANU Careers Guide, Page 30
  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.

Workshop and Task

Please prepare for Workshop 1: Skills and be ready to complete Task 1: Skills.


ANU Careers Guide, Australian National University (2020). 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

2. How to get a job


Video: Jobs

A transcript and slides are also available.

In this second and last part, you will reflect on what you have learned. The assignment task is to prepare a Work Portfolio Package (WPP): an application for employment, promotion, internship, scholarship, award or other career enhancing activity.

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. 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 Guide (ANU, Page 26, 2020), 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 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 also 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?"
From Prior, Ferguson and Leaney (2016).

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.

Responding to Selection Criteria

In the assignment you are required to prepare a statement addressing the selection criteria for a real job.

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" (ANU, p. 30, 2020). 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).
As discussed previously, ANU Careers use the STAR approach for responding to selection criteria. ANU Careers can provide help with answering selection criteria and examples of answers. An interactive ANU Careers Toolkit is provided for students, including a CV and cover letter builder.

Workshop and Task

Please prepare for Workshop 2: Jobs and be ready to complete Task 2: Jobs.

Suggested Reading

  1. Reflective writing, ANU Careers, 2018

  2. Cover letters, ANU Careers Guide, Page 29, 2020

  3. Resumes, ANU Careers Guide, Page 26, 2020


ANU Careers, ANU Careers Guide, Australian National University (2020). URL Careers Guide -Final for print -PDF for website_0.pdf

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



A small task for each workshop (2% x 2), plus one assignment (the Work Portfolio Package "WPP", 16%), make up 20% of your final grade for TechLauncher.

Small Workshop Tasks

Students answer a question and review the answers submitted by three or four other students. 1% is allocated for a satisfactory submission and 1% for satisfactory reviews.

Numerical Mark Standard
1 At expectation: Work of satisfactory quality, which displays an adequate understanding and a sufficient grasp of relevant skills.
0 Limited or no contribution:Work which is incomplete or displays an inadequate understanding of the subject matter or an inadequate grasp of relevant skills.


The student prepares a Work Portfolio Package (WPP). The WPP is an application for a position, built primarily around the student's recent learning experience. The team at ANU Careers will provide two workshops to assist and provide general advice on writing a job application. Ask your tutor for further advice and assistance with preparing the content of your assignment.

Marking Rubric

The assignment use sa 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 (Evidence of decision-making, Maturity of reflection, Professional tone, Evidence of life-long learning, Acting on feedback, and Professional attitude).

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, 2020.

Workshop Format

A workshop will be held for each of the two topics. The workshop may be in a classroom face to face or online via video conference.

Please note this is not a lecture, it is an activity which students are expected to actively participate in. Read the notes, and readings for topic before attending.

Be prepared to express your views. There are no marks awarded for the workshops, however there is a task for 2% of your final grade, due shortly after each workshop. If you do not take part in the workshop, you may have difficulty completing this task.

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 as part of a project course, to be delivered via blended or on-line earning. It is made up of asynchronous online components supported by an instructor. This is supplemented by real-time workshops in a face to face classroom, or by synchronous video conference. The approach is based on distance education techniques supplemented with flipped classroom techniques as described in Worthington (2012 and 2019).


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 COMP8715 Computing Projectcourse, first semester 2019. It was then revised for delivery to all TechLauncher students in Second semester, 2019. The module was then modified slightly in February 2020, adding the option of online workshops, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic closing classrooms.

The module is divided into two parts, for the first and second p[arts of the semester. The final task is unchanged from previous years: to create a portfolio, but with 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 of face-to-face or online workshops via video-conference.

The learning is broken into two parts, each with flipped classroom learning. The student studies material online individually, then takes part in a real time workshop. Shortly;y after each workshop, the student completes an assessed task to aid learning.

When designed in 2018, the workshops were intended to be delivered in a face to face classroom on campus. However, it was envisaged the classroom components could be replaced by a video conference if students were unable to get to campus due to an international crisis. This option was activated in February 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Where some students are on campus, and some remote, a hybrid approach could be applied, using the video conference to linking the students in the room to those remote.

Teaching Roles

This learning module is intended to be provided as part of a course. Students have a Tutor for the course, who they should approach first for assistance. In addition, an instructor oversees the delivery of this module, posting information to the class. Students can contact them if they have difficulty accessing materials. One or more facilitators run the workshops.

Some of the tutors may also carry out instructor functions, assist with facilitation of workshops. In any case, the tutors only recommend 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). The students are then left to undertake the work. The instructor may issue “nudges” occasionally to all, or individual, students, where there appears to be a problem. Apart from this, the Instructor and tutors do not take part in 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.

Formative Feedback and Summative Assessment

To help keep students working, there is formative feedback, accompanied by summative assessment. In the 2019 versions of the module, there were quizzes and forums with marks awarded. The quizzes and forums were provided again in 2020 but without marks. The quizzes and forums have been replaced for 2021 with two peer assessed graded tasks.

To aid reflective learning, students provide peer feedback on a short written task after each workshop. These have simple binary grading (0% or 1%) for the submission and quality of student feedback.

Steps to Prepare and Run the Module

The module has a series of scheduled activities. The Instructor 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 the photo, name, and link to a biography of the teaching staff is 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 and are not hidden. 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).

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 assignment, and activities. For each topic, you need to read the notes.


Proposed assessment is 2% for a task after each of two workshops (4% in total) and the Work Portfolio Package due at the end of the semester (16%).

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 read the notes at attend the workshop. Students not used to blended 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 Task 1 Due Wednesday

This is a reminder that Task 1 is due this Wednesday.

Each Topic

For each topic, the instructor needs to provide a group summary and feedback at the end, plus any additional individual feedback. The feedback is accompanied by marks, so the students pay attention to it. Lastly, remind the students of what is in the next topic.

Feedback Templates

Here are some feedback sentences to use:

You answered the question but did not provide feedback to other students. ...

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

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

The system indicates that you are a student in this module. There are tasks which all students are asked to complete. 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 .... 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 disciplinary action under the ANU Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity.

General Feedback

Post general feedback to the forum for all students. This should tell the students where to find their individual feedback, 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 and a link to individual feedback.
The average mark was ... "At expectation". ... students made limited, or no, contribution and so their mark was zero. These marks do count towards your final grade.

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 tasks and workshops are designed to help with the assignment and then can use the material they contributed in the tasks, to prepare their assignment.
The assignment includes a marking rubric. The tutors should all mark, using the same rubric. The examiner will decide the final mark.
It is generally not necessary, or useful, to make detailed notations on the student's submissions. Where a detailed notation is needed, it should only be on the first occurrence of the problem in the assignment. For example, if there are numerous grammatical errors, correct a couple. Students who have difficulty with writing should be referred for specialist assistance.


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

Worthington, T. (2019, December). Blend and Flip for Teaching Communication Skills to Final Year International Computer Science Students. In 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Education (TALE) (pp. 1-5). IEEE. URL


You can use a logbook to keep notes, plans, and drafts of your work. The logbook is not assessed and is not visible to other students. However, it can be used as supporting evidence that the work you submitted for assessment was your own. All entries are logged and timestamped by the system, so the examiner will be able to see when you made notes and prepared drafts of your work. Feel free to fill in the blanks in the provided entries, or delete them and write your own.

The idea here is to provide you with an entry each week to start writing and avoid a confronting blank page. It is suggested you are asked to write about the activity set for that week and a specific aspect of it.

The fill in the blanks sentences are adapted from James (p.43, 2005). The topics for each week are from the Techlauncher program (originally by Awasthy, Flint, and Sankaranarayana, 2017). Questions for the Work Portfolio (Weeks 4 and 8) were suggested by Tempe Archer, at ANU Careers. For more details, see "Why a Student Logbook? A Personal Reflection" (Worthington, 2021).


Awasthy, R., Flint, S., & Sankaranarayana, R. (2017, April). Lifting the constraints—Closing the skills gap with authentic student projects. In 2017 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) (pp. 955-960). IEEE. URL

James, Alisa, "Journaling as an Assessment Option" (2005). Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education Faculty Publications. 78.