Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Learning to Reflect

This is the fourth of a series of posts on how to provide students with help when preparing a reflective portfolio. This is specifically for students of  ANU Tech Launcher and the ANU Computer Science Internship. Previously I looked at how to structure the learning, use the student study time and assess a portfolio.

With this I propose to split the module up into three equal size sections, which would be delivered at equidistant points during a 12 week university course, near the beginning, mid-semester and the end.  There would be similar assessment and activities for each of the three segments, with the student revisiting, and revising their work each time. The idea of this regular structure is to make it simpler for instructors and students to understand. The sections are spread through the semester to aid learning, at the expense of an increase in complexity.

The assessment has small tasks (quizzes and discussion postings), to aid students with surface knowledge and assignments for the deeper learning. The assessment is all summative, in that it all counts towards the final result, to encourage students to study. Similarly, peer input to the assessment is used to aid study, with the instructor retaining the final decision on grades.

The grading scheme is designed to reduce the stress on students by being best two out of three for each assessment task. To encourage students to complete the small assessment tasks, they must to get at least 15/30 on these, or their overall grade is capped at 49/100. To prevent the small, relatively easy tasks inflating the final result, the student has to achieve at least 70/100 on the assignments, to get 70/100 or higher, overall.

Module title: Learning to Reflect


This module will enable students to develop competencies expected of working professionals to plan what skills and knowledge they need to develop, acquire those skills and reflect on what they have learned.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  1. Determine the learning needed and possible sources, to grow individual skills for a project,  and career plans.
  2. Identify appropriate accreditation and qualification paths. 
  3. Manage the learning, evaluate outcomes through reflection.
Adapted from the skill "Learning and Development" (ETMG), Level 6, Skills Framework for the Information Age, Version 7, 2017 

Indicative Assessment


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

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

For each forum students will be asked to answer a set question with a few sentences and then reply to another student. Students will then give ratings for the answer (0, 1, or 2). The tutor will provide a mark for each student, taking into account the student ratings.

For each assignment students will be given a question and a marking rubric. After submitting their own answer, students will mark three others using the rubric, and provide feedback. The instructor will review the student feedback, making any changes needed. They will then allocate 90% of the grade for the student's work and 10% for their feedback.

Overall mark calculation

Small tasks = best two quizzes + best two forums
Assignments = best two assignments
Mark = Small tasks + Assignments

If Small tasks is less than 15/100, the final grade is capped at 49%.

Grades of 70% and over, will be based on Assignments only.

Course specific policies 


Late submission of assessment is not accepted.


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

Prescribed Texts

An eBook is supplied with the course.

In addition, from the ANU Academic Skills & Learning Centre:  Reflective writing, reflective essays, learning journals. From ANU Career Hub: cover lettersaddressing selection criteria, and resumes.

Course schedule

The course consists of three parts, one topic per part, with one quiz, forum, and assignment, for each:
  1. Plan the learning needed. In this part the student investigates what they need to learn the project, and for long term career plans. Assignment task is to produce a first draft of their CV, and learning goals.
  2. Learn. The student learns about different ways of learning, and identifies appropriate accreditation and qualification paths for their future. Assignment task is to address a typical set of selection criteria.
  3. Report and reflect. The student reflects on what they have learned. Assignment task is to prepare an application cover letter, and revise the other parts prepared previously.


Communication platform

ANU's Wattle system is used for communication. Students and instructor will use Moodle Learning Management system tools:
  1. Dialogue for one-to-one communication.
  2. Forum for group communication and discussion.
  3. Quiz tool for quizzes.
  4. Workshop for assignments.

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